Have you ever wondered why freezers are made with such a small amount of room compared to the refrigerator? I know I keep a lot more in the freezer, and so organizing it to fit it all in is a challenge. Here are some freezer organizing ideas that you can use to make your freezer easier to deal with.
Purge Your Freezer
Take inventory of what you have in the freezer and throw out any expired items or things you know you will never use. I’m one of those people that keeps everything “just in case” and then never uses any of it. Don’t be that guy. If you aren’t going to use it, just toss it.
It’s a good idea to put this task on the calendar as a To Do every few months. That way, you can rotate older items to the front so you don’t forget about them or waste them.
I am embarrassed to admit how many freezer bags full of meats and meals I had to throw away simply because I had no idea what was in them.
The easiest way to stay organized and to save yourself money is to label everything that isn’t already labeled. What is the use of breaking down bulk-sized packages of meat if you aren’t going to label and date what is in them?
Freeze Foods Flat
Freeze foods flat. When you buy things in bulk and then break them down into smaller portions, make sure to freeze the new packages flat. Once frozen, you can either stack them or turn them upright and store them side-by-side.
Psst! Don’t forget to label them!
Keep Items Used Most Often In The Front
Do you get into the freezer every afternoon to get out frozen yogurt tubes or ice? Keeping those items in front limits the time you have the freezer door open so you can keep it at its optimal temperature.
This can also save you money because you aren’t leaving the freezer door open digging around for things.
Use Bins and Crates
Use small bins and crates to keep like items together. Keep frozen veggies in one and frozen meats in another.
If you do freezer cooking, keep everything for each meal together.
Think Before You Freeze
I bet I’m not the only one who freezes stuff simply because I don’t know what else to do with it!
I have froze leftovers that I knew we wouldn’t eat. I have froze things that I know we won’t use that other people have given to me because I felt bad throwing it out. This just takes up precious freezer space and makes you save something you know you are going to toss later. If you aren’t going to use it (and you already know it) don’t freeze it.
Check What’s Already In The Freezer
If you look in my freezer, you’ll find 5 bags of frozen peas and at least that many bags of frozen corn. Why? Because I don’t check to see what I have before I shop. Then at the grocery store, I argue with myself about whether or not I already have peas and corn. And just to be safe I’ll buy another bag.
Save yourself space – and money – and give your freezer the once over before you shop for more.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
So you buy 3 pounds of chicken breasts because they are on sale. But you only use 1 to 1-1/2 pounds at a time in your favorite chicken meal. Why not double the recipe and freeze half? Get rid of some of those peas and carrots (see the above tip) and make your favorite recipe tonight and enjoy again next month.
Need a meal idea that freezes well? Check out my chicken recipes. Simple. Fast. Yummy.
Substitute Where You Can
You have a recipe that calls for a bag of frozen peas. You only have a bag of mixed veggies. Switch it up and make it work!
Don’t be afraid to substitute to
get rid of what you’ve got try a new spin on an old recipe.
Use The Old Stuff First
Remember those 5 bags of frozen peas I mentioned? I should also mention that 3 of the five bags are opened. Why? Because I wasn’t organized!
I didn’t know what I had, so instead of searching to see what was there, I just opened another bag. Avoid this problem by keeping the “old” stuff in front of the new stuff.
I will also admit that even though those three bags are open, I haven’t consolidated. Next up on my To-Do list? Consolidation!
An organized freezer is a happy freezer! What tips do you use to keep your freezer organized?
Today’s guest post is brought to us by Natalie of Mommy of a Monster and Twins, her personal blog where she writes honestly about the good, bad, and ugly of parenting. She also authors Have Wine, Will Drink, a site for women who love wine. In her free time, which she rarely has anymore, she reads, cooks, gardens, works as a freelance writer, and drinks wine…lots of wine.