Does this sound like any of you, or is this just me? I go to the shop just to buy milk, rolls or bread and end up coming home with a basket full of goodies… I just don’t seem to have the willpower to not buy a few “other things” I think I want or might need, and those items add up!
So to help with this problem of mine I freeze extra loaves of bread and have started to freeze my milk, but I wasn’t sure if I could freeze rolls, (those are the 3 things we always need in our house), so I asked on my facebook group “Monthly Money Saving Tips and Advice (South Africa)” and I found out from my peeps that YES YOU CAN! I do not know why I didn’t think of this solution earlier, I am sure I would be saving myself money every month! It then got me thinking about what other items we can either buy in bulk or freeze so we do not have to do some many trips to the grocery store every month.
Of course, google and facebook are amazing and you can find so much information with just a click of the mouse, so I decided to investigate and here is what I have found out. I hope this information will help you in your monthly money saving journey, I know it is going to help me.
So, this is completely new to me, I had absolutely no idea you could freeze eggs. But before you give it a try carry on reading because you cannot just put them straight from your shopping bag into the freezer, there is a specific way you need to prepare them to freeze them. Eggs freeze well, but you want to take them out of their shell first. That’s because the shells can crack as the liquid inside freezes and expands. Also, the texture of the yolk changes and becomes thick and gummy. So, you either need to freeze whole, lightly beaten eggs, or freeze the yolks and whites separately.
I don’t buy butter myself unless I am planning on doing some baking, but butter freezes very well and it doesn’t change texture or consistency after it’s frozen, so when you next see butter on special (because butter is flipping expensive nowadays) definitely buy extra and freeze.
As I said above I have started freezing milk as I tend to go to the shops numerous times a week to buy milk and then end up buying various other items. Now I buy a few extra litres so I have enough to last at least a week, pop them into my freezer and take them out the day before I need them. Milk freezes well although it does tend to separate a bit, but all I do is shake it up once defrosted and it is fine… well nobody in the family has complained so I am assuming it’s fine.
Yoghurt freezes well although the consistency does change a bit so just be aware and maybe try one first to see if this freezing tip is one you are going to use or not. Although I read a great idea recently to do with frozen yoghurt. If you buy those small yoghurt “cups” before you freeze them add a popsicle stick into each and once frozen, you just pop them out the cups and you have a yoghurt popsicle… I think that is a wonderful idea, especially if you have kids!
Cheese freezes well if you grate it first before you freeze it. I don’t know about you, but we go through a LOT of cheese in our house so buying extra cheese when it is on special and freezing it is an awesome money saver for us.
Grapes freeze well and it is wonderful to be able to just pull out a bunch from your freezer and snack on them in the hot summer months.
So, you bought a lot of banana’s and now they are starting to go past their “use by” date without being eaten. Do not waste your money by throwing them away! Peel them, cut them up and freeze them. They do go a bit darker in colour and get a bit mushy in texture, but they are great to use in smoothies and you can use them to make things like banana bread etc.
This is one thing I do ALL THE TIME. My youngest absolutely loves muffins for breakfast and there is no way I can afford to buy store bought muffins all the time for him. What I do is bake 2 dozen muffins and freeze them. It works out great because whenever he wants one all he does is grab one from the freezer and defrosts it for a minute in the microwave and voila he has a nice “fresh” yummy muffin to eat.
BREAD & ROLLS
I have been freezing extra bread for a while now but until recently I did not realise you could freeze bread rolls. It is a complete game changer for me, I do not know why I didn’t think to do this years and years ago. Now I buy 3 or 4 dozen rolls at a time when I go shopping, keep out the amount I think we are going to eat in the next day or two and freeze the rest. I initially had my doubts, but they freeze great! You can either leave them on your kitchen counter to defrost naturally or if I have forgotten to take some out in the morning, I put a few into the microwave before lunch and they come out warm, soft and fresh, you would not even know they had been frozen.
To save money (and time in the kitchen) I try and do as much bulk cooking as I possibly can. I often make big pots of savoury mince, curry or stews and then freeze in portions, but I would only ever cook enough rice for a particular meal, never in bulk. After doing research for this article, I have found out you can freeze cooked rice… BONUS! This is going to be so handy for me going forward because apparently all you need to do is add a bit of water to the rice when you reheat it and it will be lovely and moist. I am going to be trying this out soon. I don’t think it is going to be a money saver, but it is going to save time in the kitchen I am sure.
I am not one to have much flour in our house, so I have not really needed to try this, but they say flour lasts a lot longer if you store it in the freezer. You can leave it in the paper bag it comes in or you can scoop it into freezer bags and then store it in the freezer.
This is a great one. Honestly, I never make any homemade soups because I always have a stash of tinned or cuppa soups in the cupboard which I can just heat and eat – quick and easy. My mom in law on the other hand makes the most divine homemade soup which I absolutely LOVE! When I was pregnant with my youngest, she made a HUGE pot or two of the soup for me. I portioned it out and froze it and had soup for weeks during my pregnancy and after my son was born – I love you Ma. P.S. please come and visit and make some more for me 😊
So those for me are the major winners in the freezing department but there are so many other things you can freeze, and I have compiled a quick list of some others which you might be interested in from a thread on facebook asking about what other people freeze. I just want to add here that some of the items must be frozen in a particular way so please be careful and make sure you know what you are doing.
What else can you freeze?
- Pizza dough
- Coffee grinds
- Cooked beans
- Cream Cream
- Herbs Spices
- Deli / cold meat
- Chopped onions
- Potato chips
- Garlic cloves
- Leftover pizza
- Citrus fruit
- Veggie scraps
- Meat bones
- Sliced peppers
- Mashed potato
- Tomatoes Sandwiches
- Coffee creamer
- Kefir beans
- Marshmallow Easter eggs
- Wine in ice cubes
And that is it from me for this month. I hope some of these ideas will help you in your monthly journey of saving money and food. Don’t forget to always try and use as much as you can without throwing things away, you are not only helping your “bottom line”, but you are also helping the environment.
Until next time, please keep safe!