As a busy mom to a large family, learning how to bulk/freezer cook became a life-saver for both our schedule and our pocketbook. Whether it’s a hectic week for your crew, a holiday (even on Mother’s Day),
(Psst—Want a chance to win your own Instant Pot? Keep reading)
Freezing food can be both thrifty and time-saving. Many items are less costly when purchased in larger quantities, such as meat value packs. Plus, when you do have time to cook, it doesn’t take much more time or effort to double a recipe, saving some for later in your freezer. Home-cooked meals and repackaged foods ready to pop into the oven or microwave are an invitation to relax on hectic days. They feel like frozen treasures when you really can’t find time or energy to go the store, or to get into the kitchen.
Sitting down at home can be better than sitting in a long drive-thru line for fast-food. But pulling an unrecognizable, indeterminably aged mystery-meal from the freezer may not be much better. Proper labeling prevents guess
Labeling can be as simple as just writing on a re-sealable freezer bag. Before you fill the bag, try writing in the area indicated for these notes. It’s easiest to label an empty bag placed on a level surface. Check that the surface is clean and dry wet, greasy, or food-splattered surfaces may smear or not accept ink. It’s also important to know that some types of ink will run whether the surface is clean or not. A quick check should be done before you proceed further.
Here are some ideas on what to write on a label:
1. Name of food or recipe.
2. Date prepared or purchased, if ready-made. (You may want to add a use-by reminder.)
3. Time and temperature to cook or reheat. (You can also note if food can be eaten as is, or if it's already pre-cooked, partially cooked, or raw such as meats or pre-made cookies and pie crusts.)
In a few minutes with minimal effort, you can be certain that what you write now will be there later. Wipe your finger or thumb over the first letter or word that you wrote. If it smears, wipe the surface clean. Then try a different pen. Fortunately, most permanent ink pens and markers will work fine on the first try. Weeks or months later, what you wrote will allow you to simply fix and enjoy this food.
Other labels can be just as simple. When you freeze food in reusable plastic containers or wrap items in foil (an old-fashioned, yet still useful method) you can write labels directly onto tape. Normal packaging tape (scotch tape or similar) or masking tape will work. You can also use adhesive backed paper labels, either handwritten or computer generated.
Check tape and paper labels like you did with writing on freezer bags: avoid later confusion from smeared writing. Also be aware that moisture (from freezing and defrosting) may damage some paper surfaces, making words now clear less legible later. Waterproof labels written on paper by covering them with plastic tape. Test their durability before you do much more.
Experiment with what you have readily available. Try new types of labels on only a few items (less to remember if those labels don’t weather well). When in doubt, double label. Apply two types of labels on the same item; then learn later whether one or both methods work well.
As you continue to label and freeze foods, your experiences and your own preferences will guide you. Choices for which foods freeze and defrost well vary with each individual’s needs and desires. Labels are likewise. You may quickly develop preferences. Or many methods may suit your diet’s assorted needs and your ever-changing schedules and shopping habits.
PS: Keep scrolling for a fun giveaway you can use with those properly labeled frozen foods.
Mother’s Day is coming up and I’ve partnered together with a great group of bloggers to bless some moms BIG TIME this Mother’s Day! We are giving away FOUR Instant Pots! Instant Pots are quick, convenient, and help to make meal preparation so much easier; every mom or homemaker should have one. So if you are wanting to win one for yourself (or for a mother that you know would love one), use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Now I know that the Rafflecopter has quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!
Giveaway ends May 10th at 11:59pm EDT. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to email to claim prize. By entering this giveaway you will be added to the email lists of some of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).a Rafflecopter giveaway