It’s always exciting to read an article in the New York Times that shares ideas I’ve been talking about here. It’s very validating, especially when the article is written by Mark Bittman, The Minimalist. In today’s Dining section, Freeze That Thought is all about how using your freezer can “help you save you money, reduce food waste and get meals on the table faster”. So if you won’t take my word for it, how about Mark’s!
Here are the two basic suggestions: “The first: take raw ingredients you have too much of – of whose life you simply wish to prolong- and freeze them. The second: take things you’ve already cooked- basics like stock, beans, grains and the like, or fully cooked dishes- and freeze them.”
Of course, he gives you info on how to wrap foods to keep them from the dreaded freezer burn and make sure you label everything. I have always taken this one-step further and to me this is the key to really saving money. Inventory your freezer and make your menu using items on the inventory. As Mark writes, “the idea of freezing is to prolong the life of food that you’re going to eat, not to postpone discarding it.” If you just stick something into the freezer and it becomes no man’s land, then you are defeating the purpose and you’re not going to save money. The most expensive food you’ll ever buy is the food you trash.
I recommend you read this article to get more information on how to freeze specific foods like fresh tomatoes, fish, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, tortillas, egg whites, parmesan rinds wine, and much more. Again, if you want to try out my inventory and menu planning system please click here to send me an email and I’d be happy to share my forms. All I ask is that you share your feedback with me.