If you’re like me you are always trying to find a way to save money. One category in our budget struggles at times to stay on budget. That category is food. Do you struggle with that category too? Well, I wanted to share my freezer tips to save you money throughout the year.
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YOU NEED A FREEZER
To make this work you will need a freezer. Yes, the little freezer attached to your refrigerator is great but a standalone freezer is BEST.
There are two types of freezer you can buy:
Plus there are many different sizes. We currently have a GE 10.6 chest freezer.
Ok now that you have a freezer let’s move on.
SALE PRICES OR GOOD DEALS
The way to save money is knowing when freezer items are on sale or a good deal. Let’s look at chicken as an example. In Utah, the regular chicken price is right around $3 (but it can be more). This is for the fresh chicken, the only kind I choose to buy. When chicken is on sale I can purchase it between $1.50-$1.90. This is when I know it’s a good deal!
BUY IN BULK
Ok, this is the key to saving. When the item is on sale, you buy bulk and that is why you need a freezer. Back to my chicken example.
The normal price I purchase chicken at is $1.60 and I buy it by the box (40 pounds). Ask your local butcher if they sell chicken by the box if they do, they will normally give you a little better rate than the sale price. If not just buy the already trimmed pieces. Side Note: The box is the chicken not trimmed, meaning it has some fat on it.
From this example of chicken, if I purchase 40 pounds of chicken at $3, it would cost $120. But at the sales price of $1.60 it would cost $64. This would save me $56 dollars. But if you are like my family and like chicken, I have to buy 40 pounds of chicken about 3 times a year. And by using the freezer I save $168 a year on just chicken. This does not include the amount I save on beef, pork, frozen vegs, fruit, shredded cheese, and more.
Side Note: I freeze vegs and fruit when they are on sale. Plus I buy shredded cheese in bulk and bag it into freezer bags.
BUY FROM THE MEAT COMPANY
There are places that you can buy meat in bulk. These places offer beef and pork (sometimes other meats) selling them by half or whole of the item. By buying it from the meat company, they customize the way you have the meat cut and wrapped.
This is how we get our beef and pork! Check around your area and see what your options are.
This tip will help you save money but also time down the road. I have not gotten into full on freezer meals but I like to freeze my meats already marinated. What I do is mix the marinade in a gallon freezer bag (I do about 6). Then I place my meat into the bag, zip it up, and freeze it. I remove the bag from the freezer the day I want it, giving it enough time to unthaw.
TIP: If you soak the bag of meat in cold water it will thaw faster!
Here are my favorite chicken marinades:
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 3-4 limes)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade ingredients over the top. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 2-3 hours.
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup cold water
- Combine all but cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water in a sauce pan and begin heating.
- Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve then add to sauce pan.
- Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.
- Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade ingredients over the top. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 2-3 hours.
FREEZER TIPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY
The BEST way to save money is by buying items on sale but buying a large amount (bulk) at the same time. But just because an item is on sale does not mean you should buy a lot, only purchase bulk items if you will use them up within 6 months. I hope my basic freezer tips will help you save money on your groceries.
Do you have any other tips?