Over the next few weeks Frugal Family Life will be doing a series on using your freezer to store food and save money.
I figured I’d start with a post on what not to freeze. For many years I was pretty much afraid to freeze anything that wasn’t actually bought in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store because I wasn’t sure what was safe to freeze and what wasn’t.
Over the years I’ve learned that there’s really not much you can’t freeze and I can honestly say that my upright freezer is the best investment I’ve ever made. It’s paid for itself several times over in savings over the years enabling me to take advantage of sales, freeze fresh produce (some that I’d grown myself) and allowed me to batch cook meals that could be reheated quickly on busy nights. I’d give up a lot before I’d give up my freezer!
So here’s a list of what you can’t freeze and why.
- Cooked egg whites – they become rubbery and just unappealing. (Good news though. Uncooked egg whites freeze well!)
- Mayonnaise – it separates when it thaws.
- Sour Cream – it separates and becomes watery. (You can still use it if it’s well stirred into a recipe though. It won’t hurt you.)
- Potatoes – they go dark and can be mushy. (I have seen mashed potato and scalloped potato recipes turn out fine after freezing though. Again – it’s not that it’s unsafe, more that it’s unappetizing.)
- Crisp fruits and vegetables such as melon, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, etc. – they get really soggy and limp and not appetizing at all.
That’s it. Not all foods freeze and thaw with great results but pretty much anything you can think of can be frozen. Now it’s just a matter of defrosting your freezer, taking out the shrunken ice cubes and the freezer burned fish your Uncle Todd caught on that fishing trip 4 summers ago and start using that freezer to save money and plan great meals!
Next we’ll talk about how to wrap foods to keep them safe from freezer burn and odors.