Thursday, July 5, 2012

Freezing to Save

One of my goals for the next month is to post each day of July about a List of 10 dealing with a personal finance or money saving idea topic.

This is the 2nd year that I have been a member of a CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture), for a monthly fee you receive a weekly box of vegetables throughout the summer. In addition to the weekly boxes, we also have the opportunity to pick extra produce. Yesterday I picked peas and will blanch and freeze them. With the extras I picked and froze last year, I didn't need to buy frozen or canned vegetables during the winter.

Following is a list of things I freeze:

1) Fruit and berries. If you find fruit on sale, freeze on a cookie sheet until hard and then store in freezer bags. When I find fresh pineapple on sale, I cube and freeze. The fruit can be used in smoothies and baking.

2) Peppers and onions. When I find the colored peppers on sale I dice and freeze. The same with onions, many times I don't need a whole onion and can freeze the rest to use some other time.

3) Bacon- Sometimes I cook up a whole package of bacon and then freeze. Then it is easy to use in dishes instead of having to cook various times or spending more for the pre cooked bacon at the grocery store.

4) Bread and buns. Some people don't like freezing bread. But I buy most of my bread and buns at the outlet bread store and buy enough for a month or so.

5) Vegetables - as I stated above I freeze extra vegetables for the winter. Also, if you find vegetables on sale or in season they can be frozen to used later.

6) Nuts - Sometimes it is less expensive to buy nuts in larger packages. They will last longer if they are kept in the freezer.

7) Spices - like with nuts, many spices will keep longer if they are frozen.

8) Baking chips - chocolate chips and others are another thing I try to stock up on when they are on sale. Around the holidays are some of the best times to stock up on baking items. They will keep better in the freezer if you are not planning on using them for awhile.

9) Butter - Butter is another baking item that I try to stock up on when it is on sale.

10) Flavored butters - if you have extra berries or spices you can make flavored butter. Here is a recipe for berry butter. Last year I also made a similar recipe with basil from my CSA.

Even if you only have a small freezer, I have heard of people being able to fit quite a bit into smaller freezers.

With the prices of groceries continuing to increase it is important to find ways to make the most of your grocery budget.

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