Tip of the week: Saving Time, Freezing Meals
My freezer is key to getting meals on the table – I routinely try to cook twice as much as my family needs so I can freeze the rest. It doesn’t usually take any time to double a recipe, and then all I have to do is go to my freezer, pull out a meal to thaw, and then dinner is ready. Well, in theory. In practice, my freezer became the place where meals went to die. It was such a mess that I couldn’t find anything, and it got to be too much work to dig around in there to try to find something edible.
Pinterest came to my rescue! I saw a beautifully organized freezer on Pinterest and decided that was what I needed to make my freezer work for me, instead of against me. I started by removing all the food, throwing away anything too old or scary looking. Then, re-organized my frozen food into neat baskets with laminated labels. Laminating the lables might have been a little over the top, but I was on a roll!
I also added a dry erase board on the front of the freezer, so now I know what’s in there without even opening the door. Before I go grocery shopping, I take a picture of the dry erase board so if I see frozen veggies or meat on sale, I know how much I already have in stock. When I cleaned out my freezer I had about two dozen bags of peas – hopefully, I’ve solved that problem for the future!
I also keep a Sharpie marker on top of the freezer so I can remember to label and date all meals I put in the freezer. I have a terrible habit of putting unlabeled meals in the freezer and thinking that I will remember what they are. Since I don’t have to search for a marker anymore, hopefully there will be no more “freezer surprise” meals for my family!
Holli Seabury, CEO
McMillen Center for Health Education