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Tag Archive: Freezer Cooking

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

Make some room in your freezer because after you read this list of 10 things you didn’t know you could freeze, your life—or at least your refrigerator and your grocery budget—is about to change for the better!

I’ve been freezer cooking for years and I’ve experimented with freezing just about anything I can. Some were major fails, but I’ve discovered that you can actually freeze a wider variety of items than you probably realize!

I decided to put together this list of 10 out-of-the-ordinary things you can freeze. I’ve tried all of these and they have all worked for me! Just follow the links below to find the freezer tutorial for each item.

Here’s my list of 10 things you probably didn’t know you could freeze…

1. Cottage Cheese

Frozen cottage cheese doesn’t taste great plain once it is thawed, due to it being a little watery. But I love freezing cottage cheese to use later in my smoothies. It works perfectly!

I usually like to divide the containers into smaller bags so I can just thaw out a little bit at a time as needed. This also allows me to freeze them flat in plastic bags to save space in my freezer!

2. Taco Meat

Taco meat is one of my favorite things to make during a freezer cooking session. You can whip up a huge batch of taco meat at one time, and it’s SO versatile!

Taco meat can be used in all kinds of different recipes and it thaws really quickly, so it makes for a great last-minute dinner idea if you forgot to pull something out from the freezer earlier in the day.

Go here to see how I like to freeze taco meat, some of the frugal ways I stretch it to feed more people, and some of our family’s favorite recipes!

3. Milk

I’m often able to find organic milk on clearance that’s close to the expiration date. We use what we can until the expiration date and then I freeze the rest. By buying it on clearance, we’re able to buy higher quality milk without spending a fortune to do so.

While I don’t recommended using frozen and then thawed milk for drinking (due to the changes in consistency and flavor), I do freeze milk frequently for all kinds of other uses! For example, it works beautifully in pancakes, waffles, french toast, or other baked goods.

I’ve never had a problem freezing it in a cardboard container. It will expand some when it freezes, so you might want to drink or use a half cup or so before freezing. But otherwise, just stick the milk in the freezer in the paper carton!

When you’re ready to use it, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Or, you can stick the carton in a sink full of cold water for 15 or 20 minutes.

4. Waffles

While I know that some people like pancakes and waffles fresh, I’ve found it’s so much more convenient to make a big batch of waffles and then freeze them for breakfasts later in the month!

This is one way we make sure we have filling, healthy breakfasts on busy mornings. We love trying different varieties and mix-ins, such as Carrot Cake WafflesPumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles, Gluten-Free Waffles, or even Red, White, & Blue Waffles!

5. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

I first happened upon the idea of freezing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when Jesse was in law school and we were eating a LOT of PB&J.

While it doesn’t really take that long to make PB&J, it can still help speed things up a bit when your time is really crunched in the morning. Plus, it’s nice to have sandwiches at the ready if you end up needing to go somewhere unexpectedly and no one has eaten any lunch yet.

6. Pizza, Cookie, and Biscuit Dough

Our family loves homemade breads, and one of the easiest ways to speed up the process of bread-making is to make the dough when you have time and freeze it to bake later!

There are all kinds of different doughs I’ve experimented with freezing, but these 3 recipes are my favorite: Pizza Dough, Cookie Dough, and Biscuit Dough.

This pizza dough recipe has been my go-to recipe for years. Keep it on hand and pizza night will be a breeze.

Even if you’re not a fan of most freezer meals, I encourage you to try making cookie dough and freeze it! I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to tell a difference between frozen cookie dough and fresh cookie dough.

It makes it so easy to make a batch of fresh-baked cookies when you have drop-in guests or need to bring a dessert or snack to some event at the last minute. It’s also very handy for those times when you get a late-night craving for chocolate! 😉

These chocolate chip cookies are SO good and the dough freezes beautifully!

This biscuit recipe is quick, easy, inexpensive, and so practical! Say goodbye forever to canned biscuits with this winner recipe — especially when you freeze the dough ahead of time to make it even easier.

Freeze fresh herbs with this quick and easy method!! They'll never go to waste again!

7. Fresh Herbs

This a super simple way to preserve fresh herbs so that they don’t go to waste before you have a chance to use them! Frozen herbs work especially well in sauces, stews, and soups.

