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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

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We are talking all things freezers for the next few weeks.  Last week I shared 6 reasons why I think having an extra freezer saves time and money.  This week I want share tips for the best way to freeze foods.  I think some of you will be amazed at what can be frozen.

Learn the best ways to do your freezer cooking.  Save lots of money doing just this!

To start, you can freeze all things in the world but it doesn’t do any good if you don’t store them properly.  Depending on the food you are freezing the prep will be different.  In general for vegetables you will need to clean and blanch them just long enough to stop any further ripening.  This helps to preserve color, texture and flavor for 9-12 months depending on the vegetable.  That means you can buy items in season and store them until the start of next years season!  Here’s a quick guide for how long to blanch and how to prepare each vegetable.

If you are storing cooked meals, either package them in square freezer safe containers for easy stacking or in freezer bags with all the air removed. Casseroles can be the one exception.  I would recommend storing them in disposable pans and make sure they are packed to the top.

So we have everything blanched and ready, it’s also important to note what you are storing them in.  You have a number of options today, but depending on what you pick you make increase the storage time of your food by 6 months or more!  The number one thing working against you in food storage is oxygen, so working hard to remove as much as you can from your food is best.  Check out a food storage guideline to see how long food is good for if stored properly in the freezer.

Storage Options:

Plastic Freezer Bags – The most affordable way to store items,  Make sure you are using a bag labeled as “freezer”, there is a huge difference between these and regular storage bags.   Lay the bag flat and smush it to get out as much air as possible.  Depending on the brand you pick most bags can keep food for 1-2 months without freezer burn starting.

Double-Wrapping – Wrapping your food in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil is a technique that can actually work better than plastic bags.  This is best for casseroles, and cuts of meat.  Still work the items to get out as much air before freezing.

Vacuum Sealing –  This requires purchasing a vacuum unit, normally around $100.  You also have the expense of buying bags etc to continue using the sealer.   If you store food often it could be well worth the purchase though.  Foods stored using this method can last up to 1-2 years without freezer burn beginning.   To store moist foods like soups and stews make sure you have the appropriate vacuum containers.  (Lately we are seeing a lot of deals on these so don’t rule it out!)

What exactly can you freeze?
I would say almost anything!  Aside from normal things, we freeze cheese, eggs, milk, refrigerated rolls, cream cheese, etc.  Also don’t forget about things you can freeze to save time later: cooked rice, chopped onions, broths, and more.  Obviously the one thing to stay away from though is a can of coke!

Tip: In south it is also common to freeze flour, bread and other similar products.  Remember if you freeze any baking ingredients that you should always warm them to room temperature before cooking.

    • Candace

      Can you freeze philadelphia cooking creme?

      • vibes_2002

        I have, i didn’t see that it was any different than freezing just regular cream cheese….so I do :)  just let it thaw then use it like normal.

      • Emily Amberson

        I think it would be similar to freezing sour cream. You can freeze it but the texture changes when you thaw it out. I did a search and someone said they froze it and it came out just fine. So I would try it!

        • Alison V.

          i’ve had no problem with cream cheese, whether block or tub.  but when sour cream froze in back of fridge and rethawed the texture was nasty.  might try it on small cheap tub first!

          • Anonymous

            I’d try a test run on sour creams.  If you look at the ingredients list on the tubs. they vary a bit.  Some, like Daisy are just “cultured grade A milk” while others have guar gums and various stabilizers. So, it possible that some brands would freeze well, while others would change texture.

      • lisa

        yes i do can you freeze butter

        • Anonymous

          Yes, I always keep butter in the freezer and take it out one pound at a time as needed.  Amerca’s Test Kitchen recommends always keeping butter in the freezer as it stays much fresher.

        • Doyle

          I have frozen butter, and margarine and it was fine. I thought that cream cheese would get crumbled textured, but is the cooking creme different?

        • Kristen

          I’ve been freezing butter for years.  My friends make fun of me because I routinely have 10 pounds frozen at any given time.  

    • 5higgins

      For casseroles I have heard that you can line the pan with plastic wrap and the freeze it in the regular freezer and then lift it out of the pan and wrap really well and then put in the big freezer.  When ready to eat, unwrap and put it back in the pan you prepared it in, thaw and cook.  It would save you all those disposable pans, but I have never tried it.

      • Kelleyharold

        I have done that, or some version of it.  I make a casserole in a pan lined with nonstick foil, then freeze all of it in the pan.  Lift the whole thing out of the pan, wrapped well, put back in the freezer and wash my pan.  Worked great!

    • Purple Box Jewelry

      Labeling the type of food and date is the key for me.

    • Jennifer4479

      Do you do anything special to the eggs, or just put them as is (in the carton) in the freezer?

      • Jtdjagos

        no, no, just crack them first into a container or bag or ice cube trays if you want them a 1 egg portions. Once frozen in the tray, move to a freezer bag or container.

