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As the cost of food escalates, a sensible move for some would be to start using their freezer more. Leftovers, excess cuttings, and scraps usually end up in the garbage disposal unit.
However, there are lots of things you can do to save money with a little creativity.
Online discussions about stretching the grocery budget abound these days, so when someone posted that they were gifted a large chest freezer, they had a good question about utilizing freezer space.
A large freezer uses a lot of electricity, so knowing how one can save money using the wasted space in the unit is pertinent.
Here is what the Internet had to offer on the subject.
1. Buy Your Food in Bulk
This is an obvious solution to saving money overall.
Rather than buying just enough at high prices, wait until the bulk deals come along and freeze them until needed. Simple.
2. Grow Your Own Vegetables or Help a Neighbor
Nothing fights inflation like green fingers. There are millions of novice gardeners now; anybody with green space and sunlight can grow certain vegetables in season and freeze them — onions, carrots, and garlic can all be frozen en masse.
And those with little green space can take advantage of indoor gardening.
Asking around the neighborhood for anybody’s excess produce to freeze is a good suggestion also.
3. Go Hunting
One of America’s favorite pastimes is hunting. Whether shooting ducks, trapping rabbits or stalking big game, a chest freezer is a hunter’s best friend.
Those not averse to hunting can keep a family going for months — they just need to be or know a good butcher.
4. Vacuum Seal Your Food
Making food airtight before freezing ensures it lasts much longer. Just throwing meat directly into the fridge is a no-no if you wish to maintain its quality. Exposure to ice can damage meat’s consistency, and it looks much nicer having an organized freezer anyway.
The good news is a vacuum sealer and a pack of bags will run you less than $100. And many times you can find them on sale to save even more.
5. Freeze Water
As crazy as this sounds, freezing large amounts of ice is a clever way to use the space, and more so if you use a lot.
The added benefit here is you will save money on electric costs by packing your freezer full. When there is a lot of empty space and you open the door, this cold air rushes out. After you close the door, the freezer has to begin to run again.
But if there is very little free space when you open the door, less air rushes out and the freezer remains cold.
6. Freeze Milk
This takes some practice and labeling is essential, while the milk that is defrosted does need to be finished within a day or two.
That said, a family of cereal eaters or chocolate milk lovers can get through a gallon of the good stuff in no time.
7. Organize Effectively
The more chaotic members of society find their freezers can fill up quickly because of bad space management, meaning space can run out quicker.
Using baskets to organize food into groups and labeling everything can alleviate this frustration.
8. Bone Broth Is Magic
Any carnivores out there who are throwing their discarded bones out, this is for you. Bone broth for one is a miracle food that provides vital collagen, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
Bones are great for stews and for adding richness to pasta sauces — even Tony Soprano’s mother would approve (note: Sopranos fans know this reference).
9. Save Your Daily Bread
Are you still buying your processed breadcrumbs from the supermarket at $4 a jar? You can save money and freeze all your bread cuttings.
Once thawed, stale bread blended with saltines makes an even better blend for your veal chops and eggplant Parmigiano.
10. TV Dinners
Finally, this ingenious idea was to pre-make frozen ready meals.
Freezing portions of lasagne, leftover roasts, or steamed vegetables can provide a perfect square meal on those days you can’t face cooking the family dinner.
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Inspired by this thread.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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