Posted on July 23 2020
Freezing food items is one of the best ways to prevent spoilage and ensure that you have plenty of food on-hand in case you need it. However, most of us tend to forget about our frozen food items. This leads to buying duplicates at the grocery store or to food spoiling after months of being in the freezer…Let’s save you some TIME, EFFORT and MONEY!
You can avoid these problems by simply taking the time to organise your freezer properly.
I have been in such a cleaning and organising mood this week! I’m not sure what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been taking a few hours here and there to clean and organise the house and keep it ship shape all week long – and it’s SUCH a good feeling to have everything in order.
I highly recommend it for lifting the spirits.
Personally, I find it really annoying when I have to scratch around in the freezer for ages to find something that I need…
So, let’s organise our FREEZERS!
An often overlooked little section of the home, but such an essential one. What a pleasure to have a clean, tidy, organised and efficient freezer…
If you wish to start organising your freezer and in the process make meal prep more enjoyable, here are some tips to get you started…
Here we go, Our 5 Favourite Freezer Organisation Tips:
1. Portion your food before freezing
Whether you shop for frozen products online or buy them from a store, sometimes you can’t avoid buying a large amount of food.
Before storing it in the freezer, keep in mind that freezing the ingredients together means thawing them out together as well.
For example, if you freeze a whole chicken, you’ll have to thaw the whole chicken, even if you may just want to cook the chicken breasts.
Additionally, thawing and freezing foods repeatedly may cause food to spoil more quickly.
Thus, the solution is simple: portion the food into ideal serving sizes.
When you store food in this way, you can easily grab a bag from the freezer, thaw it, and add it to your meal. Not only does this save you in thawing time, but it also helps ensure the food’s quality as well.
2. Use proper containers
Part of proper food storage is knowing which kinds of containers to use. This is because not every container is freezer-friendly.
Take glass containers, for example. Placing glass containers in exceedingly cold temperatures may cause them to crack and break, so you should avoid using glass unless the manufacturer states otherwise.
The first type of food packaging you should keep on-hand are zip-top freezer bags.
Take note that these bags are different from regular sandwich bags. The plastic of freezer bags is not only thicker but also contains an additive that prevents it from getting brittle in the freezer. (How nifty is that?!)
Secondly you can use resealable plastic containers or jars.
While there are several cheap kinds available, try to invest in heavy-duty ones to help ensure they last a long time.
FUN TIP: Colour coordinate the containers for easier organisation, like cool colours for fruits and vegetables and warm colours for poultry and seafood.
Aside from these two, there are other storage options you can use such as heavy-duty aluminium foil, sheet pans (for freezing sliced fruits and vegetables), and ice cube trays (for herbs and beaten eggs).
Make sure to remove excess air from bags and containers to prevent freezer burn.
3. Labels and lists are key
To make meal prep even easier, label the containers, bags, and other items in your freezer.
This will save you SO much time when you’re looking for something!
With masking tape and a pen, write down what’s in the container and the date of storage and stick the labels on the lid or side of the container or bag.
Frozen food typically lasts up to three months or more if stored properly. Writing down the date is an important step in helping you gauge if the food is still edible or not.
Aside from labels, put up a list of all the frozen foods on your freezer door.
This allows you to take a quick look at which foods you already have, or if you need to add that item to your grocery list. You might want to note the date of storage next to this list as well.
4. Stash containers by category
For easy access, group the containers by category.
For example, all the containers containing raw foods such as meat, poultry, and seafood are placed in the lower shelf with their labels facing outwards.
And fruits, vegetables, and deserts have their own assigned spots.
In this way, you can easily reach for the item you want and limit the number of items you need to re-arrange in order to find that delicious casserole you froze a couple of weeks ago.
5. First in, first out
One of the most important guidelines to live by in freezer use is FIFO. Meaning First in, First out.
Self explanatory, but it means that you defrost and use the food that has been frozen for the longest amount of time.
For example, if you buy a new batch of shrimp and freeze it, make sure to cook the shrimp you’ve had in the freezer for a month, before using the shrimp you bought 3 days ago.
SIMPLE, YET NOT ALWAYS WHAT HAPPENS. Am I right?
The easiest way to implement this is through a rotation system. Store the new groceries at the back of the freezer, so that the older frozen foods are pushed to the front.
Try making my Garlic Mushroom Chicken Casserole which uses a whole chicken (pictured above!).
In this way, when you open your freezer, the older items are immediately at-hand.
Indeed, it’s a simple yet effective 5 step process that anyone can use for proper freezer storage.
Overall, a well-organised freezer can save you a lot of time, money, and effort.
This is true for grocery shopping as well. For a more convenient shopping experience, try buying your groceries online at TheShop.mu online delivery if you’re Mauritius based. Simply choose your groceries online and have them delivered straight to your home. Acquire, prepare, and store your groceries in no time at all!
I hope these 5 Freezer Organisation Tips have been helpful to you.
Try these methods out and let me know what you think of them!!
Having an organised kitchen, and more specifically, freezer, really can make the world of difference to meal prep and general sanity in these crazy times we are living in!