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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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If I didn’t convince you last week that having extra freezer space was a huge money saver, then how about this week convincing you that your freezer can save you a ton of time…

Let me start by saying that I don’t freezer cook very often.  I tried it years ago and found that we only ate about half what was in there and then eventually had to throw things away because we snubbed them so long.  We are going to cover freezer cooking, just not this week.  Today it’s more about freezer prepping.

I’m a freezer prepper.  Not in the apocalypse is coming kinda way (though I have enough in my freezers – we have two).  The prepping I mean is in reducing cooking time.  Not only is our family not a freezer cooking family, we also fail at menu planning most weeks.  I long to do it, I crave little lists and will steal away scrap paper and make menus… but we never eat them.  My husband and I end up never wanting what was planned for the day.  We have maybe 12-13 meals that we rotate through on a regular basis with a few new things thrown in from time to time.  Since I’m starting all of them after work though, this is where the freezer comes in handy.

 I don’t want to walk in and have to thaw meat and start from scratch.  Instead in our freezer I keep a few things always stocked and ready to go that are parts of meals.

Meats

  • Ground Beef – already browned in meal size portions
  • Chicken – cubed and cooked (could be grilled or pan sautéed depending on when I did it)
  • Steak thinly sliced and stripped for fajitas (get the butcher to cut it for you while you shop – then cook straight from frozen).
  • Pork Chops – wrap in freezer paper individually and put in bags of 3-4 per bag.  Unwrap and cook straight from frozen.  (If you forget to wrap you’ll have to thaw first).

If you have marinades you use on a regular basis go ahead and add those to the bag before freezing meat.  Then pull it out and while it thaws, it marinates!

 Veggies

  • Onions- in large bag, I just take handfuls when I need it.
  • Bell Peppers – sliced (you can dice later if needed)
  • Carrots – diced
  • Minced Garlic
  • Celery – diced

 Other

  • Cooked White Rice
  • Chicken Broth (what else do you do with a can/carton you don’t finish)
  • Bread Crumbs (another waste saving tip)
  • Vegetable Ends – bag of nubs/ends that you wouldn’t always eat for making vegetable stock

With all of these always on-the-ready, I can throw together an awesome Shepherd’s Pie, Fajitas, and a number of other meals without getting out a single cutting board or taking any prep time.

Keep in mind everything here is on top of all the bags of frozen veggies we buy super cheap with coupons and meats we grab in bulk.

Do I have you wanting a freezer yet?  Then enter to win one!!  Thanks to awesome crew at Amana one Southern Savers reader will win a freezer worth $850!! (If you don’t see the widget below, click this link.)

    • jackie

      I forgot alot of these tips! Thank you.

    • Jennifer

      My dad grew onions in his garden this year… I’m still using them. I chopped them all up one day… took a while through all the tears… but now I don’t have to worry about chopping onions (or buying them) for months! I also just cooked up 2 lbs of hamburger meat… burgers for dinner tonight and tomorrow and the rest of the meat will go into a large batch of sauce that I will freeze for later uses! Love my freezer. :)

    • mommalana

      After the kids all grew up I had to freezer cook or we would eat the same thing all week. I regularly have meat sauce for pasta, chili and a variety of soups and I am really liking have those items cooked ready anytime I want them. I do keep chopped cooked chicken on hand because I often have leftover of that too.

    • Anonymous_Tipster

      When cherries are on sale, I pit them and bag them for later use; a cherry pie or cobbler can make a dreary January day much nicer. Whole strawberries (minus the green stems) freeze beautifully and are good for sauces and shortcakes. Leftover pork or beef bbq also freezes nicely and is a good last-minute meal for those days when you’re out of energy and daylight. Refried pinto beans, corncakes, pancakes, waffles, unfrosted cupcakes, applesauce and casseroles have saved me so much time and money.

    • Amanda

      We recently bought 10 lbs potatoes @ $4.99 and B1/G1 free, We bought 120 lbs for $30.00 plus taxes. We used a fry cutter and food saver vac sealer. We put 8 bags battered and seasoned tater wedges and 4 bags fries in freezer.(We also pressure canned 28 quarts of diced potatoes the following weekend) I made a 5qt pot of potatoe soup for dinner. We gave away 50lbs potatoes to a needy ( very large) family,and kept 20 lbs for our immediate use.
      We freeze reduced banana’s.We made and froze apple pies with couponed pie crusts,(and canned some cinnamon apples and applesauce) when bought a $25 bushel of apples.
      I also freeze cheese.(Deli style slices and chunks/bars DON”T do well,they easily crumble once thawed). Shreds and individual slices do well though. I used $2 off 2 kraft singles coupons along with $2 free produce when buying 2 kraft dairy/cheese. I price matched the cheeses at 2/$5 from ingle’s sale ad at walmart…I used 15 sets of 2 coupons,got 30 packs of 16 slices kraft singles and $30 in produce,checked out for about $49.00 with tax. We use the cheese slices from the freezer,about a pack per week. When we make tacos we take the shreds out with our prepped ahead taco meat.
      We froze (free with coupons) ears of corn,shucks and all,in freezer bags. They are freezer space consumers,but awesome as the day you got them,even on the grill when taken out. If you get a deal on carrots (those pre cut or baby ones)those freese well for stews,and you have no added prep time.
      We prep ready to bake meatloaves by mixing up a meatloaf,putting it on hamburger trays and vac sealing to freeze.

      I pre-cook and freeze scrambled eggs (and pancakes) with my vac sealer. We bought 20 dozen eggs, on sale @ $1.25 per dozen. We froze bags of scrambled eggs, and made bacon egg & cheese bagel/english muffin sandwhiches I wrap each one in parchment or freezer paper before bagging.
      We even prepped quiches.We had couponed bacon,sausage,pie crusts,muffins, bagels,and the above mentioned cheese slices from the freezer from another trip.
      You’ll love takiing out those pre made sandwhiches for on the go mornings,or taking a good microwavable breakfast along for a hotel stay. I also bake and freeze muffins or pan breads,whole or sliced. Warmed in the microwave and topped with fruit/berries and/or ice cream for quick dessert or just a treat, it’s pure awesomeness on the spur of the moment.
      When we have left over mashed potatoes and gravy,(or we make double batches) we vac seal and feeze them. They are great quick boil in the bag( heat and eat) home cooked items from the freezer .

      When I have had good couponing trips, my husband and teen kids work along with me regularly in the kitchen making large batches of prepped foods. A day of cooking and prep is a lot of work,but is awesome payback on those rushed for time or “I just don’t wannna cook” days later,even provides fail safe for teens to “cook” in a pinch.