I think that in the past, many of us thought of the freezer only in terms of sides of meat or loaves of bread that may or may not have proved to be a saving. The important thing with the freezer is to have it serve you well, to ensure that it makes your cooking from scratch easier, that it offer you a means to manage fresh produce well.
For our small household purchasing and putting aside large amounts of meat isn’t a saving but there are many households where this would be beneficial. I use my freezer to keep us supplied with pre-cooked meals after cooking double portions — ideal for the nights when I can’t be bothered cooking or for single serve lunches to give variety to the usual salad and sandwiches.
If a surplus of fresh produce comes from the garden or is offered cheaply at the greengrocer’s, it can be flash frozen as is (no blanching!) so that it’s put away fresh for later preserving. Vegetables such as tomatoes work well with this method, I currently have a large bag of summer cherries waiting to be turned into jam and do it with many other fruits and vegetables.
The freezer is a great aid for grains and flours too, toss a bag in the freezer when you come home from shopping, pull it out a couple of days later, any weevil or pantry moth eggs will have been killed. I now keep my yeast in the freezer because I had a run of poor loaves when the yeast got overheated in the summer, it can be used directly from the freezer with no loss of quality.
I’ve not yet introduced glass to my freezer but it’s on my to-do list, eliminating plastics seems to be a smart way to go and from what I’ve learned glass is not problematic if handled carefully and with forethought.
My freezer door always looks like this.
Long gone are the days of trying to work out what’s in there, every container is clearly labelled, each is recorded on the door in non-permanent marker with approximate number of servings. When something is taken out it’s crossed out, when something goes in it’s added to the list.
How do you use the freezer to extend your food storage and preserving options?