Freezing foods is such an amazing way to stretch your grocery budget and there are so many ways to make it work! We all know about freezing meat of course, keeping frozen veggies or fruit on hand to use in a pinch, but what about thinking outside the box a bit?
Freeze dairy products like butter and shredded cheese, which means you can stock up when they’re at a low price! Stock up on fresh fruit when it’s in season and give them a quick “flash” freeze before filling Ziploc freezer bags. Double up on casseroles, meatloaf, soups and stews and freeze the second batch for an easy dinner on a busy weeknight.
Create an assembly line and put together breakfast burritos (or regular burritos), wrap individually and freeze for quick meals during the week.
There are SO many options. Here are some of our favorite tips and resources:
Freezer friendly foods
This post covers foods that freeze well, allowing you to stock up when they’re heavily discounted or use up some irregular produce you found at the store without having it go to waste. Herbs, chicken stock, fresh veggies, shredded cheese, even sandwiches!
Freeze fresh fruit and vegetables
When produce is in season in your local area, it tends to be far less expensive than paying for it to be trucked in from out of state. And local is ALWAYS fresher, especially when it’s just been picked or harvested. During these seasonal months, you can often find fantastic prices on fresh produce, either at the grocery store or your local farmer’s market.
- How to “flash” freeze berries at home
- How to freeze fruit to make summer last
- How to make and freeze applesauce
- How to pick, cut and freeze fresh corn
This is a great time to buy in bulk and freeze so you have “fresh” fruit to last you through the off-season months.
Full meals that freeze well
There are certainly some meals that don’t freeze well or just wouldn’t have the same consistency after freezing, but there are tons of options out there for meals that do freeze well! Some you can even cook up a portion of the meal to freeze to help out with prep time, like cooking up taco meat or basic shredded chicken in the slow cooker.
This post has some great ideas for full meals that freeze well! These would be great to take to a friend who just had a baby or had surgery, but also excellent options for stretching your home meals. Cooking like this means just a bit extra prep work, but twice the meals and half the dishes!
Recipe ideas from Frugal Living NW:
- Crockpot pinto beans (eat for dinner the night you cook, freeze the rest)
- Basic bean soup recipe
- Meatloaf with BBQ sauce
- Black Bean Chicken Enchilada Soup
Recipe ideas from around the web:
- Sausage Pasta Bake | Longbourn Farm
- 15 Budget-Friendly Freezer Meals | Longbourn Farm
- Make Ahead Ham and Cheese Sliders | The Seasoned Mom
- Make Ahead Keto Freezer Meals | Word to Your Mother
- Keto Sausage Balls with Cream Cheese | Word to Your Mother
- Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Burritos | Yellow Bliss Road
- 6 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals | The Seasoned Mom
Freezer meal swap
Freezer meal swaps are such a fun idea to do with friends or family! Find a small group of people with similar family size, palates and allergy restrictions. Instead of cooking up one meal for your family, do some big batch cooking and make enough for one meal for each person in your group.
Then get together and swap meals! You can do this once per week or even once per month if they are meals that freeze well.
This is such an amazing way to help each other out, cut down on prep work and dishes and try out some different meals or ingredients you may not have grabbed on your own.
This post has excellent tips and resources for starting your own freezer meal swap.
Looking for more recipes that freeze well?
Fantastic range of boards from best recipes and tips for frugal living to gardening and budgeting help.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.