        • Anonymous

          The ice cube trays are a great idea!

        • Diane

          I think that’s a smart idea! 

    • Can you freezer yogurt cups?

      • I mean “freeze”! :)

        • Monica

          I don’t see why you can’t. I put yogurts (yogurt tubes) in freezer for my daughter’s lunch, pull one out, put in lunch bag with ice pack, and it thaws out for lunch. Wouldn’t hurt to try one of the cups and see what you think, may just take a bit longer to thaw.

      • Jtdjagos

        yes, Dannon even sells crush cups for kids now that are supposed be frozen-i guess to replace ice cream. The yogurt thaws just like it went in

      • Jessica D

        I have frozen Yoplait cups before. The vanilla didn’t thaw well. It came out runny and lumpy, but peach, strawberry, and the temtations kind did fine. I would just take them out the night before and put them in the fridge. By lunchtime they were thawed. I have frozen some of the greek yogurts too, and they freeze and thaw just fine.

    • Ro

      Yes, you can freeze butter.

      I keep a containers in the freezer that I put “scraps” in….for broth.  I put only veg in one, one gets veg and chicken bones, skin, etc.  When the containers get full, I put the contents in a pot on the stove and cover the scratps with water.  I cook it down, and then store it again in the freezer till needed.

    • Deb

      This is a tip my parents gave when using a vacuum sealer bag unit for anything with liquids to cut down on messes when removing air. Freeze after portioning just enough to harden the liquid then remove all the air & seal. Your machine stays nice & clean! Just don’t forget to repack your food.

    • Anonymous

      A tip for thanksgiving leftovers–last year I froze complete dinners and hubby and I had Thanksgiving meals for several months.  Our college kids come home for the weekend and we get left with way too many leftovers!  I put each food in a ziploc sandwich bag and then a set of bags for a meal in a one gallon ziploc freezer bag.  Each bag had turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and cranberry orange relish.  We enjoyed the leftovers much more by spreading them out than eating them everyday for a week!

      • Diane

        Smart lady!

      • WTPooh

        I do this with many of our nightly meals. I use the Glad two compartment containers; the small compartment for meat or anything that contained a gravy or sauce and the larger compartment for grains and veggies. They stack nicely in the freezer. As I add containers to the stack in the freezer, I mix the containers in with the exsisting containers (making sure to always add to the bottom of the pile). I carry these for lunch most days…Just grab one from the top of the stack. Lunch is always a surprise! A nice healthy home cooked meal that is perfectly portioned and easy to prepare (2 minutes in the microwave.) My coworkers are always envious of my lunch versus their frozen packaged meal.

    • Jtdjagos

      The only thing i have ever had a problem with is sliced cheese(like american)-you have to thaw it in the fridge or it will crumble.

    • Arienjw3

      when freezing any thing liquid in a freezer bad make shere to lay it flat 9if you have a big chest freezer use you smail one on the fright to do this), that way when it is frozen you can stack it up and have more room

    • Nmg619

      I found that when I would stock up on certain items and freeze them I would forget that some of those things were even in there. Things would get tossed around and sometimes end up on the bottom and so now I put a list next to the freezer of everything in there and how many so that instead of forgetting that something is in there or digging around for something that got eaten already I just check my list first. It’s really helpful:)

      • Anonymous

        I want to get a white board to put over my freezer to list the contents. THen I can just erase what has been used.

        • Trish

          Dry erase board….I’m going to switch from clipboard to that….I must be losing my mind..I can’t believe that never occurred to me!! LOL

      • Trish

        I do this as well.  I use a clipboard that hangs next to my freezer.  Very useful!  Also helps to know when I need to re-stock on something rather than guessing.

      • Susanizanurse

        I’m so OCD til I do a spreadsheet w/ columns to track what’s in my chest freezer, which is used to store meats only. I keep it in a report cover with a pencil on a string attached to it. I cross out & update the #s as I remove items. I can do a quick scan to see what I have, give me thoughts for meals, & when I’m running low & need to start scanning for sales.

    • Amanda-EatLikeaRabbit

      We aren’t in the market for a freezer right now. But I want to thank you an Amana for an amazing, generous giveaway.

    • Anonymous

      How do you thaw milk after it is frozen?

      • Anonymous

        In the fridge. I think you mark how many days it had left before the expiration date and then when you pull it out you’ll know how many days you have before it expires. You could probably do a search on her website b/c she talked about it a while back.

    • Platt_74

      I never knew…. All these years, all the expired, wasted food…. I’m gonna need a big storage freezer!!

    • Happy21234

      don’t forget BREAD too:) We get our bread from merita thrift stores (about 99cents a loaf sometimes less … freeze them then defrost on counter over night (make sure to keep it ‘sealed’ if it’s left open to defrost it will be dry’s ou by morning.

