PhotobucketWhy Be Frugal?

I consider frugality an art form and a religious conviction. I learned about paying cash for purchases, recycling and reusing just about everything and being generous to friends and those in need from my parents.

My faith instructs me all things are gifted by God and so I am compelled to be a good steward of my gifts. [The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16]

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tips for Stretching Your Dollar and Freezing Food

(Originally posted at Associated Content, May 16, 2008)

Grains: When you buy rice (not instant), cornmeal or any kind of flour at the store put the bag(s) in your freezer for 48 hours. This will probably work with oatmeal too, though I haven't tried it. After that, you can keep it in an airtight container or the original packaging and it will last “forever.” The freezing kills any vermin that may infest the grain if left at room temperature. I've had flour that lasted for months and never had a problem with it after it comes out of the freezer!

Ground beef/ground turkey: Mash 1 can kidney beans or black beans. Mix the mashed beans with 2 pounds of ground meat.

For meatloaf: add bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes or regular oatmeal (uncooked) and an egg, spices, ketchup; mix all ingredients together.
For hamburgers: add enough ketchup or barbeque sauce to hold together (not too much or they'll fall apart); add some spices, shape into patties, place a square of waxed paper between each patty. These can be stored in an empty bread bag in the freezer.
For tacos or casseroles: Brown meat, adding desired spices such as taco seasoning. Store in 1 cup portions in freezer bags. Bags can be flattened to take up minimum freezer space. Be sure to label your bags!

Eggs: Crack the eggs and place one or two each in freezer bags. When you're ready to bake, take out of the freezer several minutes before use. If you make quiche or other egg based dishes often, bag up the eggs in the appropriate quantity per bag.

Milk or Juice: Buy it on sale. Pour out 1/8 cup (give it to one of the kids to wash down a cookie) reseal carton or jug and freeze. To save even more money, switch to powdered milk or frozen concentrate juice (add water when you're ready to mix it up). If you mix up powdered milk, refrigerate it for several hours before serving (in other words, nice and cold) I bet no one will even notice the difference.

Potatoes: Peel, boil and mash. Allow to cool, store in gallon freezer bag. You can press the bag flat, and it won't take up much room in the freezer.

To save even more money: use coupons for your freezer bags or buy them at the Dollar Store. You can rinse/wash plastic bags and reuse them as long as they did not have eggs or uncooked meat stored in them.

FYI: a 5 lb. bag of flour fits perfectly in a one-gallon ice cream tub.



Click on the links for more Frugal Kitchen Tips, Creative Storage and Cost-cutting Tips for Buying in Bulk and check out Richmond Frugal Family at Examiner.com for current information on frugal deals and steals.

6 comments:

kymber said...

Hi Mary,
Great words of advice!
I, too, have used my freezer this way. I raised a large family of 7 children and although they are raised and gone from the home now, I continue to use my freezer - it saves me so much time and money! Because I am used to cooking on a large scale, I always make large casseroles and freeze half of them to use at a later time. This allows me a night off from cooking once a week and saves money from having to go out to eat!
I look forward to reAding more of your great words of advice - and thanks to Andrea for introducing your blog to me!
Blessings to you,
Kymber

The Working Home Keeper said...

Found your blog through Andrea's site. Thanks for the tips. I've just begun to build a stockpile. Would you recommend putting lentils and dried beans in the freezer before storing as well? Or is that just applicable to flour, rice, etc.

Mary Ellen

Mary Moss said...

Mary Ellen, I have not had an issue with dried beans, as long as they are kept dry. Never thought about lentils, but I think they would be fine as well, since they're not a grain. Not sure though! I'll have to do some research on that . . . you got me thinking . . . .

Kristie said...

I had heard of freezing egg before, but have never done it. I think I'll probably need to when the chickens we got last Fall really start laying in the Spring! :-)

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

Clicked on a link from Arise2Write and just had to comment! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how very simple you are making it...no extra fluff, no extra steps...just the basics! Added you to my reader and am expecting great things here! Keep up the good work!
Blessings,
Amy
ps-I was really intrigued by your welcome statement as well since my post coming out in the morning is along those same lines! :)

Edie said...

You can also use Saltine crackers in the meatloaf. A very inexpensive option.

Great tips Mary! Thanks!