Last week, I shared with you my big cooking weekend and how I stocked my freezer with various items to use during the week. I wanted to share a few more tips with you on how we stock our freezer.
1) Purchase meat in bulk at Sam's Club/Costco and the separate into portions to freeze
I buy chicken breasts, roasts, steaks & pork chops at Sam's Club
2) Buy extra meat at the grocery store when you find a good sale
Pork chops, roasts, ribs, ground meat are just a few items that I will buy 2 of when my grocery store runs a good sale on
3) Meal Deals -- I don't know how many grocery stores offer these deals but here in Central Texas we have HEB grocery stores that offer meal deals & combo locos each week (sometimes the meal deals run for a few weeks before changing). If these deals are good ones then I will buy 2 at a time.
For example this week's deal is: Buy two pkgs of ground meat (beef or turkey) and you receive taco shells, taco sauce, sour cream & cheese for free. We use all of these items and since I am running low on ground meat in my freezer, I will purchase 2 beefs and 2 turkeys and get double on the freebie items. This helps stock not only my freezer but my pantry too.
4) Hams, Turkeys & Briskets
Around the holidays you can get these items on sale for a great price. I try to make sure to purchase an extra one for the freezer. We can then smoke a turkey after the holidays to use for the next few months and I can pickup a ham around Christmas to use for Easter. They do take up a bit of room but you can always cook them when you have a free weekend and then portion out the meat to freeze for quick meals over the next few months.
5) Smoker weekend -- this is when we fire up the smoker and put on ribs, pork butt, turkey, chicken, etc. E will get all of the meat cooked and then we will freeze in portions to use for quick meals.
6) Pasta -- I normally always end up with leftover pasta when we make it. We would eat the leftovers for several days but always ended up throwing a bunch away. For some reason, I never can make just the right amount of pasta. I finally started taking a loaf pan and putting in the pasta with the sauce mixed in and covering it with plastic wrap then foil and putting into the freezer. This gives us a pasta bake to use a few weeks later.
We also try to keep at least one bag of frozen pasta (ravoli or tortillini) in the freezer to use for a quick meal (with jar sauce) or to add into soup. Makes for easy ideas when you forget to plan dinner or the leftovers you planned are all gone.
7) Cheese -- I buy large blocks of cheddar cheese and mozzerella cheese and will shred it. I will portion it out into quart ziploc bags and freeze. When we need shredded cheese, I just grab a bag out. This is cheaper than buying the pre-shredded cheese. I put the cheese grater attachment onto my stand mixer and it doesn't take that long to shred up 5 or 10 pounds of cheese.
These are just a few things that we do and I hope that they help you stock your freezer.