I was planning a little different intro but due to the sales this week I am going to change it up a bit.
** When we start talking about how much to store for your family, I do NOT count the food in my freezer. It is too perishable.
One of the best ways to save money and have some food storage is with a freezer. Now, in an emergency you have the possibility of loosing your freezer, so it does have its negatives.
A freezer and the food in a freezer are my back up food storage. The most important food I have is that which will survive the heat and cold without help.
During hurricane Ike we lost our large chest freezer. We had only a few days to eat the food from it before we had to toss EVERYTHING. I still have not replaced my large chest freezer. We have a full size fridge in my house and one in the garage. Both freezers are always FULL. I am good about rotating and using the food from both freezers, not as good though at rotating the things in my fridges! However, I really do wish I had my large freezer again for those really good meat deals. I also would keep many gallons of milk, ice cream, frozen dough, juice and bread to keep those last minute runs to the grocery store down.
A full size chest freezer is well worth the money. A quick look at craigslist and I found many under $100. This will pay for itself in no time. The older units pull a lot of electricity, so keep that in mind and look for a newer model. Chest freezers are less expensive than upright freezers, obviously uprights are a little more convenient when looking for what you are storing!
I label EVERYTHING that I put in the freezer with a permanent marker. I bribe a bigger kid to help me pull the bottom items up when I am loading a new shopping trip in ( when I had my chest freezer) now I do take the time to pull forward the older items to attempt to rotate it all. We pick blueberries in the summer and freeze 40 lbs at a time. It is important to remember when freezing fruit to NOT WASH it before you freeze if possible, and if you can flash freeze it first.
** The HIGER the fat content the better it freezes, above 40% is best.
~Butter can be frozen for 6 to 9 months in its original coated paper packages. Margarine will last for 12 months.
~Cream cheese, dry cottage cheese and farmer’s cheese can be kept in the freezer for three months. Avoid freezing creamed cottage cheese because it breaks down and gets mushy.
~Hard cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, Gouda, Swiss and Edam should be cut and wrapped in small pieces of less than one pound. If you use grated cheeses frequently, grate them first and then freeze in freezer-weight plastic bags or plastic freezer containers. Before using, thaw grated cheese in the refrigerator.
~Processed cheese like Velveeta can be frozen in a loaf or in slices for up to four months. Blue cheese freezes well for three months, but it will become crumbly after thawing.
~You can freeze light and heavy cream, evaporated milk and half-and-half for up to two months. Heavy cream may not whip up after thawing, however. Don’t freeze these products in their original containers. Store in plastic freezer containers or glass jars. Leave one inch of headspace because the liquids will expand as they freeze and you don’t want a dairy explosion in the freezer.
~Milk will store in the freezer for one month, but make sure you leave expansion room in the container.
~Eggs can’t be frozen in their original state, but you can break the eggs and add one tablespoon of milk or water per egg and a dash of salt. Scramble them before you put them in a freezer container. Thaw in the refrigerator and use for scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles or French toast.
Do you use a freezer? Has it helped you save money?