Photo by: sporkist

When it comes to meal planning, I consider my freezer to be almost as valuable as my oven!

At least one of our weekly meals comes straight from the freezer, and many of our breads, cookies, bars, and other baked goods are simply pulled from the freezer on an “as-needed” basis.

So whether you have a large extra freezer, or just the small freezer attached to your refrigerator, here are a few ways you can make the most of that space.

Making the Most of your Freezer:

If you already have an extra freezer — then count your blessings! But for those of us who don’t have an extra freezer, there is still hope — seriously, you should see everything I’m able to pack into my freezer!

1. Use square or rectangle containers, not round.

You will save SO much space by packaging everything in square or rectangle containers as they are easier to stack and they fit nicely together.

I also use freezer bags to store chopped up veggies, fruits, and even broths. I can freeze them flat and they hardly take up any room.

2. Date and label EVERYTHING!

There is nothing worse than spending valuable time and money preparing casseroles, soups, broths, and baked goods and then not being able to find them back again.

Keep a roll of masking tape or stick-on address labels and a Sharpie right in your kitchen and then label the date and contents of everything you put into your freezer.

3. Use portion control.

A family of six will most likely eat much more than a family of two — so freeze your meals according to how much your family eats.

Since there’s only two of us, I freeze soups, casseroles, meats, and baked goods in small batches that will be enough for one dinner and maybe one meal of leftovers. This allows me to simply grab one container at a time and it prevents lots of wasted food.

4. Prevent freezer-burn.

This is probably the number one thing I miss about our old deep freezer — nothing ever got freezer-burn. But now that we have a “frost-free” freezer, our food is much more prone to freezer-burn.

A few steps I’ve taken to reduce freezer-burn are: double wrap all my breads, muffins, and cookies; package everything in containers with tight-fitting lids; wrap store-bought frozen food in freezer paper or aluminum foil; and try to open the freezer door as few times as possible.

5. Remember to schedule freezer meals into your weekly menu plan.

This might sound obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planed our weekly meals and forgot about the food in our freezer! If this happens too often, my freezer starts to feel cramped, and then I have to clean out my stock pile {which I talked about last month}.

By making the most of our freezer, I’m able to prepare many meals in advance, make double and triple batches of food, and reduce the number of messes in my kitchen! And all of that saves me lots of time later on.

Utilizing our freezer is just another way I’m able to simplify our weekly meal planning.

What  about you — how do you make the most of your freezer space?

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