5 Tips to Organize Your Freezer.
My freezer and refrigerator getting ready for a big freezer cooking session coming up in the next week so getting my freezer in order is very important! Now before I started meal planning, I didn’t give much thought to how things were organized in my freezer. Freezing foods can help you save money in the long run too by preserving leftover food or letting you take advantage of sales or bulk food purchase. Organizing your freezer is pretty simple so here are my top five tips:
Figure Out What You Can Freeze. (Tips to Organize Your Freezer)
I get ask this question all the time! People are surprised to learn that I shred and freeze my own block cheese, cut up fruit, and of course prepared meals ready to pull out, heat and serve. Find out how to best prepare your food for freezing
Choose The Right Containers. (Tips to Organize Your Freezer)
To make the most of your freezer space, choose containers that work for you. I use a combination of plastic containers made for the freezer (like those from Tupperware). I also use glass containers (like those from Pyrex) that allow me to thaw and heat in the same container. I also sometimes use zip-top bags. If you freeze the contents flat, you can stack them on end like a bookshelf when they are frozen to save you even more space. Sometimes I will line a baking dish with foil and freeze it right into that dish. Then when it’s frozen, I pop it out like a giant ice cube, wrap it in more foil or slip into a freezer storage bag, label it and then when I’m ready to bake it, I just slip it back into it’s baking dish and I’m good to go!
Label It. (Tips to Organize Your Freezer)
My favorite example was the time I thought I was thawing (unlabeled) pork chops in cranberry sauce from a freezer meal exchange to have for dinner only to discover once it was thawed it was spaghetti sauce. Whoops!
I personally love the reusable labels from Label Once. They adhere to a lid and will not come off in the freezer or dishwasher. Labeling your ziptop baggies with a marker works great too!
Log it. (Tips to Organize Your Freezer)
Now that your items are labeled, you’ll want to log what goes into the freezer (plus, you’ll save energy by not opening the freezer door!). I created a form that helps me find what I’m looking for more easily. It has four categories: Prepared Meals, Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy/Nuts/Bread/Other and Meats/Fish. Don’t forget to date it too! When it comes time for meal planning, just grab your list and scan it to find out what you have on hand and choose your recipe accordingly. (I have two different options–full pages for if you have a large freezer and a smaller one with all categories on one page for your smaller freezer).
Map It. (Tips to Organize Your Freezer)
We have a medium chest-style deep freezer. In it I have some plastic crates to help me organize it into compartments. My parents have an upright freezer and they also use crates to containerize loose items. For my freezer, I divided the freezer into “zones” that correlate to my log sheet and made a little map that shows what categories are where. For example, the upper right crate holds fruits and veggies, like the blueberries we pick every summer or sliced bell peppers that I got on sale. I hope some of these tips will inspire you to organize your freezer too.