8. Avocados

I decided to try freezing avocados when I found clearance bags of avocados for just $0.99 at Kroger. I couldn’t pass up that price, so I bought 6 bags and was determined to not let them go to waste once I got them home!

It was a little hesitant to try freezing avocados… and I honestly didn’t love how they turned out when I thawed them. However, I have heard from many readers who have had great success with freezing avocados. I froze mine with salsa and lime juice since that’s the way I love to eat my avocado. You could experiment with all kinds of different seasonings and flavoring, though. (And if you’ve found a great trick for freezing avocados, let us know!)

9. Onions

I really do not enjoy chopping up onions (does anyone?), but I do love how they taste in recipes, so I often chop them in bulk and freeze them for later use. It’s such a time-saver!

10. Cooked Beans

Dried beans are much more economical than canned beans. Unfortunately, since they need to be soaked and softened, they can be inconvenient to prepare them on the same night you want to use them in a recipe.

Freezing them ahead of time is a huge time-saver — especially if you freeze a bunch of different types in bulk at one time!

Looking for more ideas?

Be sure to check out this post for a list of 15 more surprising things you can freeze!

Enjoy experimenting with some of these freezer-friendly foods on this list, and you’re sure to see a reduction in food waste and an increase in the amount of money you save!

What crazy food items do you like to freeze? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!

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(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our .)

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Freezer Cooking: Baked Oatmeal & Turkey Meatballs

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to .

I had planned to do a Freezer Cooking Day earlier this week, but life happened and I ended up only getting two different recipes made. Sometimes, you just do the best you can do, right?

The good news? At least our freezer filled up a little more with yummy food!

I made 4 pans of Baked Oatmeal. This is a family favorite and my kids (and Jesse!) were so excited that I made it since it’s been quite awhile since I’ve made it.

I made the Baked Oatmeal on live video — only I forgot I was supposed to double it! So I ended up making a single batch on video and then another batch when I got off live video.

I also used the ground turkey I got marked down to make a double batch of Turkey Meatballs. I joked on Instagram Stories that I should call these Clean Out the Fridge Meatballs because I literally used odds and ends of thing we had on hand and needed to use up — including some rice.

We ate one pan for dinner this week and then froze the second pan. (I lined the pan with plastic wrap and then popped it out and stuck it in a freezer bag so that I could have this pan back. 🙂

See last week’s freezer cooking post here: Freezer Cooking Day: Crockpot Sausage & Peppers, Slab Apple Pie, Apple Pie Filling, Muffins, Ziti, and Taco Meat

Freezer Cooking Day: Crockpot Sausage & Peppers, Slab Apple Pie, Apple Pie Filling, Muffins, Ziti, and Taco Meat

Freezer Cooking on a $70 weekly grocery budget. This is SO impressive and inspiring!! Check out everything she made in just a couple hours!

Our garage freezer was almost empty 2 weeks ago. I decided to challenge myself to see if I could slowly fill it up — on our $70/week grocery budget.

This is one way you can save SO much money. Buy ahead when things are on a low, low price and you’ll rarely ever pay full price for anything. Then, use what you already have on hand in the freezer/fridge/pantry as the basis for your meals and freezer cooking.

I did an impromptu freezer cooking day on Tuesday and here’s what I made (well, “freezer cooking day” might be a bit of an overstatement since I actually only spent a little over two hours on this cooking and the clean up! But hey, “freezer cooking day” sounds better so we’ll go with it!)

We had a bunch of peppers and some onions that I had gotten marked down, so I combined them with some sausage I had gotten for $1.99 per package a little celery I had left in the fridge to make sausage and peppers in the Crock-pot. I cooked this on low most of the day. We ate half for dinner (served over rice) and I froze the rest for another day.

I had a bunch of apples that I’d gotten marked down at Kroger over the past few weeks and turned them into one of our favorite recipes — ! I baked it and we froze it to have on hand for quick desserts in the next two months when hosting guests!

I had enough apples left over to make a bag of Apple Pie Filling (sliced apples with lemon juice and cinnamon/sugar).

