Making good use of your freezer is a key to saving time in the kitchen for busy families. Many families find that additional freezer space is more valuable than fridge space. Here we share the best ways to make use of your freezer and have plenty of meals in reserve.
The best ways to make use of your freezer include:
- Marinating your meat in zip-lock bags when you get home from the shops, as this means the meat is in its marinade while the meat freezes and defrosts, saving you valuable time when you plan to cook it that week or later.
- Think about cooking some meals the day after you shop and placing them in the freezer already cooked. You have a good 24 hours after you have bought your meat to cook it or freeze it, so think about whether you can make a few meals in advance.
- Cooking extra when you do a freezable meal for later use. When I cook bolognese I generally triple the portions so that I have enough for a lasagne the following week and either a cottage pie or pasta meal a few weeks later.
- Freezing extra bread to limit mid-week supermarket runs. I buy four loaves at a time which will go close to covering the breakfast and lunch servings for the week. I also have some frozen wholemeal Lebanese bread on hand for quick-fix pizzas for Friday nights or a great after school snack in cooler months.
- Using stackable plastic containers that you can write the contents on and rub off easily. Alternatively use large snap-lock bags with the white panel where you can write the meal and the date it was cooked.
- Freezing lunchbox snacks in bulk (already portioned and separated ready for fast delivery into the lunchbox in the morning!). I like to freeze fruit muffins and sliced banana cake – one quick baking afternoon will give me more than two weeks’ worth of lunchbox morning tea snacks.
- If your family likes banana cake or banana smoothies, freeze ageing bananas in their skin and defrost on bench for about 15 minutes (or in microwave for about 20 seconds) when required.
- I always have lots of frozen berries on hand for after-school smoothies. I buy the 1kg bags that are really very economical.
What are your tips for using your freezer to make your meals easier?