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31 foods you can freeze to save time and money

Updated: Jan 16

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31 foods you can freeze to save money

Well, hello there!

31 foods you can freeze to save time and money

Did you know that approximately one-third of food produced worldwide is wasted each year?


This is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food that could be out to better use.

If you have too much leftover food, don't worry! There is a surprising amount you can freeze for up to nine months.



Here is a little guide to help you freeze those little bits that might not get used up.


Top Tips for Freezing at Home

  • Place everything you cook into a well-sealed container or freezer bag.

  • Make sure you label and date foods. I like to use a sharpie pen.

  • Food hygiene is essential, and some things should not be frozen, such as already defrosted meat and fish. Here is a guide to help you with storing food leftovers.


If you are serious about reducing your food waste, The Zero Waste Cookbook might be for you. It contains 100 recipes, to support your cooking.


The book is an excellent staple for seasoned chefs, newbies and everyone in between who wants to save money and reduce food waste.

Reduce food waste
Let's get to the list!
Eggs and Dairy
Dry Cupboard and Baked Goods
Fruit and Vegetables
Cooked Meals
Meat and Fish
 

Eggs and Dairy

how to freeze milk and eggs

Cream is not a staple in our house. I only need a small amount for a recipe when I am cooking.


Now I know I can freeze it; I save money and reduce waste.




Food

Freezing Tips

Defrost Time

​Maximum Freezer Life

Eggs

​Beaten eggs (white and yolk), egg white, egg yolks


DO NOT FREEZE Cooked eggs, eggs in shells

Store in fridge overnight, do not cook from frozen

Up to 1 year, but best used within 4 months

Milk

Whole milk, skimmed milk, semi skimmed milk, condensed milk, coconut milk (do not freeze in tins, cartons or full bottles as milk evaporates).

*Soya milk and Oat milk quality degrades when frozen by can be used in smoothies or baking

In the fridge, until defrosted (may take several hours)


When using for cooking, milk can be used from frozen

3 months

Butter

​Salted and unsalted

​In the fridge overnight.

Grate from frozen.

Great for sautéing but not baking

Unsalted 6 months

Salted 12 months

Cream

Single


Double and whipping can be frozen, but are trickier due to high fat content


I find that whipping them first is the best way

Overnight in fridge. Do not use from frozen

Unsalted 6 months

Salted 12 months

Yoghurt

All

A couple of hours in the fridge. Can be used in smoothies from frozen

3 months

​Cheese

Hard and semi-hard cheese work best. Stick to cheese you would use in cooking. Leave in blocks or grate

Defrost in the fridge for 7-8 hours. If grated can be used from frozen

6-9 months



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Dry Cupboard and Baked Goods


how to freeze cakes and cookies

For me, freezing food is a time-saving hack. I spend less time cooking, don't have to worry about portion size or food waste, so I save money!







Food

Freezing Tips

Defrost Time

Maximum Freezer Life

Pasta

​Cooked pasta, ensure pasta is cooked al la dente, no more

Overnight in the fridge. It can be defrosted in hot water

3-6 months

Rice

All rice should be cooked first. All rice can be frozen, including fried rice with meat and vegetables in

​Can be cooked from frozen or thawed in microwave. Make sure rice is piping hot before serving

1 month

Bread

Stale bread can be grated and frozen as bread crumbs

Toast from frozen, or defrost in fridge until soft

3-6 months

Tortillas

Separate if using as single portions, or they will all stick together

A couple of minutes in the microwave

1-3 months

Sweet Bread | Muffins

Slice into single portions

A couple of hours

1-3 months

Cake

Unfrosted cakes freeze best

A couple of hours

1-3 months

Pancakes | Waffles

Make double the batch and freeze half

Microwave from frozen or place under grill

1-3 months

Pastry Dough

​Wrap tightly in cling film, place in freezer bag and freeze

Overnight in fridge

3-6 months

Cookies

Make double the batch and freeze half

A couple of hours

1-3 months

Cookie Dough

​Roll into balls, make sure they are separate or they will stick together

Bake from frozen adding 1-3 minutes to the baking time

​1-3 months


Fruit and Vegetables


How to freeze fruit and veg

Most fruit and veg can be frozen.


This includes compotes and pie fillings too.


I have added some obvious ones but also some less obvious ones to the list.















Food

Freezing Tips

Defrost Time

Maximum Freezer Life

Banana

​Freeze in skin or peel, slice or mash and then place in a freezer bag

​Less than 1 hour

6 months

Berries

Wash first

Less than 1 hour but can be enjoyed frozen

​3 months

​Grapes

Less than 1 hour but can be enjoyed frozen

3 months

Citrus Zest | Juice

Place zest in a freezer bag, juice in ice cube trays

Less than 1 hour but can be enjoyed frozen

​3-6 months

​Avocado

Slice and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop it browning

1-2 hours

1-3 months

Courgette

​Grate and freeze

Less than 1 hour

3-6 months

Garlic

Whole or individual cloves

Use from frozen

3-6 months

Potato

Mash it and split into portions

1-2 hours

3-6 months

The Food Storage Guide give you tips from preserving to freezing and would be another excellent staple to help you learn how to keep your food waste down. It is broken down into step by step instructions, so is beginner friendly.



Food storage tips and guide


Cooked Meals


how to meal prep frozen food

If you have never tried meal prep before, this is the perfect time to start.


Make twice as much as you were planning on making and then place the extra into the freezer.


This will also help prevent the it temptation to order a takeaway if you don't fancy cooking. Just defrost your meal in the microwave.


Food

Freezing Tips

Defrost Time

Maximum Freezer Life

Soups

Separate into portion sizes first

Overnight in fridge

3-6 months

Broth | Stock | Gravy

​Place stock in ice cube trays

​Stock can be used from frozen. The rest will depend on the portion size usually within 3-6 hours

3-6 months

Casseroles

​Separate into portion sizes first

​Overnight in fridge

​3-6 months

Mince Dishes

​Separate into portion sizes first. You could even add excess grated cheese to these dishes too! Remember you can freeze the cooked rice and pasta separately

​Overnight in fridge

3-6 months

My preferred method is bulk cooking made up meals. The Good Food: Family Freezer Meals has a great selection, plus you could portion size to match your family size and account for fussy eaters.



Family freezer meals for fussy eaters


Meat and Fish


how do I freeze steak

The most expensive item usually falls under this category. This is also the category people freeze incorrectly and get food poisoning from.


Remember to follow the guidance at the top of the page to help you get it right.














Food

Freezing Tips

Defrost Time

Maximum Freezer Life

Lunch meat

Pork products are more susceptible to freezer burn​

Will vary on portion size. Ensure food is defrosted before using

1-3 months

Cooked meat

Bacon can be cubed and used in other dishes

Will vary on portion size. Ensure food is defrosted before using

1-3 months

Raw meat

Buy in bulk and split into portions

Will vary on portion size. Ensure food is defrosted before using.

4-6 months


I hope this list helps you with your meal planning and food waste. If you have any items that you like to freeze, let me know in the comments below.




A few words about Fair

Fair is a vintage gal on a journey to find financial freedom. She shares her best tips with you, so you can achieve the same goal, whether it is saving money or looking fabulous!


Fair has featured in National and Local newspapers with her money-saving tips.



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