I used some marked down bananas I had gotten recently and stuck in the freezer to make some amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

I used our favorite Banana Bread recipe and just added some chocolate chips to the batter. My kids love these in their lunches and they also make great snacks. We store them in the freezer and then just pull them out as we need them!

We had some cream cheese that needed to be used up and some blueberries in the freezer, so I searched online for recipe ideas and found .

I taste-tested one and it was delicious! I stuck these in a freezer bag and put them in freezer fit quick snacks!

The Final Results of My Freezer Cooking Day:

And I did a little bit more freezer cooking on Thursday and Friday, too…

We had frozen cottage cheese and browned sausage I had gotten marked down + pasta sauce in the fridge that needed to be used up and pasta I’d gotten for $0.49/box, so I found a deal on mozzarella cheese and made 3 pans of Ziti. One for dinner that night and two for the freezer.

I found ground turkey marked down to $1.99 per pound, so I bought 2 pounds and browned them with homemade taco seasoning and stuck two bags of taco meat in the freezer.

It makes me so happy to see that our garage freezer is starting to fill up a little bit! I’m going to keep challenging myself to add more deals and freezer meals to our garage freezer every week without spending more than our $70 grocery budget.

We’ll see how long it takes to fill it up! (And of course, we’ll be eating some what’s in this freezer every week, upping the challenge even more!)

I love looking at saving money as a fun challenge! This makes my competitive side come out in a good way AND (in our super lean years) it kept me from feeling trapped!

Instead of saying, “Ugh! This is all the $$ we have to spend!” Change your perspective and say, “How well can we do on this small amount?!”

Have you done any freezer cooking recently? What are your favorite recipes to stick in the freezer? Any suggestions on recipes I should try soon?

P.S. See my previous Freezer Cooking Sessions here.

Freezer Cooking, $0.50 Romaine, Toilet Paper Stock-up!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.). 

You can see all of my $70 Grocery Budget Update posts here. For live updates, be sure to .

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our .

I’ve been having so much fun challenging myself with this $70 Grocery Budget! I forgot just how much I loved being creative like this — and it’s inspiring me to bring out a lot of my “old” tricks, like freezer cooking!

I did a completely impromptu freezer cooking day on Tuesday and am planning a comprehensive post about it tomorrow — along with links to the recipes and our thoughts on how the recipes turned out.

So many of you have been begging for me to bring back the freezer cooking posts, so I’m hopeful that this is something that I’ll be doing more of around here. I’m not sure if it will be a weekly thing or a twice a month thing. No promises yet, but just know that I’m going to attempt to bring more of those back!

(And THANK YOU for your many, many emails and direct messages and comments telling me how much you are loving the fact that I’ve been going back to “old school” blogging here. Honestly, I’m having a blast doing it… so the fact that you all are loving it makes me thrilled! It just feels right for right now. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know that this is how I’m supposed to be blogging right now since it’s giving me so much life and seems to be bringing a lot of value to you all! I love it when things are a win-win like that!)

Many of you have been pretty surprised to discover that our “grocery budget” includes non-food items like toilet paper. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules as to what a grocery budget should include. We’ve just always included household products and hygiene products and things like toilet paper in our grocery budget because we buy them at the grocery store.

And well, it’s mostly because I’m all about efficiency… and the thought of having to try to keep multiple budgets straight when I’m buying stuff from the same store just feels so complicated to me.

However, that said, there are some items that we don’t buy at the grocery store if I can get a better deal on them from Amazon! Toilet paper is one such item. I’ve heard that Costco has great deals on toilet paper, but since we don’t have a Costco membership, I resort to Amazon instead (and I’ve heard that the prices are pretty similar!)

I try to look for deals that make the toilet paper $0.35 per double roll or less. So when I saw this deal, I jumped on it. We typically will see these types of deals a few times per month. So if you want to stock up on toilet paper, be sure you’re subscribed to our email newsletter and check it daily when it lands in your inbox and then jump on the next toilet paper deal when it comes around!

I’m hoping that this will last us at least 5-6 weeks. We’ll see!

By the way, I use my Swagbucks credit to earn free Amazon gift cards to use toward purchases like this. It’s pretty easy to earn at least $20 to $25 in free Amazon gift cards every month, just by doing simple activities every day. You don’t need to refer anyone to earn this amount. However, if you have friends who would be interested in earning free gift cards from Swagbucks gift, be sure to use your referral link to invite them so you can earn even more!

