Posts Tagged ‘cooking from scratch’

I’d like to make a case for owning a dedicated freezer.  Somewhat outrageously, we have two, but that’s only because Pete keeps refusing to build me a coolroom.

Yes, it does cost us extra electricity to run the freezers, but they save us a fortune.  Plus we switched over to 100% green energy a couple of years ago, so I’m feeling a little less angst-ridden about our consumption now.

What the freezer does is this: it enables us to process more of our food at home.  So in mid-winter, we can have home-frozen plums to use in a dessert, rather than having to purchase tinned ones.   And when roma tomatoes are out of season, we’ll still be eating homemade passata, made when they were just $1/kilo.

We store all our bread and flour in the second freezer, and because we’re able to do that, we haven’t had to buy a loaf for over three years.  I once calculated that we save about $40 a week on sourdough by baking our own.  Over 156 weeks, that comes to $6,240!  Even if we were only buying supermarket bread, we would still have saved nearly $4,000.  And that’s just the saving on bread alone!

Here are some of the other things we freeze:

  • we buy fresh garlic in bulk from Diana and Ian, and freeze it broken into unpeeled cloves.  It lasts well in the fridge for ages.
  • when stone fruit are in season,  we buy it in boxes.  We eat some, jam some and freeze the rest, cut in half and stoned, vacuum sealed.  Then in the depths of winter, we can make an apricot slice, or another batch of plum jam.
  • baked goods always freeze well, and at any given time, our freezer is packed with cookies, meringues, leftover cakes (for trifle) and various other sweet treats.  We also keep rolls of cookie dough, ready to bake for an instant dessert as needed.
  • frozen berries – we keep raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, blueberries and cherries in the freezer.  Most of these we buy frozen in bulk, but the strawberries and cherries are purchased from the markets when they’re in season and washed and frozen.  This is where the freezer really comes into its own – being able to store and extend the life of seasonal produce.
  • we keep an entire freezer drawer full of tomato passata.  Pete will now only make it when roma tomatoes are in season, and we freeze it in small takeaway containers.  As we eat a lot of Italian food, we’ll go through several tubs every week.
  • precooked meals and sauces – when we have time, we’ll make a double batch of bolognese sauce, or chicken curry.  There’s also a healthy supply of pesto, frozen in little ziplock bags. Having these tucked away in the freezer means we’re less likely to order takeaway when we’re tired and exhausted.
  • juice and rind -we buy a box each of lemons and limes once a year, squeeze them all and grate the rind, then freeze the lot.  The juice is stored in ice-cube bags (trays would work as well) and the frozen rind keeps brilliantly in a small tub, from which it can be scooped out as needed for cakes and desserts.

If you have any suggestions for things I can add to this list, please let me know.  There’s always room to squeeze a little more into the freezer…

Click here for more Frugal Living posts



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: