If you are a frugal shopper or grow/make a lot of your own food, then chances are you’ve probably got a whole lot of things in your freezer to be eaten later. At my house, whenever the grocery store has some meats or certain veggies that we eat a lot of on sale, I try and purchase some extra to throw in my freezer for later. But, contrary to popular belief, food actually doesn’t stay good in the freezer forever.
So, here are some tips, tricks and guides to consider the next time you’re thinking about throwing something in the back of the freezer!
Freezer Tips & Tricks
If you’re really into freezing things, then here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier and safer for you and your family!
- Freeze fruits/veggies at their peak ripeness
- If you’re freezing berries or sliced produce, lay it flat on a baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. That way it doesn’t freeze in a huge hunk!
- Always write the date you froze the food on the baggie. If you’re really worried about the expiration date of your foods, write that on there too (see infographic below)!! And label what it is as well, just in case.
- Liquids expand, so be sure to leave at least a couple of inches of breathing room when freezing anything liquid. Also never use glass for liquid!
- Freeze in portion sizes you’ll actually use.
- Seal everything as well as you can, and be sure to squeeze out excess air for a better result.
- Never re-freeze anything
- Do not freeze hot foods; cool them on the counter and in the refrigerator prior to sticking them in the freezer. Otherwise you run the risk of the hot food messing up the temperature inside your freezer and harming other foods/packaging.
Foods to Never Freeze:
- peppers (especially green)
- potatoes (especially raw)
- salad greens
- grapes (unless you’re going to eat them frozen)
- most cheeses
- cottage cheese
- cream cheese
- eggs in shells (crack them open first or they will explode)
- sour cream
- salad dressing
- Basil, parsley, chives, other soft herbs (instead, freeze them in olive oil in an ice cube tray!)
- fried foods
- some sauces (most separate, although tomato sauces tend to do well)
Freezer Expiration Dates
Freezer Labels has a fantastic infographic that lists how long certain foods can be kept in the freezer before the quality starts to degrade. Now, in my personal experience, many of these foods are still okay to eat a little past the date, but it’s good to have a general guideline.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for freezing food? I’d love to hear it! Share with us in the comments!!