15 Things That Frugal People Freeze

15 Things That Frugal People Freeze

If you want to save some money on your grocery budget, your freezer should be your best friend.  Now I’m not talking about having dozens of meals pre-made just sitting in your freezer ready for you–though that would be wonderful!  Instead I am talking about simple ways that you can freeze a few things here and there to help you reduce your grocery budget and make meal planning easier.

 

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Here are 15 Things That Frugal People Freeze:

 

Bread

If bread is on sale, grab an extra loaf or two and put them in the freezer.  We do it all the time and don’t notice a difference in taste once the bread is thawed.

 

Tortillas

I always seem to have one or two tortillas left in the package after a recipe.  Dedicate one Ziploc bag in your freezer for tortillas and add any leftovers.  Both flour and corn tortillas freeze well.

 

Biscuits

This recipe for freezer biscuits from Money Saving Mom is absolutely delicious!  Mix up the dough and form into biscuits.  Then, freeze them on a cookie sheet.  After they are frozen, put them into a freezer bag.  Thaw half an hour before baking, and you’ll have amazing biscuits each time.  So easy!

 

Pancake

 

Pancakes and Waffles

Whip up a double or triple batch of pancakes or waffles the next time you make them.  Once they have cooled, place them in a freezer bag. I usually put a sheet of wax paper between them so they don’t stick together.  My kids love having leftover pancakes from the freezer for a quick breakfast or snack.

 

Homemade Stock

After you’ve cooked a chicken or turkey, use the bones to make your own stock.  You can then freeze it in a bag, thaw later, and make wonderful soups.  I’ve also shared my recipe for homemade vegetable stock here.

Vegetables

Fresh Vegetables

If you have a garden, you’re sure to get more vegetables than you can eat!  Wash and slice your vegetables, then put them in a freezer bag.  We have frozen fresh green beans, zucchini, carrots, and corn.  We have also found great deals on vegetables at farmer’s markets or been gifted boxes of them from friends.  It’s  nice to enjoy great veggies later in the fall or winter!

 

Soups

Make a double batch of soup and freeze half for later.  I’ve found it’s just as easy to double a recipe as it is to make a single batch.  And you have a meal for later!  My Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Butternut Squash Soup is a dream to freeze.

 

Bananas

Freeze overripe bananas for banana bread or smoothies.  You can also substitute mashed banana for oil in many recipes.

 

Jam

 

Jam

If you live near a pick your own peach or strawberry patch, go stock up.  Homemade freezer jam is really simple to make and doesn’t require any canning knowledge.  Just follow the recipe on the pectin box and spoon the jam into plastic jars or containers.  The jam will last six months in the freezer, and your family will thank you each time they eat it!

 

Meat

I love shopping in the discounted meat section of my grocery store.  Call me crazy, but it’s like going on a treasure hunt!  If I have any money left in the grocery budget that week, I always stop by and check out the meat that is on sale.  I’ve found packages of chicken drumsticks for $1, a whole pork tenderloin for $1.50, roasts for $5, organic chicken breasts for $4, and the list goes on.  You can put the meat in your freezer the day you buy it, and then cook it on the day you thaw it.  Perfectly safe, tasty, and frugal!

 

Cooked Meat

This is my favorite trick.  I will often cook an entire package of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.  Just set the oven for 375 degrees, place the chicken breasts (still frozen) on a baking sheet, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.  Once the chicken is cool, I shred the meat and put it into baggies by one cup portions.  Then, if I want chicken for pasta, pizza, or a salad, I can grab one bag from the freezer.  It saves so much time!

 

Beans

I love the convenience of canned beans, but I don’t like the taste or the price.  Instead I cook a big pot of beans and then freeze in individual one cup portions.  I have shared my recipe for homemade crock pot refried beans here.

Crockpot Beans

 

Milk

Freeze nearly expired milk and use it for baking.

 

Cheese

Cheese freezes wonderfully, so stock up if it is on sale!

 

Cookie Dough

If you freeze nothing else, freeze cookie dough!  Make a double or triple batch of your favorite cookies.  Form them into balls, and place on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  When they have frozen all the way through, take them off the sheet and place in a freezer bag.  Now you can bake homemade cookies whenever you want.  (Or eat them straight out of the freezer like me 🙂 )

 

You do not have to own a large deep freeze to be able to implement these ideas.  I only have a (relatively) small freezer over top of my refrigerator.  I keep it filled nearly to overflowing, but I am able to freeze a large number of items!

 

By using your freezer to stock up on basic items like bread, cheese, and meat when they are on sale, you can see a significant savings in your grocery bill.  And, by doubling recipes as you cook so that you can freeze half for later, you save yourself time in the kitchen.

 

It’s a win-win situation!
What do you freeze?

(Linked to Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Friday, The Thrifty Couple, Small Victories Sunday.)

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45 thoughts on “15 Things That Frugal People Freeze

    • My grandparents had two huge chest freezers, which were always filled to overflowing. They froze everything! Plus, they had entire shelves in their basement filled with jars of food they had canned. It was amazing!

  1. freezer jam will keep in the freezer much longer than 6 months- just sayin’….. 😉 sometimes one or more jars of mine gets ‘lost’ under some other things, and i find it later. let’s just say, we’ve had strawberry freezer jam that’s still just as fresh and tasty as when it was made, even if that was 4 years ago!
    we also freeze fruit that is in abundance, like when we pick 20 lbs of strawberries, or buy a 20-lb box of blueberries or 10-lb box of bananas. the berries i wash and lay out on waxed-paper-lined cookie sheets and freeze individually, then put in gallon ziplocks to store in the freezer. the bananas i cut in slices and freeze like the berries. the really really ripe bananas i blend smooth in the food processor, then store a half cup of banana puree in a 5 oz dixie cup (paper) to use later in recipes. (about 2 bananas equal 1/2 cup mashed banana)

    • Freezing berries for smoothies or recipes is a great way to have fresh produce in the winter. I love to make berry pies for Christmas! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Whenever I need some diced onion for a recipe, I dice the entire onion, spread the amount I don’t need on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Then I put them in a ziplock bag and keep
    In the freezer for cooking. Also do the same with green peppers.

