6 Tips to a Friendlier Freezer

Did you know this month is the 30th annual National Frozen Food Month?

Neither did we.

Sure, we think it’s a silly marketing ploy designed to stir up sales for frozen foods. But we also think it’s a great opportunity to point out ways that you can turn your freezer into a money-saving tool…

  • Stock up on freezable foods when they’re on sale or in season and freeze what you won’t use right away. Print the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture’s seasonality charts for veggies and fruits and nuts and tape them to your fridge.
  • Make your own frozen meals. When you cook, make enough food for several meals and freeze the extras in individual, meal-size portions – which are a lot cheaper than store-bought frozen meals. Now you’re saving time and money and eating better.
  • Start scrap containers. Money Talks News writer Angela Colley stores two designated containers in her fridge for leftover pieces of fruits and vegetables. When the containers are full, she uses them to make a smoothie or broth, or adds them to soups.
  • Don’t over-freeze. Frozen foods keep indefinitely, as long as the temperature is 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. But how long you leave foods in the freezer does affect their quality. Print the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Freezer Storage Chart – which explains how long foods can be frozen without compromising quality – and tape that to your freezer too.
  • Thaw safely. There are only three safe ways to thaw frozen foods, according to the USDA: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Leaving frozen foods out on a counter to thaw can leave them unsafe to eat, the USDA says.
  • Apply other grocery cost-saving tips when you shop for frozen foods – from buying house brands to shopping at wholesale clubs. Check out 30 Tips to Save on Food for more.

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