A freezer well-stocked with food purchased at bargain or coupon prices makes it possible to prepare wholesome and delicious meals from a wide variety of choices at the lowest possible cost per plate. For a family needing to cut food costs, a freezer, whether chest or upright, makes good sense.
The efficiency of a freezer depends in no small part on how the homeowner readies food meant for storage and freezing. Because a freezer works better when fully stocked and with minimal air space between stored items, putting a little thought into organization and preparation of the unfrozen food packets increases the freezer’s effectiveness. Experience suggests three simple steps worthy of consideration that the homeowner can take to make food items more freezer-friendly.
Square or rectangular packages: Square or rectangular food packets stack better in the freezer, making it easier to fill the unit to capacity as well as to retrieve food quicker with minimal disturbance of the contents. The second benefit decreases the time the freezer door remains open to admit warm air inside.
Although many food items come packaged in square or rectangular containers, a significant number, such as meat products, do not. If possible, repackage these odd-shaped items and form them into square or rectangular shapes. If you freeze water into ice chunks to take on picnics, put the water in well-rinsed rectangular juice or milk containers.
Reduce packet sizes: An economic, family-sized purchase of meat usually comes in a large, mounded package that is awkward to store. It will pay to open the package and place the individual cuts in separate sealable plastic freezer bags. These smaller packets will store much tighter in the freezer; this procedure also makes it possible to remove only the cuts necessary for a meal.
Many other food products that come in large packages admit to repackaging in smaller sizes. Often merely removing the cardboard container and recovering the food item with plastic wrap will reduce the space the food requires in the freezer.
Vacuum pack whenever possible: A home vacuum pack machine will reduce packages of meat or fish to minimum sizes by removing all the air from the plastic containers. Removing the air and preventing air contact with the food also increases the time meat or fish will remain wholesome in the freezer. A home vacuum pack makes a perfect adjunct to a freezer.
Try experimenting with these suggestions to make food freezer-friendly. Remember, making food freezer-friendly makes the freezer family-friendly.