That said, even though I did use free Amazon gift cards to purchase this toilet paper, I’m still subtracting the amount I “paid” from my $70 Grocery Budget total. The reason is that I want to keep this as relatable and doable as possible for you all. I don’t want anyone to feel frustrated that I can stick with a low grocery budget, but the reason I can is because I’m a blogger and get more referral credit to companies as a result. 🙂

So, with that said, here are the $$ totals for this purchase:

Amazon Toilet Paper Purchase: $16.94

I love putting together lunches entirely from mark downs! Marked down bread, marked down ham, marked down bell peppers, and marked down yogurt. Boom!

We made waffles, bacon (from the freezer that I picked up on that great sale a few weeks back), and clementines that I got marked down a few weeks back.

We learned how to cook bacon in the oven a few years ago and it is the best ever.

By the way, I always keep oranges and citrus fruit to use up last when I get mark downs because they keep for much longer than most other fruit. I think we’ve had these for at least 3-4 weeks?

When I was at Kroger, I spotted this deal on Mom Best Cereals — you can get them for $1.29 per box, without coupons. Which is a good deal on these. I actually didn’t buy any because I got cereal for $0.99 per box with coupons (see below). But this would be a pretty good deal if you didn’t want to mess with coupons.

Thursday Kroger Shopping Trip — $23.44

  • Romaine Hearts — marked down $0.50 each
  • 2 boxes of Barbara’s cereals — on sale for $1.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used = $0.99 each after coupon and sale
  • Capri Sun — $2.49 (treat for school lunches)
  • 5 Kroger Greek Yogurt cups — marked down to $0.29 each
  • 1 bag of potatoes — marked down to $1.25
  • 1 bag of red potatoes — marked down $1
  • 1 bottle of lemon juice (for my gallon of lemon water per day habit!) — $2.49 (someone told me that Dollar Tree has 32-oz. bottles for just $1! I’m totally checking that out since I go through a bottle almost every 8-9 days!)
  • 1 bag of 4 avocados — marked down to $0.99
  • 1 gallon of milk — $2.79
  • 2 packages of Oscar Mayer hot dogs — priced at just $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, used 2 = $0.44 per package
  • 1 package mozzarella cheese (16 oz.) — $2.49 when you buy 4 participating items
  • 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen — priced at just $0.99 when you buy 4 participating items, get
  • Total with tax: $23.44

I made Baked Ziti for dinner — inspired by the fact that I got all those boxes of pasta for $0.49 per box recently.

I also had a jar of pasta sauce in the fridge that needed to be used up (I had bought it a few weeks back and we had only used a little bit of it!), cottage cheese in the freezer, sausage in the freezer, and then I picked up mozzarella at a great price today.

I ended up having enough to make one pan of Ziti for dinner and two to stick in the freezer (one was pretty small so it will be for a night when not everyone is eating dinner). Oh and I just wing it when I make Ziti — I don’t use a recipe. 🙂

{In case you wonder how I can stretch an 8×8 pan to feed our family of five: I usually don’t eat much of the main dish when it has white/enriched flour in it (I’ll have a big salad with some other protein + a little ziti on the side) and then one of our kids usually only eats a few bites of the main dish (unless it’s one of their 2-3 main dishes that they like. Yes, they are the picky child and we only require that they eat a few bites of the main dish if it’s not something that they like.) We also encourage everyone to fill up on veggies/fruit and bread or whatever the sides are. :)}

Kathrynne used some of the marked down avocados to make homemade guac — yum!

She ate it for a snack with the tortilla chips we got last week for $0.99!

My Grocery Totals For This Week So Far

Total spent so far this week: $53.83
Total left to spend: $$16.17

Cash back so far:  for submitting my receipt,  for buy 2 cups of Fage yogurt, and  for buying Bubly, and for buying Tortilla Chips last week, another  for submitting my receipt, for buying 3 boxes of Kroger Ibuprofen = $6.25 in cashback!

I did a super casual live video this morning about today’s shopping trip and what I was planning to make for dinner. If you want to hang out with me like we’re having coffee, you can click above to watch it! 🙂