The snow has melted here in Alberta, Canada and Spring is beginning!
When Spring hits, I go into Spring purge and organization mode and the first thing I tackle are my freezers… mostly because I LOVE organizing all of the things just as much as I like eating all of the things!
The contents of my freezers change every few months, but how I organize it to be as functional as possible, doesn’t change. Sometimes my freezers are full of single serve soups, sometimes freezer meal starters , and more recently Instant Pot freezer meals.
Taking the time to organize my freezer is a priority for me because:
- I have reduced food waste by knowing what I have on hand, and using it.
- When I do my weekly meal plan on Sunday, I can easily see what I have on hand and use those foods – reducing my grocery bills each week.
- My grab and go ready-made meals are just that – grab and go. No digging, no forgetting about it.
- There is a weird sense of satisfaction in having an organized freezer (and pantry, and fridge!).
So, here are my personal tips for creation a more functional and organized freezer:
1. Label Everything
Life is so much simpler if you know what you have in your freezer and can identify it!Labeling can be as simple as writing on the bag with a sharpie! I often use this freezer tape and a sharpie to label my foods. Or, sometimes, I use a chalk marker to write right on the plastic.
2. Ditch the Boxes
Boxes are such space wasters. I try and avoid foods in boxes, but if I do buy them (because sometimes the only thing my kid will eat is an Eggo Waffle!), I take the contents out of the boxes. I will write directions on the bag (off the box) if needed.
3. Store things flat (and remove as much air as possible).
I was gifted a Foodsaver System for Christmas one year, and this is probably the kitchen tool that gets the most use in my house. It allows me to freeze everything flat, and keep my food much much much longer – so I can scoop up bulk deals on foods I use often (chicken breasts, ground beef, whole chickens, and steaks).
Related Post – Containers 101 For Once a Week Meal Prep & Freezer Cooking
4. Invest in a secondary freezer (if you are big into freezer cooking).
I was initially resistant for a second freezer. I am trying to collect less stuff, and a secondary freezer made me feel like I would just accumulate more clutter.
I was so wrong.
In the end, this allows me to purchase things in bulk for better pricing, and allow me to spend one loooong day prepping close to a month of dinners at once and then freeing up alllllll of that time during my weeknight.
Related Post: How I turn $75 of bulk meat into 10 Instant Pot Dinners
5. Group categories of items together in bins.
All of my bins are from my local dollar store. My advice is to measure the depth and width of your space to make sure your bins will fit. I always like to group like things together so I can see exactly how much of what I have on hand, and you are not digging through your freezer until the end of time looking for things.
If you have a chest freezer, I have seen reusable cloth bags be your bins and then you can simply pull the bag out when you are looking for something.
The categories in your freezer will be completely dependent on the types of foods and cooking you do.
6. Take Inventory
When you know what you have on hand, it can be a starting point for your weekly meal plan, and will prevent you from buying excess ingredients. There are many printable freezer Inventory templates floating around the internet, and I have even seen people writing on the door of their freezers with dry erase markers to track inventory.
Bottom line – is make note of what you actually have. My freezer today is the picture above, so I will have a whole lot of chicken and ground beef meals coming in my near future.
7. Store prepped meals, not just all of the random ingredients.
You are more likely to use up your freezer foods, if they are as simple as thaw, cook, eat.
When I do shop for bulk meats, I will often spend a couple of hours turning that bulk meat into freezer meals. This doesn’t mean I cook all of the meat – this means I make a plan and assemble the meals to the cook stage, and freeze raw.
Related Post – How to Fill Your Freezer in a Day!
So, there you have it, 7 tips on how to organize your freezer to save money and reduce food waste!
If you are ready to get started, scope out Pinterest for some ideas for what might work for your space and get started.
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