Foods you didn’t know you could freeze – and how they help you save

Food isn’t cheap right now, and keeping food fresh to get the most out of it is a challenge. But, many of us may have one tool at our disposal that could kill two birds with one stone – our freezer.

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A post shared by Kate Hall | Home Food Waste Expert (@thefullfreezer)

There are so many foods people could be freezing, instead of letting them go in the bin. And there’s very little that you can’t freeze. The key is knowing how to freeze them, and what to do with them afterwards.

So, what surprising foods can you freeze?

1. Cheese

grated cheese
Cheese has become seriously expensive. (Alamy/PA)

“Cheese is a great one to freeze,” says content creator Kate Hall, aka The Full Freezer, who is trying to help families find new ways to cook, eat and save.

“Simply grate hard cheese before freezing, then use it in cooking straight from the freezer. It’s best used within six to nine months.”

2. Milk and yoghurt

You could freeze discounted dairy items. (Alamy/PA)

You can also freeze other dairy products, such as milk and yoghurts.

“These do tend to separate when frozen, so may need whizzing back together with a hand mixer, or used in cooking,” says Ms Hall.

3. Potatoes

You can’t freeze potatoes raw. (Alamy/PA)

Believe it or not, you can freeze spuds.

“Potatoes can be frozen in all sorts of ways – just not raw – but one of the easiest options, if you have a big bag, is to mash them as you normally would,” she explains.

“Freeze the mash flat in freezer bags – in usable portions so they don’t take up much space in the freezer – then when you want it, just heat through in a pan straight from frozen.

“It’ll look like it’s spoilt, but you just need to keep stirring until the excess water has evaporated. Frozen potatoes are best used within three months, but they’ll be safe to eat for longer than this, the quality will just deteriorate,” Ms Hall adds.

4. Treats and snacks

Are your biscuits going soft? Is the cake going stale? Use your freezer.

You can keep popcorn in the freezer. (Alamy/PA)

“If you ever find your cake, biscuits, popcorn or crisps go stale before you can get through them, or if you want to make them last a bit longer, storing them in the freezer is a great option,” Ms Hall says.

“Slice up any cakes and freeze open on a tray before moving them to a freezer bag if they’ll be in there longer than a month or two, then wrap each slice in foil once frozen solid, to protect it from the cold.

“Crisps, popcorn and biscuits can be popped straight into a freezer bag and enjoyed straight from the freezer, just remember to label the bag with what exactly is inside,” she explains.

This is a great way to make a saving on kids’ lunchboxes, or picnic fillers.

Food saved, money saved

woman and baby looking in fridge
Feeding a family is not cheap. (Alamy/PA)

The National Food Waste Strategy Feasibility Study reported that:

  • food waste costs the Australian economy around $36.6 billion each year
  • each year Australians waste around 7.6 million tonnes of food across the food supply chain. This equals about 312kg per person and can cost up to $2500 per household per year.

“By freezing food, we can save and reduce the amount spent buying more food to replace those thrown away, particularly bread, milk, fruit and veg,” says Ms Hall.

“Our family have found that having a stash of ingredients in the freezer, which can be cooked quickly from frozen, has helped us to reduce our reliance on takeaways and expensive convenience foods.

“We were previously buying takeaway once a week, but we now just have it once a month.”

This is great for family budgets. “Being able to save food by freezing it can help families to stretch their budgets further, and feel more in control when food shopping,” she says.

“Knowing that you can buy items in bulk for less per unit, and freeze the excess, is a useful way to make the most of your weekly shop.”

Is your freezer a favourite appliance? What’s in your freezer that helps your budget? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?
– With PA

Also read: Food safety myths debunked

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