Cutting down on food waste sounds simple — buy less, use your ripe produce first, and always shop with a plan. While in theory it seems easy, many people still struggle with wasting money on food that never gets eaten.
That’s where your freezer can be a huge help. If you like to stock up on certain items, then freezing them is a fantastic way to ensure that nothing rots before you have a chance to eat it. It’s quick, easy, and effective, plus it doesn’t sacrifice food quality or taste.
You already know that items such as ice cream should live in your freezer full time. Ahead, get the scoop on some of the lesser known food items that you should keep stocked in your freezer.
1. Halloween candy
Wondering what to do with all that extra chocolate? Pack it up in freezer bags and enjoy it for the rest of the year. Freezing your candy will keep it from getting stale, and will also naturally keep you from eating too much at once.
Next: Keep this food from getting stale by stashing it in your freezer.
Fully cooked bread can be frozen to keep it from getting stale. Put the entire loaf in a freezer bag with the air removed, or just add the bag of pre-sliced bread to your freezer shelf. Toast lightly before serving and you’ll never know the difference.
Next: Paula Deen approves of freezing this one.
The next time butter is on sale, stock up on as many sticks as you want and store it all in the freezer until you need it.
Next: Italian night just got easier.
4. Cooked pasta
Make a big batch of pasta in advance to cut down on dinner prep time. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw and serve with your favorite sauce.
Next: Enjoy this summertime treat any time of year.
5. Corn on the cob
Sweet summertime isn’t the only time you can enjoy corn on the cob. Freezing your corn keeps it fresh for up to a year, so you can boil it alongside a rack of ribs whenever you feel like having a Southern style feast.
Pack fresh corn in freezer bags complete with the silk and husk. When you’re ready to defrost, it’ll taste as good as if it was just picked.
Next: Don’t be too chicken to freeze this breakfast staple.
6. Raw eggs
You have to remove the shells first to avoid a messy explosion — but you can totally freeze raw eggs.
Beat the eggs and store them in ice cube trays or muffin tins and then remove and store in a plastic freezer bag for up to six months.
If you only need to freeze the yolks, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt or 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar for every 4 yolks to keep them from gelling.
Next: This favorite food works for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Making pancakes can be a real pain, but eating them is a whole lot of fun. Cut down on the effort by making a double batch and freezing the extras for the next time you’re in a hurry and need a quick and easy breakfast.
For best results, put a piece of wax paper between each pancake and then wrap them in aluminum foil and store in a plastic freezer bag. They’ll stay fresh like that for up to two months.
Next: Party leftovers don’t need to wind up in the garbage.
8. Potato chips
Buy too many chips for your last party? Consider freezing them instead of tossing them out.
Chips don’t actually freeze, but they do get extra crispy and they won’t get stale like they would sitting out on the counter.
Next: This’ll make your hot chocolate taste divine.
9. Whipped cream
Hot cocoa season is almost here, so go ahead and freeze a batch of fresh whipped cream.
To do this, add spoonfuls of whipped cream to a cookie sheet and freeze for a few hours. Store in a plastic container for up to two months and add on top of your cocoa or latte for a delicious treat.
Next: A little olive oil preserves this common kitchen staple.
Whole or chopped garlic can be frozen and stored for a few months.
To avoid the risk of botulism, freeze garlic in a glass or plastic freezer container with a bit of olive oil. Just be sure to leave enough space for the liquid to expand so the container doesn’t explode.
This trick works for other fresh herbs and spices, too!
Next: This dip will freeze and thaw perfectly.
This creamy and healthy dip can be stored in your freezer for up to four months.
Next: Lunch prep just got a million times easier.
Here’s a great way to cut down on daily meal prep. You can freeze sandwiches in advance by putting them together on a cookie sheet until frozen and then storing them in a freezer safe bag with the air removed.
Avoid toppings that could become mushy such as jelly, lettuce, tomato, mayo, meat, and hard cheese (or just add them on post-thaw). Nut butters, tuna fish, and salmon all freeze well.
Next: This is one of the best vegetables to freeze.
Onions last forever on the countertop, but they last even longer than that in the freezer. Peel and chop your onions ahead of time and add them into recipes. you don’t even need to thaw them out first.
Next: Make breakfast time stress-free.
14. Steel cut oats
Old-fashioned steel cut oats are much healthier than sugary instant oatmeal packets, but they’re also more time consuming to make.
Next time you make a big batch of oats, freeze portions in mason jars and enjoy a quick and healthy breakfast on the go whenever you want.
Next: This fickle fruit can be frozen for later.
They don’t need to be refrigerated, but they can be frozen.
Blend your avocados with a bit of lemon juice pre-freeze to keep them from turning brown. Save in a glass or plastic storage container for later use in guacamole or other recipes.
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