My favorite purchase by far has been (drum roll)…. yep, my freezer!
Maybe it eats up too much electricity and space, but it has saved me MANY trips to the store – so for now it’s staying!
I often forget everyone is not as obsessed with freezers as I am, and it might because they don’t realize everything you can store in them! I store nearly anything I want, for as long as I want in mine (which is not recommended, so consult the infographic below for proper storage times ;)
And I really am going to defrost my freezer one of these days – it’s made it on my to-do list at least!
Reasons to Store Food in the Freezer:
There are many ways to cut costs at home without making any big sacrifices. Most of these frugal tricks only require patience and the will to do it.
For example, freezing food as an organized household activity can significantly improve your eating habits while saving the family budget.
Families that carefully plan out their monthly or weekly shopping often shop for groceries in bulk and prepare the food for freezing on weekends, when they have more time. This ensures that no food gets forgotten in the fridge or pantry and is thrown away in the end.
Freezing food also enables people to maintain a healthy nutrition. By preparing and freezing veggies, fruits, meat and even cooked meals, you don’t have to spend too much time getting meals ready on those crazy days – we all have them!
Frozen Food Recommended Storage Times
The following infographic is a guide to proper food freezing and storage. It shows information on how long we can keep different groceries in the freezer and shows what types of food do not freeze well.
This resource also works as a reminder to always properly package food and apply labels with information about the contents of the food packaging and date it was frozen.
Extra Freezer Tips:
Food preservation in cold temperatures has been practiced since the early days of mankind, although not as effortlessly as today when we have powerful freezers, polythene bags and plastic containers, freezer labels and other utensils that help us better preserve food. We also have the knowledge of how to do it properly.
To make sure defrosted food is as fresh, nutritious and tasty as before freezing it, there are certain rules to follow. For example:
- Food should always be frozen at the peak of its ripeness/freshness;
- Some types of food do not freeze well, such as eggs in shell or potatoes;
- Liquids expand in cold temps, so it’s important to leave enough room in the container when freezing beverages, etc.
Most importantly, we must know how long we can store food in the freezer before it loses its taste or even becomes unsafe to eat (if air gets in).
Go ahead and print off the infographic above to keep on your fridge or freezer for quick reference when freezing food!
P.S. Here’s one of my favorite freezer meals if you’re still wondering what to put in your freezer ;)
I’m soooooooo confused!!!!! For years we have been using vacuum sealers to seal food before freezing. Everyone, (even the commercials ) say the food that is vacuum sealed will last longer in the freezer than food just frozen in ziplock bags or any other way. BUT this infographic thingi in the “what NOT to freeze” section says “vacuum packed products”. So, have we been lied to for all these years or is this infographic thingi wrong? Is there a difference between vacuum sealed and vacuum packed? I kinda thought vacuum sealing was vacuum packing. Help me Mr Wizard. Ahhhh, in this case Mrs Wizard.
Jamie S. says
I think I need to just hire you to review all my posts before I publish ;)
I didn’t even notice that the infographic said that. I’m not sure if they are referring to packaged foods like Cheetos, or what. Anyways, you can definitely vacuum seal foods for the freezer, because they really do last pretty much forever when you do!
Maybe I need to ask the Wizard that came up with the infographic!
Well the thing clearly says “vacuum packed products”. Really had me worried, cause I got stuff in there that ain’t seen the light of day for awhile. I didn’t know cheetos are vacuum sealed, thought the bag was just pumped full of some chemical that I can’t pronounce as a preservative. They do taste good though.
Jamie S. says
Yeah, I’m not sure what their definition for “vacuum packed products” is!
No, Cheetos aren’t vacuum sealed, I was just wondering it they got the wording mixed up and meant to put – no bags pumped with chemicals into the freezer – or whatever companies are feeding us these days ;)
Wow, are you behind the times. Vacuum packed foods last for at least a couple of years! I’ve got vacuum packed chicken and steaks two years old that look like the day they went into the freezer. No sign of freezer burn and moisture and all taste and texture is retained. Buy a quality vacuum packager and enjoy the extended freeze time. Thanks for taking the time to write the article and giving to the community.
Jamie S. says
I think the suggestions here are more for when you just put food in the freezer without properly packaging it first.
If people take the time to package their food or vacuum-seal it like you do, then your right – it can last much longer! I know, because I’ve had meat from the freezer that was 10 years old ;)
I agree that freezing things can be a very good idea when it comes to storing food. One thing that we learned when we lived off the grid for over 8 years is that that chest freezers tend to stay cooler in situations like when the power goes out. This is because when you open an upright freezer, a lot of the cold air spills out. A chest freezer is made in a way that you have to lift the lid up and since cold air is heavier than warm air, the cold air tends to stay in the freezer when you open the lid. At least this has been our experience.
I love our stand-alone freezer!! Everything lasts forever (well, a really long time) because it’s so cold. We pulled out some venison chops that I forgot were in there (16 months), not even vacuum sealed, and they tasted like we put them in there the week before. Yum! We normally do vacuum seal food before it goes in the deep freeze. It really does prevent burn, and preserves the taste.
The only bad thing, is that you absolutely cannot scoop any ice cream that’s kept in there. It has to sit out a little while :-)
Thanks for the list!
I have always frozen my brown rice and specialty rice mixes. I havent had a problem with flavor. I also freeze all my nuts and plack pepper corns to maintain freshness.
Wonderful infographics! They make everything so easy to remember and save on your computer and of course print it! Thank you so much for the useful information, I didn’t freeze any food until now, but this year I intend to put some vegetables that I’ve grown all on my own in the freezer, so this will come in handy.
Ashley Fort says
I frezze all of my raw grains for one single purpose down here in Texas — to kill all the bugs that are already in my rice and/or flour. As icky as this sounds, I’ve experimented with not freezing them first before using and also freezing them. 80% of the time when I don’t freeze them first, I’ll find some sort of bug has “come to life” in the grain within a few months. For a long time I thought it was getting in after my purchase. But, since I started freezing my grains, I’e had zero problem with bugs. So, while I don’t freeze them for the life of the product, I do freeze them for 1-2 weeks before putting them in my bigger buckets that i store in my pantry. Jamie, any other thoughts on how to prevent bugs contaminating our grains? Down here in Southeast Texas it’s a real problem.
Jamie S. says
Thanks for the tips! I’ve never thought of freezing them first. I usually just try and put them in buckets as soon as I get the food. Do you use mylar bags too?
I feel like the mylar bags along with the oxygen absorber help keep the bugs out for me. I haven’t found any yet at least (knock on wood).