Soups and Chili
Cool leftover soup completely and transfer to a freezer-friendly container, leaving about 1 cup of empty space for expansion during freezing. The night before eating, move the container to the fridge to thaw safely and then reheat and serve. (CLICK HERE for my recipe for Championship Chili.)
Broth and Stock
Keep a gallon bag in the freezer and add any leftover veggie pieces, including onion peels, celery stalks, potato peels, etc. When you have enough, make vegetable stock.
Keep another bag for pan drippings or sauces that are left after cooking chicken. This can be used to flavor soups.
When you pack lunches for school or work, it’s a real timesaver to pull a sandwich straight from the freezer. Just throw it into your lunch box/bag in the morning and it’s thawed by lunch time. It also helps keep the meat cold. Peanut butter & jelly or honey, or deli meat and a slice of cheese work well. You can freeze butter or mustard but not the mayo, lettuce or tomato. Those can be packed separately or added in the morning.
You can also freeze breakfast sandwiches. Cook scrambled eggs and sausage/bacon in bulk, pile them onto biscuits or english muffins, wrap them individually and then freeze! In the morning grab one out of the freezer, microwave and enjoy. (CLICK HERE for my Ham & Swiss Sliders recipe.)
Potato Chips, Crackers and Pretzels
Stock up on chips, crackers and pretzels when they are on sale and throw them in the freezer. FROZEN chips actually taste BETTER. Eat them straight from the freezer, they are crisper and the flavors pop.
Ever wonder why plastic milk jugs have those circle indents on the side?? They are there to allow milk to expand while freezing! I had no idea! What a revelation!
To use frozen milk, let thaw, and then SHAKE WELL before opening, to make sure any solids are remixed.
You can also freeze buttermilk! No more tossing out half a quart because you only needed a cup!
Like milk, the only concern about freezing juice is leaving room for expansion. A good rule of thumb is to take out 8 ounces for every half gallon of juice. Stock up when it goes on sale or at a discount warehouse.
Bread, Baked Goods
When your favorite bread is on sale, stock up and freeze it. Or when you’re in a baking mood, make extras of your favorite baked goods and freeze them for later.
Tip for defrosting baked goods or breads: place them in your microwave overnight. It keeps them from drying out like they do on the counter. (CLICK HERE for My Mom’s Wonderful English Muffin Bread recipe.)