Sunday, April 6, 2014

Freezer Prep

I had a profitable day of freezer prep this week after grocery shopping. This is an area I've realized that I have had to put effort into in order to eat whole foods on a frugal budget! I made a couple good finds grocery shopping last week, and decided to take advantage of them for future meals.
I will admit that I haven't had a good track record in this area. Here's what tends to happen: I buy, grow, or am given a lot of something and I think, perfect! I'll freeze this. So I put it in the fridge and... forget.about.it. So then it starts to go bad, or I wonder if it has started to go bad, so it gets thrown away. Isn't that horrible?! Not this time, baby.

Well last week was a busy one for me with a list a mile long of things that all needed to get done yesterday, but I decided that this food was NOT going to go to waste. So I freezer prepped it up! This is a great way to be nice to your wallet (find things on sale in season) and to your schedule (take a little time to do all the prep now, and it's ready to pull out of the freezer and use later when you want it, need it, gotta have it.)

Peppers

Peppers, oh beautiful mini sweet peppers, how I love you. Seriously, Elsie and I eat these things like, uh... sweet peppers? Great for snacks and fantastic cooked in almost anything. Regularly, it seems that a bag of these little guys run about $3.50, but I found them for $.69/each at Woodman's, our amazing local grocery. So I picked up 4 bags. (Only 4? What was I thinking...) I'm keeping one in the fridge to use fresh, and sliced the rest to freeze.
After being frozen, peppers get a little soft so I don't use them for veggies sticks or salads, but they're perfect for sauteing and cooking. I use pepper strips for stir fries (frys? fry's?) and fajitas, or chop them and throw them into soups, stews, sauces, skillets, quiches, etc etc etc. 
These peppers are packed with vitamins, and add fantastic flavor to whatever they're added to.

Strawberries

I also found strawberries at a good price (and they actually looked ripe). I snatched up a couple pounds. Of course we've enjoyed some fresh, but I decided to slice and freeze the rest. (They sure aren't June-fresh-from-the-garden good, but they brightened the dreary, rainy-snowy days we had last week.) I can easily pull out a bag of them and top pancakes or waffles for a yummy breakfast, or serve with icecream or cheesecake for a perfect dessert.
 

Chicken

I picked up a couple of 3lb rotisserie chickens at Costco ($4.99/each). When I take the time to debone them, each chicken has enough meat for several meals for us, and it's one of the simplest and easiest quicky meal options I can have in the freezer for busy days. The chicken is delicious and already cooked, and I can add it to rice or pasta, throw it in a soup, roll it up in a tortilla, or chop it into a salad.

And these chickens are like a gift that keeps on giving... once all of that delicious meat is removed, I'm left with a whole pile of bones that I can throw into the crockpot and create a healthy stock to be frozen and used in more future meals.
 
Taking the time and energy up front to prep food for the freezer is totally worth it, saving both money and time in the coming days!

What kinds of foods do you like to have prepped and ready in your freezer? 

4 comments:

  1. Whooo! You go girl! Posts like this make me oddly happy...maybe because I hate wasting food and I love getting good deals! Great job! :)

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  2. Awesome! I am impressed and inspired! There is nothing like a freezer full of ziplock bags just ready to go for yummy meals in the future! :)

    The rotisserie chicken idea sounds amazing! Is that a normal price from costco or sale price?

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    1. Amy, I would sure love to know some of your tips for making your groceries last so long between your shopping trips! Have you posted about that?!
      And that price for the rotisserie chicken is the normal price at our local costco. For the amount of meals it provides us, I think it's a great price!

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