An excerpt from Wildly Affordable Organic, a book written for people who want “to eat like it matters but felt [they] couldn’t afford it.”
Making good use of even a small freezer saves time and money. ‘Feed your freezer’ to even out seasonal prices and to keep the food you cook in bulk.
Get good prices by buying fruits and vegetables in season. Get better prices by buying in bulk. At the farmers’ market, you can save 50 cents or more by getting two quarts of produce instead of one. Eat some right away and freeze the rest. For example, I freeze strawberries made up for shortcake every spring, and peach ice cream base every summer for thrifty, healthy desserts in the winter.
Keep your freezer full to manage heat and your budget
As the January bills roll in and you are looking for a rest after the busy holidays, you’ll be able to take
advantage of your thrift and foresight. You fed the freezer all summer and fall. In the winter, eat what you’ve got and make room for baked goods. Bake extra bread and desserts and enjoy the oven’s heat. Use the frozen baked goods during the hottest days of summer, when you’ll need room again for produce.
Freeze food made in bulk
- Save money and your health by replacing fast-food dinners with homemade food from your freezer. Pair bean stews loaded with vegetables
with rice or bread to make a complete meal.
- Eat and replace frozen meals regularly so that you have about a week’s worth on hand for emergencies or busy times.
- Freeze bean broth the same way you freeze pesto.
- Freeze plain cooked beans that you won’t use right away.
- Save room for at least one loaf of bread so you can bake two at once, saving time and energy.
- Cookies freeze well and resist the Midnight Snacker better than if they are at room temperature.
Freeze core kitchen staples
- Freeze butter you won’t be using right away in a freezer bag dedicated to butter.
- Make room for an ice cube tray for freezing yogurt bought for yogurt starter. Pop frozen cubes out and store in a freezer bag or container.
- Use the same ice cube tray to freeze citrus juice and zest. For example, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of lemon juice, zest the lemon before cutting it by grating off the thin yellow part of the skin (but not the bitter white pith). Put the zest into a cell of the tray. Cut the lemon in half, juice it, and put the extra juice on top of the zest. Freeze and then pop the cube into a bag you keep for lemon juice and zest.
- Freeze bread scraps to make bread crumbs. Never throw away homemade bread, not even the heels.
- Freeze raw wheat germ, which can go rancid in just a few weeks at room temperature.