One of the key elements of staying within your budget is reducing food waste. Throwing away food is like throwing away money. Here’s how to avoid it.
Freezing food, if done right, can save you a ton of money. Why? Because you simply extend the life of the food itself, making it good for longer. And we all have a general knowledge of what goes and what does not go in the freezer, so here are 5 items you can freeze (in case you didn’t know):
Cheese can be quite expensive, so learning how to store it and freeze it is actually very useful. You will hardly notice any difference in the texture after freezing and thawing. Block cheese might become a little bit more crumbly, so instead of using it for making sandwich slices, you can use it for shredding or melting.
If you buy a large bag of shreds, you can divide it up into smaller portions and freeze them individually. To thaw, just transfer the portion into the fridge the day before your intended use. If you buy a block of cheese, you can do the same thing: divide in smaller portions and freeze individually.
2- Tomato paste
This is a game changer: to cook, you usually use maybe one or two tbsp. of tomato paste, but the small can of tomato paste comes with around 10 tbsp., so what do you do with the rest? Of course, you freeze it. The best way to do it is to portion it out into tablespoons, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once solid, you can transfer your tomato paste portions into a freezer bag. Whenever you need to use it, you grab a portion (or as many as you need). The best part is that you don’t even need to thaw them: they just go straight into your soup or sauce.
Pesto is not only delicious, but it also freezes great. Spoon it into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag so it lasts longer.
If you can’t finish a bottle of wine in one sitting, you can always freeze the rest and use it for cooking. As with pesto, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Then transfer to a freezer bag and add it to your recipes as necessary. It is a great adding to stews and sauces!
5- Fresh lemons and limes
Citrus is quite expensive, but they really add a special flavor to your dishes. The only problem is that any given dish only requires a little juice or zest. However, you can freeze the rest or you can even freeze a whole unit and use it later! Keep in mind, though, that the texture of these fruits does change once thaw, so you won’t want to use it for garnishing, but they are perfect for squeezing and zesting.