Let’s be honest, how many times have you gone in your freezer and found something that you had no idea what it was? You couldn’t even remember the last time you bought or cooked that. If I am being honest, it’s too many to count for me.
Each time it happened I felt terribly guilty. I was just throwing away money I thought. It had to stop. So over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to use up the food in my freezer. I’m happy to say I haven’t thrown anything away since.
Do you want to save money and stop throwing away food? Want to learn how to use up freezer food?
Let’s go to the Chalkboard.
Nearly a pound of food per person per day is wasted! That’s an average $40 of food per person a month that gets thrown away. Multiply that for a family of four and you could be saving $160 by cutting down on food waste. The freezer is part of the problem. We have the best intentions when freezing food but things break down when we go to use them.
It’s time to start eating our freezer food.
Here’s How to Use up Freezer Food.
- Organize. It’s easier to use things when you can see what you have. Start by keeping like items together in bins. I have these that I love. Bonus is that you can easily grab an entire bin and take it out of the freezer to see what you have. You don’t want an overpacked freezer, it won’t allow the air to move around as well and creates uneven temperatures.
- Check your freezer before meal planning. I’m a huge proponent of meal planning. Just a little bit of effort each week can save you a ton of time and money each week. Don’t know where to start? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning.
- Plan on using it within two weeks. Freezing dinner? Sometimes you make a great meal and have a bunch of leftovers. There’s only so much of it you can eat though so you freeze it. Remember how yummy it was and plan on eating it soon. This helps keep it top of mind and stops it from getting lost in the freezer.
- Don’t freeze food you don’t like. Sometimes you just need to cut your losses. Maybe you can repurpose your leftovers (link) but if you don’t like a meal the first time, you won’t like it the second time.
- Store things properly. Learn how to freeze things. This will stop you from going to use food and then realizing it’s full of freezer burn. We use a vacuum sealer and love it.
- Date and label everything. After you have learned to properly store things you want to make sure you know what it is. A simple label with what it is and the date will save you from taking out pumpkin purée when you were really trying to take out a soup.
- Do a freezer cleanse every 6 months. Every six months plan on eating through what is in your freezer. It doesn’t need to be in one week. Depending on how much food is in your freezer plan several weeks to a month to go through all of your food and eat it up. Part of this cleanse can even be a defrost if needed. If your freezer looks like the frozen tundra on the walls, it’s a good idea to unplug it and get rid of that ice to gain back some real estate in there. There is no better fresh start than a freezer cleanse
How Do You Use Up Freezer Food?
What do you think? Are you guilty of throwing away freezer food?
If you have any great tips, let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.