Monday 9 November 2015

How I Freeze Food

A couple of weeks ago I showed you what was in my freezers and gave you the list.

This week I thought I'd explain how I store the food to avoid spoilage and waste.

Here's what I use -

*  Plastic containers of all sizes.

*  Takeaway food containers

*  Cling wrap

*  Foil

*  Freezer bags,  large and small

*  Cereal packets cut up into squares are used as go between to stop cut of meat or soup sticking together.

*  Masking tape and permanent markers for labels

*  Recycled plastic fruit and veg bags

*  Recycled bread bags

When I make soup,  I always make a big pot to save time and energy.  As yummy as it is,  we can't eat it quick enough.  So I always make sure I freeze some.  I have small flat containers that I use for this purpose.  They are the Starmaid brand but I don't think they are sold any more.  I fill up each container as this represents one single serve.  Once cooled in the fridge,  the lids are put on and frozen in a stack.  Once frozen,  I pop the soup out of the container.  I slip a piece of cereal packet on top of the soup and pop another soup serve on top.  Then they are double wrapped in freezer bags and placed back in the freezer.  If I have multiple types of soup in the freezer,  I label the soups and date them.

I pop the soups out of their containers because even though I have lots of containers,  I very quickly run out.

Lamb chops are taken off their trays and portioned into meal sizes which is usually one chop per person.  Once again I slip a piece of cereal packet between each chop then double wrap in freezer bags.

Mince is portioned into 300 gram and 400 gram serves.  300 grams is for chop suey and spag bol, 3 x 300 gram does lasagne.  $00 grams is used for meat pie,  meatloaf and cassroles.  Each portion is wrapped in cling wrap.  Then a few portions are put into large freezer bags and labelled and dated.

Diced beef is portioned into 500 gram lots for stew.  I pack it into a snap lock bag,  flatten and label.

Roast beef and silverside is always cut in half as it's way to big for the four of us.  I wrap it in cling warp, label and date then wrap in a freezer bag.

Sausages are portioned into meal sizes which is six for us.  I wrap in cling wrap then multiple portions are put into a large freezer bag.

Single serves of leftovers are put into the flat takeaway food containers.  They are dated and labelled.

For chicken fillets,  I take the skin off,  trim the sinues off  and place individually into frezer bags.  Multiple fillets are then placed into a larger freezer bag.  It's easy to grab the amount of fillets needed when they are single.

Hamburger patties are stacked on top of each other with the cereal bag squares put inbetween.  We only have one atty per person and they are double wrapped.

Lemon ice cubes are placed either in snaplock bags or takeaway food containers.  Same with tomato paste.

Any baking is double wrapped.  Cakes are dated and labelled so I know what the flavour is.

Final notes -

*  Bread bags are used  for the outer wrapping for many items
*  I always rotate all meat,  baking and meals to avoid food being frozen for too long.
*  I delegate one shelf for each type of meat where possible.  All beef mince and hamburgers on one shelf,  all chicken on one shelf,  all roasts on one shelf,  all soup on one shelf,  leftovers in one drawaer etc etc,
*. I label meat with masking tape on the first layer of plastic then wrap again.  It prevents the label falling off.
*  I don't have glass containers in my freezer because they are too expensive and I'd need so many.
*  It sounds like I use a lot of plastic bags and wrap but I try to recycle where I can.  I bought a big roll of large freezer bags from Tasman Meats a couple of years ago.  This has saved a lot of money and I reuse them..
* I use everything within one year. 

I think that's explained most of the ways I freeze things.  I guess the most important things to do is to double wrap,  rotate and label.

If you have any questions,  please feel free to ask.

Freezer meals - free food
Chicken curry ready for the freezer
Pasta sauce in meal sizes
One of my freezers
Freezer equipment
Starmaid containers
Takeaway food containers given to us.


  1. Wendy,
    I hope a lot of people see this post. You would not believe the amount of things I am given to make my dogs food with because a lot of people I know do not organize or rotate their freezer items. They lose so many pantry dollars this way. I think it such a shame. I like my freezers tidy no matter how full.

