Friday, January 14, 2011
Simple Steps To Freezer Organization | Family Economics
The first snowstorm warnings began recently, letting us know that winter was on its way. For some unknown reason this gets me in the stock-up and prepare mode as if I’ll never see the local grocery store until spring. Even my eight-year-old said to me, “Mom, you better get to the grocery store, the mama squirrel needs to pack up.” I guess he views me as a “mama squirrel” that needs to store away food for the winter months ahead.
First on my list was to organize my freezer so the stocking up could begin.
Is your freezer packed full but you have no idea what’s hiding in there? Do your kids open the freezer door only to then say there is nothing in there to eat? If you are ready to save money and time, then let’s start organizing your freezer with my five easy steps.
- Step 1: Empty your entire freezer out onto towels or into bins. I also suggest you turn off your freezer while you do this as the freezer door will remain open during the next steps.
- Step 2: Dispose any food that has expired, spoiled, was left open, is unidentifiable or you know you will not use.
- Step 3: Wipe down every shelf, inside and outside of the door, and any bins that are used in your freezer to hold food items.
- Step 4: Label all of your frozen food items using a permanent marker to clarify what the contents are if they are not in a clearly marked package. Next mark the packages with the date you purchased it. This will help you rotate the food so you are always keeping your frozen food fresh.
- Step 5: Stack and sort like items together.In my freezer I designate shelves for:
- Meals – freezer meals, lasagnas, casseroles, etc.
- Meats – all varieties which I rotate by placing oldest in the front
- Vegetables and fruits – be sure these are well sealed
- Breads and baked goods – cookies, muffins, frozen dough, etc.
- Kid food – pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, burritos (all the things my kids can quickly make themselves)
- Others – canned juice, butter and miscellaneous are stored in the door
If you use a chest freezer I suggest using stacking bins so you can categorize your food and easily stack.
- Step 6: Keep a notepad or white board by your freezer so you can keep a running inventory. That way, when you are meal planning, you can quickly look at your inventory to make your next grocery list. You can see what items you have crossed off or are running low on. When you have a "don't know what to cook" moment, you can quickly look at your freezer inventory list for an idea.
Share your freezer organizing tip here!