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  • Writer's pictureJolanta Nowobilski

How to Organize Your Freezer (And Get The Most Use Out Of It)

While everyone's freezer space is different, there are a few ways to save space to save time and money.




What's in it?


Like I said, everyone's freezer looks different. Here's a list of my favorite foods that are freezer-friendly:


- cooked legumes (like chickpeas or lentils)

- cooked grains (like rice, barley, bread, etc.)

- meats

- desserts (like cookie dough, baked cakes, and, of course, ice cream)

- prepared meals or sauces

- nuts and seeds (freezing helps them from going rancid too quickly)

- fruit peels (to make candied peels at a later date)




Containers


There are so many different options here to consider: plastic vs. glass vs. bags vs. boxes...the list goes on.


I do not believe that there is one superior method to another. Certain types of containers are better for one thing than another.


I personally use a combination of glass containers, plastic bags, and leftover Talenti containers (if you know, you know). Most of my prepared meals go into the glass containers. If I have a batch of something that I will be breaking off bits every once in a while (like cookie dough), then I put it in my plastic bags.





Labelling


This seems like an over-the-top step, but it can save you time, money, and confusion in the future if implemented correctly.


For containers in my freezer, I like to have on my label:

- name of the food

- date it was made

- use by date


Foodsafety.gov has a great resource on guidelines for freezer storage times





Where To Place Your Items


The FDA doesn't give specific recommendations for organization in the freezer. With such low temperatures, bacteria seizes growth. This means that frozen food doesn't have an expiation date and there is little risk in foods contaminating each other. However, for best quality (i.e. reduced chance of freezer burn), it is best to use your foods generally within three months of freezing


To make the most out of your freezer, use the FIFO method (First In, First Out). This means that the food with the soonest use-by date (conveniently written on your label) is the first thing you see. The foods with the furthest use-by date are in the back or bottom of the freezer.


With so much variability in the size, shape, and compartmentalization of the freezer space, the FIFO method will look different depending on your freezer. Ultimately, you should use a method that you know will work best for you.












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