The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

Frugal Café Philosophy
Save more.
Spend wisely.
Use resources responsibly.
Laugh often.
Kindle passion in life.
Give back.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby, It's Cold Inside: Freezer Tips for Stockpiling Your Bounty, continued

 

How to Protectively Wrap Foods for the Freezer

The key to freezing foods properly is to keep any moisture or vapor in the freezer away from the food item. To accomplish this, the food must be wrapped or stored in an air-tight environment. This is especially important if the food item is going to be in the freezer for several months.

Keep moisture out of bags in freezer by pushing air out as you're zipping the freezer bag closed.

 

Snugly wrap the food item several times over in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Drop the wrapped food into a Ziploc® bag or any other storage bag with zipping capabiltes, or a freezer-proof plastic container with secure lid, such as Tupperware®.

With the ziplock-style plastic storage bag, squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it. An easy way to accomplish this is to partially zip the bag closed. Lay the bag on the counter and with the palm of your hand, firmly push from the bottom to the top to force out the air before finalizing the zip. For bulkier items, fold the top of the ziplock bag over the food, smoothing your hand over the bag until it is flat without trapped air. To keep air from coming back in, finish zipping it closed while it is still folded over.

With aluminum foil, wrap the item securely, with no exposed edges or surfaces. Foil should be of the heavier, freezer variety. If regular-weight foil is used, plan on using the food within a short period of time.

When using heavy-duty Tupperware® or other plastic freezer containers, again, it is important to remove all the air in the container. "Burp" the container when putting on the lid to expel the last bit of air in the container. Then make sure the lid is properly secured. One corner that isn't locked down tightly will let in air and your food item will crystallize and freezer burn rapidly. If cracks develop in your container (this often happens if the plastic container, when frozen, should be knocked out of the freezer down to the floor), discard it. If the container you're using isn't intended for freezing foods, be cautious and use the food within a month.

You may be wondering, "How important, really, is all this precaution? It sounds a lot like overkill" Well, if the food item is going to be in the freezer for just a few days, you likely don't have to take such intense precautions. However, we all know that frozen food items have a quiet way of drifting to the furthest reaches of the freezer and may not be used for many months. If they are not wrapped protectively, you are taking a risky chance that the food won't be freezer-burned. While freezer-intended zipping storage bags cost more than the regular kind, they are thicker in composition and do a much better job protecting food when they're forgotten in the "deep Arctic region" of your freezer. It's your call... however, spending a few dimes more on freezer-proof storage bags are worth saving a more costly cut of meat. And, most plastic storage bags, when properly washed, can be used over and over again.

Freezing Eggs and Dairy Products

Most dairy products can be safely frozen. Their quality, however, will likely diminish depending on how long the storage period in the freezer is.

You need to break a few eggs before freezing... eggshells must be removed

 

Your freezer is one of the best appliances you own that helps you be thrifty. Now that you're armed with the knowledge on how to work with it rather than against it, in safely storing your food "sale conquests" from your forays into the supermarket jungle, charge forth with confidence!

 

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