    • Destiny691966

      I have also found dehydrating is a great way to store stuff too. I love my $5 dehydrator…I got it at a yard sale and it is the best $5 I have ever spent.

    • Crafty_cat_86

      I’ll always cook up a mess of ground beef or split chix breast (cheaper than b/s) and freeze it in one pound portions.  Today we literally had tacos from the pantry and freezer in 15 mins.  (the crumbled meat takes a lot less time to defrost–I just do it on the stove)

    • Glidinggirls

      Thanks for the tips! I just bought some Egg Beaters on sale for .25 cents at Publix and was wondering if I could freeze them or not!

    • Kandygirlmcd

      Yogurt tubes seem to freeze well, but I froze some Fiber One yogurt and it changed the texture.  Still tasted fine, but it wasn’t smooth and creamy anymore. 

      • Jessica D

        Yoplait vanilla cups do not freeze well either. They thawed out runny and lumpy. I have had success with many other yogurt cup flavors though.

    • Anonymous

      I like to use my slow cooker to cook a large amount of meat that’s on sale (esp. pork & chicken), use some of it for dinner & divide the rest into small freezer bags. Then I have cooked meat to thaw for quick dinners- shredded pork (for sandwiches & soft tacos), “taco” chicken (for enchiladas, chicken tortilla soup, etc.). Gives me a starting base for a lot of meals…

    • Diane

      With the poor economy, I am into food storage in a big way….frozen, dehydrated, canned, packaged in mylar bags and put into heavy storage buckets (bulk items, such as wheat, oats, sugar, grits, dried milk, etc.).  I appreciate all the tips on items that can be frozen.  I’ve never tried freezing eggs or butter, but will begin doing it immediately!  Thanks for the tips!!   Don’t forget to label everything you store with expiration dates, and rotate, rotate, rotate so you don’t waste your money!

      • Don’t freeze eggs in the shell. As a newbie, I tried that first. Whites were fine, but the yolks were rubbery when thawed.

    • If making toast, I pop a frozen slice of bread into the toaster. It thaws out well.

      With ground family pack meats, I divide into pound size packets, place into quart freezer bags and gently press flat. Once frozen, I can stack these better in the freezer.

      Most frozen packets are in the two metal coated baskets that fit in the overhead freezer (want a chest freezer one day). Works like a drawer. Bought these in Big Lots years ago.

    • Jmail714

      Another idea for freezing meat….  you can divide your pieces of meat individually, freeze then you can combine them in one big freezer bag.  When you are ready to cook them you can get out as many pieces as you need rather than having to use an entire pack.  Ex:  Make individual hamburger patties and freeze them individually so they are not touching.  Once frozen, put them all in one freezer bag.

    • Pfamcoupons@gmail.com

      Does anyone know how to freeze refrigerated biscuits?
      Should I unwrap them first then freeze or just freeze the whole can?

    • Andio1999

      wow…would love a freezer!

    • Jerry

      I realized that the most efficient way to store rectangular packages (tv dinners, boxes of pancakes, blintzes, ice cream, etc.) in the freezer is to line them up like library books.  You can even do it with things that aren’t perfectly rectangular, like packages of chicken.  You save a lot of space, can fit much more in, and it is easy to find what you want.

    • PTL

      I’ve borrowed books from the library on freezing foods/meals but I found that they just didn’t always work – like cooked hamburger meat just didn’t seem to taste as good after it was frozen.  I made spahetti meat sauce, and chili, and we weren’t happy with it.  Maybe leaving the meat out, freezing just the sauce/base, and then cooking and adding the meat just prior to eating the meal. Meals like turkey tetrazzini work well, though.

    • PTL

      I’ve borrowed books from the library on freezing foods/meals but I found that they just didn’t always work – like cooked hamburger meat just didn’t seem to taste as good after it was frozen.  I made spahetti meat sauce, and chili, and we weren’t happy with it.  Maybe leaving the meat out, freezing just the sauce/base, and then cooking and adding the meat just prior to eating the meal. Meals like turkey tetrazzini work well, though.

    • Shaelenem

      I plan to purchase a freezer for black friday thanks for this wonderful info.

    • Susanizanurse

      I have frozen butter and margarine for as long as I remember whether it be in tubs or sticks. I have always frozen cheese & usually keep at least 25 packages of shredded cheese in my freezer. I freeze pasta, crackers, yogurt, breads, any kind of meat, milk, & everything I’ve seen mentioned in this thread with the exception of eggs. My friends laugh at me because they simply never knew all these things could be frozen. We have 2 upright freezers, 2 refrigerators w/ small freezers, & a chest freezer and they are all packed to capacity. I have the settings on low too since you don’t have to have them set even at normal when they are packed. We put up 90% of all our veggies as well so we go months eating out of our “freezers!”