  3. Freeze leftover bits of meat and veggies…keep adding to bag until you have enough for a soup! Can freeze eggs…just crack egg into ice cube tray, poke hole in yolk and freeze. Flour, sugar, salt all freeze well. Cereal and yes, even chips! Cakes, cookies and pies. Small water bottles to keep a lunch (kit) cold. Juices. Coffee (freeze in ice tray, drop in glass to make iced coffee). Use your imagination!

  4. I freeze ginger , easier to grate that way, also nuts, butter, pesto, houmus and cooked rice. I don’t find it necessary to freeze salt or sugar..they keep very well without.

  5. I freeze ginger too, it’s so much easier to grate it, I don’t even peel them.
    Also if I squeeze a lemon for only the juice, I peel or grate the rind and freeze them for use later. I’ve also frozen the juice.

  6. Tomato sauce freezes very well. Easy to make your own, make a big batch and freeze in quart containers. Saves money, especially if you start with fresh tomatoes from your garden or the produce stand.

  7. I freeze the leftover veggies from meals together in a baggie or container, a few green beans, spoonful of corn, etc. Just keep adding to the container til you have enough to make soup, add a can of diced tomatoes, some chicken, beef, or veggie bouillon, and enough water or broth to make what you need. Bring it to a boil and add some herbs and a ash of pepper, simmer til flavors have melded and enjoy with crusty bread or crackers. No waste, no need to add salt!

    • Charlotte, are you freezing leftover cooked vegies or raw vegies? and are you adding in cooked or raw meat fresh or frozen – I was wondering about different textures and some foods going mushy whilst other foods are still cooking… Sorry to sound vague but I love the idea of using left over vegies for more than bubble n squeak, pancakes or muffins

      • Hi Sue! I generally freeze raw vegetables and then cook them in the soup. However, I’ll cook up a bunch of chicken or ground beef and put them into little baggies. Then I’ll just dump the pre-cooked meat into the soup.

  8. Great ideas! Yes it is being frugal but it is really common sense that is so easy & effective. I have a medical problem that prevents me from eating preservatives so this is a wonderful way to eat clean, fresh, healthy & economically. Thanks. Sheila

    • What a great reminder, Shelia. Food that we put into our freezer is definitely more healthy (in addition to being more economical). Freezing fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak can help you enjoy fresh food all year round!

  9. When our kids were growing up we made a lot of things with ground beef. So I would buy those real big pack and would put one pound in each freezer bag. I got to thinking one day about the time it took everyday to cook and clean after, I know I didn’t like it much. I had heard once in a while how people would do all the cooking on one of the weekend days, to save time through out the week. I didn’t like the idea of freezing whole meals though. So when I got a big pack, I would cook it all and freeze it then. That meant I only had to clean up grease off that pan and the grease off the stove about once a week. I loved that idea. That was over 20 years ago now.

    • That’s a great idea, Raylene! I do the same for chicken, too. I’ll cook up a whole package of chicken breasts and then divide the meat into 1 cup bags to put into the freezer. That way when I need chicken for pizza, pasta, soup, or a casserole, it is already made!

  10. When I make cookie dough, I refrigerate it for about an hour till overnight, then roll in balls and put a dozen in each little bag, then in a freezer bag. They pull apart super easy.

  11. When making chilli or bolognaise etc I always make large amounts and then freeze meal sized portions in plastic containers or ziplock bags. Incidentally, here in the UK in accordance with guidelines we never cook chicken direct from frozen, always thoroughly defrost first as this prevents the bacteria that causes salmonella poisoning.

  12. Onions don’t have to be spread out and frozen before bagging. I put mine directly in a baggie and shape into a small “log” if small amount or flatten the bag if it is fuller. Then when I’m ready to use them I just break off what I need. I also have been browning and freezing my ground beef in bulk for years and hate when I run out! When I do chicken, I buy chicken breast pieces at a local processing plant direct and cut them in small pieces before cooking just as I would the beef. It was kind of a pain; I will have to try the whole-fromzzfrozen method.

  13. When freezing milk or any other liquids be sure to leave enough headspace for the liquid to expand when it freezes. Also I find that frozen milk takes quite awhile to thaw so I have to take from the freezer and put in the fridge at least a day before I want to drink it.

  14. I too have a chest freezer & use all these ideas but have never tried the milk…i will though. Someone mentioned cheese, I buy sliced & blocks of cheese (shred it myself) & freeze it. I also freeze my orange peels until I have enough to make homemade cleaner. How about those heals of bread? I freeze them till I get enough & make bread crumbs! I make batches of waffles & freeze; just pop out & bake/toast in tosster oven. Freezing is a great way to save money!

      • Believe it or not, I have whole lemons and limes in my freezer right now. I’ve never used them for cleaning purposes, and my only reason is because I don’t use that many lemons in comparison to oranges. Can you imagine using a cleaner with all lemons–that would be wonderful!!!
        I read online that you can freeze whole lemons/limes for juice and the rind without any issues; however, if you plan on using them for decoration purposes like a homemade punch or in a glass of water, then the texture/look will not be the same. I’ve yet to take them out and actually cut into one to see what they look like. I plan on making homemade lemon bars and key lime bars with my frozen ones, so I’m anxious to see how they come out. I just love being able to save money by freezing food that I buy at a fabulous cost!

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