Want to save Money? From now on you can find anything you want in the freezer at any moment with little effort? When a freezer gets messed up and item upon item is piled on top of each other several things happen.
Usually, you can’t find what you need without having to uncover half the freezer and of course it’s always the last place you look. There goes all your time and more electricity since the freezer is open so long. Secondly, and don’t laugh, it’s not safe. I have personally been looking for something and had a frozen block of meat fall on my feet!
Another great thing about having an organized freezer is it keeps you from leaving food in the freezer until it gets old and freezer burn. When this happens you end up throwing it away. You might as well take dollar bills and throw them in the trash!
Before we get started on how to store, label, and inventory your freezer, let’s go over a few basic rules on the packaging.
Whenever possible, buy in family packs which is much cheaper and then divide it up when you get home. Depending on how long I think it will be before we eat the meat determines how I package it. I have a vacuum sealer that I use for fish and deer meat because they stay in the freezer longer. I use freezer bags for vegetables, bread, and other items. A vacuum sealer can be bought for about $99.00 and I think they are well worth the expense. Some people still like to use butcher paper as well.
Here is a special trick for putting up meat. Let’s say you are putting away a family size package of pork chops and you would like to be able to get out just one chop at a time. Lay the chops on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen take them off the cookie sheet and put them into a gallon freezer bag. Now you can easily take out one chop at a time.
Be sure to get all the air out of the freezer bag. Either roll the bag while pushing out the excess air or take a straw and suck out the excess air and seal quickly. Getting the air out is the most important aspect of keeping foods from getting freezer burn.
Now Let’s Get to the Organization
I use a black permanent marker to write on the bags. Some people prefer frozen food labels. When labeling your food, be sure and write the month and year on the package. Example – Pork Chops 3/17. Meaning these chops were put in the freezer March of 2017. This way you will know what foods are the oldest and need to be eaten first.
When organizing your freezer I recommend putting all beef together, chicken together, etc. I have a very large freezer and have enough shelves to separate all my meats and still have a shelf left for bread, vegetables, etc. I use the door of the freezer for weiners, lunch meats, pot pies, and small items. You may have to arrange differently according to your space.
Keeping An Inventory
Now it’s time to go over keeping an inventory. Knowing what you have at all times makes your life so much easier. Inventory can be done on the computer if you have one, or in a spiral notebook. Below is an example of a simple inventory chart I made on my computer. It works great because I keep it and a pen hanging on the wall next to the freezer.
|KIND OF FOOD||ALREADY COOKED||TO BE COOKED|
|Hamburger Meat||3,2,1 pkgs|
|Beef Cutlets||8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 pkgs|
|Beef- BBQ||1 Brisket||1,2 brisket|
|Chicken – Whole||1|
|Chicken – breast||1,2,3 pkg|
|Chicken – wings||10 wings|
The inventory chart is just an example but you see how you can fill it out to best fit your needs. Let me explain how this works. Look at Beef Cutlets. On the right-hand side of this chart, you will see 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. This means I have 8 packages of cutlets in the freezer. Let’s say tonight I take out a package to eat. I would mark through the number eight (8). Then I can see I still have seven (7) packages of cutlets left. A very simple method but works great. I know exactly how much I have without having to dig through the freezer. This will also let you know when its time to start looking for those sales to restock you your favorite items.
You can buy colored self-sticking dots to make what type of meat you are putting in the freezer. I don’t do this because I have a separate shelf for each kind of meat, but if you have very limited freezer space and have to mix kinds of meats you may want to color code items for easier location. My suggestions are as follows: Beef – brown, Pork – white, Chicken – yellow. Those are the main ones. These peel off color dots can be purchased at Walmart of a dollar store. This really helps if you use butcher paper so you will know if you are looking at chicken and not pork or beef.
I hope this article on organizing your freezer will get you on your way to saving money and less trouble finding what you need. This method is simple and will save you money. You won’t buy meat at the store that you didn’t really need and you won’t waste any foods that may have been hidden in the back of the freezer.
Here are some inexpensive supplies you can use. Just Click on the photos to read more about these wonderful products.
Labels for recording your inventory
Colored Permanent Markers for Meats, Veggies, Etc
Stackable Freezer Racks to give you more space!