If you want to save some money on your grocery budget, your freezer should be your best friend. Now I’m not talking about having dozens of meals pre-made just sitting in your freezer ready for you–though that would be wonderful! (And if you want to find out more about freezer cooking, I highly recommend $5 dinners. The meal plans come with recipes, shopping lists, videos, and more!)
Instead I am talking about simple ways that you can freeze a few things here and there to help you reduce your grocery budget and make meal planning easier.
Here are 15 Things That Frugal People Freeze:
If bread is on sale, grab an extra loaf or two and put them in the freezer. We do it all the time and don’t notice a difference in taste once the bread is thawed.
I always seem to have one or two tortillas left in the package after a recipe. Dedicate one Ziploc bag in your freezer for tortillas and add any leftovers. Both flour and corn tortillas freeze well.
This recipe for freezer biscuits from Money Saving Mom is absolutely delicious! Mix up the dough and form into biscuits. Then, freeze them on a cookie sheet. After they are frozen, put them into a freezer bag. Thaw half an hour before baking, and you’ll have amazing biscuits each time. So easy!
Pancakes and Waffles
Whip up a double or triple batch of pancakes or waffles the next time you make them. Once they have cooled, place them in a freezer bag. I usually put a sheet of wax paper between them so they don’t stick together. My kids love having leftover pancakes from the freezer for a quick breakfast or snack.
After you’ve cooked a chicken or turkey, use the bones to make your own stock. You can then freeze it in a bag, thaw later, and make wonderful soups. I’ve also shared my recipe for homemade vegetable stock here.
If you have a garden, you’re sure to get more vegetables than you can eat! Wash and slice your vegetables, then put them in a freezer bag. We have frozen fresh green beans, zucchini, carrots, and corn. We have also found great deals on vegetables at farmer’s markets or been gifted boxes of them from friends. It’s nice to enjoy great veggies later in the fall or winter!
Make a double batch of soup and freeze half for later. I’ve found it’s just as easy to double a recipe as it is to make a single batch. And you have a meal for later! My Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Butternut Squash Soup is a dream to freeze.
Freeze overripe bananas for banana bread or smoothies. You can also substitute mashed banana for oil in many recipes.
If you live near a pick your own peach or strawberry patch, go stock up. Homemade freezer jam is really simple to make and doesn’t require any canning knowledge. Just follow the recipe on the pectin box and spoon the jam into plastic jars or containers. The jam will last six months in the freezer, and your family will thank you each time they eat it!
I love shopping in the discounted meat section of my grocery store. Call me crazy, but it’s like going on a treasure hunt! If I have any money left in the grocery budget that week, I always stop by and check out the meat that is on sale. I’ve found packages of chicken drumsticks for $1, a whole pork tenderloin for $1.50, roasts for $5, organic chicken breasts for $4, and the list goes on. You can put the meat in your freezer the day you buy it, and then cook it on the day you thaw it. Perfectly safe, tasty, and frugal!
This is my favorite trick. I will often cook an entire package of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Just set the oven for 375 degrees, place the chicken breasts (still frozen) on a baking sheet, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Once the chicken is cool, I shred the meat and put it into baggies by one cup portions. Then, if I want chicken for pasta, pizza, or a salad, I can grab one bag from the freezer. It saves so much time!
I love the convenience of canned beans, but I don’t like the taste or the price. Instead I cook a big pot of beans and then freeze in individual one cup portions. I have shared my recipe for homemade crock pot refried beans here.
Freeze nearly expired milk and use it for baking.
Cheese freezes wonderfully, so stock up if it is on sale!
If you freeze nothing else, freeze cookie dough! Make a double or triple batch of your favorite cookies. Form them into balls, and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they have frozen all the way through, take them off the sheet and place in a freezer bag. Now you can bake homemade cookies whenever you want. (Or eat them straight out of the freezer like me 🙂 )
You do not have to own a large deep freeze to be able to implement these ideas. I only have a (relatively) small freezer over top of my refrigerator. I keep it filled nearly to overflowing, but I am able to freeze a large number of items!
By using your freezer to stock up on basic items like bread, cheese, and meat when they are on sale, you can see a significant savings in your grocery bill. And, by doubling recipes as you cook so that you can freeze half for later, you save yourself time in the kitchen.
It’s a win-win situation!
Freezer Cooking Meal-Plan
I also love making entire meals to put into the freezer to use later when our schedule goes crazy! If you want to learn more about freezer cooking, and get 10 or 20 day meal plans, check out $5 Dinners below.
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