When it comes to saving money on food, there are few tools more helpful than your freezer. Your freezer allows you to stock up on foods that are on sale, save time and energy in the kitchen by batch cooking and freezing meals, and save leftovers before they go bad. Earlier this year, we shared 6 things that you didn’t know you could freeze, such as eggs and milk. Now we’ve got 7 more for you. Take a look at some things you’ll want to freeze to save money:
- Cooked Rice: after your cooked rice has cooled, freeze rice in the portions that you’d like to use (so that each bag can be used for a future meal). Put cooled rice into freezer bags, squeeze out the excess air, seal and freeze. To reheat the rice, tear away the freezer bag and dump the frozen rice in a bowl. Microwave until fully heated.
- Cheese: if you’ve got leftover hard or semi-hard cheese, like cheddar, mozzarella, swiss or parmesan, you can freeze it! Just wrap it very tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Cheese will last up to 4 months when stored this way. You should just expect them to become a bit crumbly after you thaw them in the refrigerator, so they may be best used in cooking rather than sliced with crackers.
- Citrus: you shouldn’t freeze whole lemons or grapefruits, but you can certainly freeze their juices and zests. Freeze the juice in ice cube trays, then transfer to freezer bags to keep indefinitely. To freeze the zest, zest your fruit onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Then wrap the plastic tightly and place in a freezer bag.
- Ginger: can’t use up all the ginger you have before it goes bad? No problem. Ginger will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just peel and slice it into 1-inch pieces, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.
- Fresh Herbs: you can easily freeze fresh herbs for use all year long. Just make sure you thoroughly wash and dry them. Then lay herbs flat on parchment paper or a cookie sheet. Flash freeze over night, then place leaves in a freezer bag. Suck out excess air with a straw before storing herbs in the freezer. And don’t forget to label the bag so you remember what herb is in there!
- Opened Wine: can’t finish a bottle of wine before it goes bad? Just pour remaining wine into an ice cube tray. Then you’ve got wine at the ready for making sauces and stews, and for other cooking endeavors.
- Whipped Cream: here’s what The Kitchn did to freeze whipped cream:
We simply spaced spoonfuls of whipped cream on a layer of wax paper laid over a cookie sheet and froze it. After freezing, the dollops were transferred to a freezer bag and stored in the freezer. We just froze the whipped cream by the tablespoon-ful, but you can also put it in a piping bag and pipe out decorative little puffs if you want to be fancy!
What’s something unexpected that you like to freeze?