One of the best tools to saving money is your freezer. Something that many people don’t realize is that just about anything can be frozen, meaning you can stock up when prices are down and avoid ever having to pay full price.
Butter always goes on sale around the holiday season. Take advantage of the low prices and stock up and put them in your freezer. There is absolutely no change in its quality, just thaw and use as you normally would.
Shredded cheese freezes wonderfully and can be used within a couple of months without changing the texture. Cream Cheese also freezes great — but can only be used in dips, and recipes since it loses its spreadable consistency when thawed.
Bread and Baked Goods
One of my favorite things to freeze is bread and bread products, such as sliced bread, bagels, buns and tortillas! You can find these items on sale on a regular basis and they can be frozen and thawed without any noticeable difference. This is especially good in the summer time when baked goods tend to mold faster than usual. The freezer is also a great place to store your bread heels (if you don’t already use them) and stock up until you get enough to make homemade bread crumbs or croutons.
Place sliced fruit or fresh berries on a cookie sheet and let them harden in the freezer for a couple hours. Pop them in freezer bags and you’ll have individually frozen fruits to use in smoothies, to flavor water or to use in baked goods. Stock up while they’re in season to get the best deal.
Gardening season, whether it be your own garden or farmer’s market finds, can be an abunance of fresh veggies for pennies (or free!). Use your freezer to your advantage and enjoy fresh veggies all year long. Some vegetables, such as broccoli and green beans, store better if they’re blanched before being frozen. Chop or dice green peppers and onions and store in one cup portions.
Don’t pay those ridiculous store prices from pre-made cookie dough! Make up your favorite cookie recipe and freeze in tablespoon portions on a cookie sheet (later popping them in a freezer bag) or freeze the dough altogether in a freezer safe bowl or bag. Remove from the freezer and bake as normal.
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