Friday, July 30, 2010

Financial Friday: Learn to Love Your Freezer

If you're sick of throwing away food that's gone bad before you've had a chance to eat it, it's time to make your freezer your best friend.

Let me start off my admitting that frozen food doesn't always taste 100 percent delicious after it's defrosted. Obviously, if you want your food to taste as fresh as possible, you need to eat it at its freshest. However, I also don't believe in wasting perfectly good leftovers - and that's where my freezer comes in.

When I go grocery shopping, I am usually only buying for one or two people. With that being said, I almost always end up with leftovers. Case in point: Last week, I picked up a loaf of sourdough bread from Russo's, and ate about half of it over the course of the week. Due to the humidity in Boston these last few days, I had put the bread in the fridge, and it turned rock hard - but is still useable. Now, it's in my freezer, and I'll be defrosting it next week and making something new out of it. For instance, I can cut it up into cubes and make croutons, by baking the cubes on a cookie sheet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I could also cut the bread into slices, smear some marinara sauce on top, sprinkle with cheese, and bake it to make little, personal pizzas.

Leftover bread isn't the only thing my freezer saves, though. Soups, lasagna, chicken (cooked or raw), bananas, and many other items can also be frozen and re-used at another time. If you have grapes in your fridge that are days away from going bad, stick them in the freezer. The ice cold gems make an awesome summer time snack.

Using my freezer for leftovers not only acts as a "savings" account for future meals, but it also saves me from taking extra trips to the grocery store to replace rotten food that I recently bought. By consistently using my freezer, I'm saving about $10-20/month, I'd say, just by saving my excess food from going bad.

My only words of caution are that all different types of foods have different "shelf lives" when frozen. This is a good source to use to know how long you should keep certain foods in the freezer until they should be discarded.

Do you freeze leftovers? Why or why not?


  1. After looking at that tip sheet of when you should get rid of food...looks like i need to throw some things out :) ...opps! I do love the freezer lately too though, especially for breads in the summer! If you put English muffins in and then microwave for 25 seconds and then put it in the toaster its as good as it is fresh!

  2. Frozen grapes also make great ice cubes for some white wines.

  3. That is such a great tip! I am definitely going to try that!

  4. Please tell me that is not YOUR freezer LOL

  5. I definitely am a fan of my freezer! I also like to buy meat like chicken breast, pork chops, steak in bulk even though I'm usually only cooking for two. It is usually cheaper when it is sold family-style. I use what I need and freeze the rest!