  2. I had never thought about your brilliant idea for freezing and then storing your individual servings of soup with the cereal linings in between each frozen "puck". I am going to have to use this idea. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi Wendy. What a great post. I think it's all too easy to assume that everyone knows these things, but unless you've grown up with the routine of cooking and freezing, you can get a bit lost. I know more than one person that's done a huge cook up and then realised that they either don't have the containers or the space to freeze it all! I love these informative, back to basics posts. Thankyou! Mimi xxx

  4. Great tips. I love all the things I'm reading about frugality!!! I too have just started using masking tape and a permanent marker. I save all my deli-meat containers - they're my Tupperware!!!!

  5. Love your blog, but I have no idea of what cereal packets are... do not laugh, as I am confused by this term. Is this a cereal box, or cardboard cut into squares. Also, what do you do with them?
    Dummy right?

    1. Cereal packets are the plastic bags the cereal comes in. You have the box on the outside then the bag on the inside. Cut the seams off top and bottom. Pull the bag apart at the seam running down the length of the bag. Give it a wipe over with tha damp cloth to get the crumbs off. Then cut it into squares for putting between crumpets and hamburgers patties. Oblong is good for chops and soup portions.

    2. Thanks for explaining, Wendy. I thought you were talking about the actual boxes... I also am a bulk cooker and freezer. I tend to use disposable containers but will also be trying the freezing in containers and then popping the frozen food out, separating with freezer wrap and then double wrapping. It will save room in the freezer as well as the cost of continuously buying disposable plastic containers. Thank you. Lora.

  6. Hi wendy, in sure you have posted in tve past on how to freeze vegtables but i cant find it. I have a vegie patch and am wanting to put some broccoli, peas, beans, cauliflower and carrots which i would love to freeze to serve with meals at a later date. If you could give me some information on freezing these would be appreciated :) thankyou Theresa

    1. For beans I just cut into smaller lengths and freeze in snap lock bags.

      Broccoli I cut into florettes, blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water and rinse in cold. Spread out on oven trays and flash freeze for a couple of hours. Then place in freezer bags.

      Corn cobs I cut into smaller cobs, blanch for 30 seconds, cool then freeze.

      Cauliflower doesn't freeze well. I haven't done carrots or peas.

  7. A wonderful, concise freezer guide! I'll add that I like to freeze cooked meat in portions for recipes or meals. A couple of weeks ago I did a 20 pound turkey and froze the meat, which was packaged with a bit of stock poured over to keep it moist. We had some of the meat for lunch today and it was yummy.

  8. Dear Wendy, I am having a use it up challenge at the moment and that will result in a clean out. I want room for turkeys plus fruit pies and stewed fruit in summer. You have a good system. It is such an asset having so many meals ready and waiting. What a money saver. With love,

  9. Thank you for sharing your freezer ideas Wendy :)

    I have chest freezers and organising them is a problem for me. I have been doing better lately, but they seem to be always chocka block full!


  10. Hi Wendy,

    Thank you for this post. I've been following your advice on frugality for sometime now but few things have escaped my attention. I started freezing lemon & orange juice etc. in ice cubes and then transfer them to freezer bags. Huge time saver and easy to store than in containers. I loved freezing zests too which I hadn't done ever until end of last year and gosh, what a blessing. Whenever I want some zest or salads or baking, open the freezer and ta da ...... they appear magically. Would start on flipping frozen soups into freezer bags too. I think it saves a bit of freezer space than having a stack of containers.

    I always 'forget' to freeze extra patties. Thank you for mentioning this on this post. I make all at once and then fry or bake them and I put the extra in the fridge and consume within two days. We love them so much, so I always forget to freeze them but it's time I keep in mind I should freeze them, so we don't have to gulp it down too soon and also it would be fun if I use them after few days without having them in a row.

    I intend to make use of everything I have at hand and start on some new ideas too. Just want to say thank you for all the advice you share with us and inspiring us to do more and more.

    Best regards,

  11. How do you freeze your strawberries and other berries

    1. I wash, cut ( if needed ) and freeze in snap lock bags.


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