How to use your Freezer like a Pro to reduce your weekly food budget and save Time
Your freezer is your best friend when it comes to budgeting your weekly shop.
Do you want to save money on your weekly grocery shop?
I will show you how to love your freezer!
(If this post contains affiliate links please see our full disclosure policy although i have to warn you it is quite boring, but if you really must read it you can find it Here)
I love my freezer it isn’t huge by any means but it does the job.
I will do a batch cooking day once a fortnight or even once a month and stuff the freezer full!
I full freezer saves you cash as well on electricity as a full freezer works more efficiently than an half empty one.
So start stocking up now!
- How I meal plan to get the most out of my freezer day
- Tools I use to batch cook and use freezer
- What I cook to batch freeze
Yep it’s all in the preparation!
In order to get you on the way to budgeting like a pro you need to first work out what your weekly meals are going to be.
I will use a mixture of freezer days and non freezer days.
If you don’t have a stash of cookbooks – I recommend my favourite chef cookbooks from Ina Garten, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and good old Prue Leith’s The Cookery Bible ( this is great if you want a book chocked full of regular recipes from beef stew to chicken casserole.
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Lets also not forget Jamie oliver although his most recent books are not as good as his older ones my favorite includes save with Jamie – its great for giving you tips on what to do with leftovers from a weekly meal ie. Roast chicken
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I try to batch cook things that will freeze well and also are good comfort food without too many calories.
- Chicken casserole – my secret ingredient is cooking chorizo.
- Beef stew
- Good old beef chilli- this can be used in a multitude of ways.
- Beef bolognese
- Bean chilli
- Curries I save time by using pataks curry paste – chicken, or veggy curry
- Tomato sauce again my go to recipe will help make lots dishes
- Chicken casserole
- Chicken pie filling
These are some of the my go to recipes!
Once you have figured out your recipes and meals for that week – obviously you won’t have lots of freezer stuff just now till you start your cooking. Once you stock up your freezer pick a few of those meals for the following week and your have already saved a few nights cooking!
Tools I use to batch cook my recipes and money saving tips
- Ice cube trays for sauces – needing some try these ones ice cube trays from lakeland
- Soup cartons- I am a big souper!
- Foil trays these can be put in the oven and freezer or if you like there are dishes that you can buy as well
If you have any leftover sauces or pastes from jars don’t chuck them use freezer trays to freeze them first off then add them to a plastic freezer bag and when every you need to add sauce to meal or add for instance curry paste voila you have these on tap!
Just add from frozen no more chucking out half empty jars of sauce or pastes.
I get my stuff from lakeland for soup and sauce freezable bags – soup and sauce bags from lakeland
I can not tell you how good these soup and sauce bags are!
Bit fiddle to fill so that you don’t spat round the top I use a jug so that I can fill each one up to the same level.
I have microwaved, frozen and dishwasher these bags and they are still on the go amazing value when you consider you can reuse these again and again – I bought this pack about two months ago only used 6 again and again.
I use my tomato sauce to include with meatballs or to make pasta bake or to add to ratatouille veggies as a base sauce so all I need to do is roast some veggies and add the sauce great time saver once the sauce is in the freezer.
My Fab MeatBall Mixing Technique
Meatballs my one oven tray no mess make – beef mince best quality you can buy I will buy a kilo and which is enough for about four portions of meatballs depends on how many you want in a batch I tend to go with four to five golf ball size ones for two people.
I get out my biggest oven tray add the mince to it from the pack-
- then its best to grate an onion on top
- add some thyme leaves and some parsley chopped
- a good handful of grated Parmesan and a good handful of breadcrumbs
- next make a well in the middle and add a raw egg
- add some finely chopped fresh chilli if you want some heat.
- Now get your hands in there and mix it all up once its mixed well put the ball of meat mixture to once side of the tin
- Add some olive oil to the tray to stop the meatballs sticking
- and start making meatballs roll into golf ball size balls
- lay them out on the tray by the time you get to the meat mixture there shouldn’t be much left as most of the tray will have nice meatballs on it
- finish up make the rest of the mixture in to meatballs
- I sometimes add some more oil if I think here isn’t enough.
Then stick it in the oven at about fan 180 degrees centegrade and your done!
No cleaning bowls up except the grater and just the oven tray how quick is that!
Stick the meat balls in foil trays label and stick in the freezer once cooled.
I like to keep these in trays to stop them getting squashed.
What have you done lately to save time in the kitchen?