Save time and money with your freezer

Freezers - most people have them but do they really use them? Being a student on a budget, I have learned some tips and tricks to save money and still be able to eat well. One of these tricks is cooking in bulk and freezing the leftovers. This comes in handy when I arrive home from work or college and just can’t face the idea of standing in the kitchen for more than 5 minutes to make dinner.

Now before I start preaching about the benefits of freezing, I used to be very hesitant about using the freezer because I couldn’t believe that a frozen meal would taste the same whenever it was eventually defrosted. How wrong I was! After a few trials I realised that freezing is actually pretty great because not only was I eating out less and less, but I was also saving time and money as I wasn’t cooking "a meal for one" every evening.

A recent safefood report looked at the cooking skills of people on the island of Ireland and highlighted that quite a lot of people don’t have confidence in themselves to prepare a homemade meal from scratch. With more and more people eating outside of the home and turning to takeaways or convenience foods, it comes with no surprise that 1 in 4 adults here are overweight or obese.

Freezing can be really useful for pretty much everyone but particularly those who are constantly on-the-go. Be it a parent with numerous mouths to feed, someone who works long hours and usually arrives home exhausted, or a student trying to balance college work and a part-time job. Just spend a few hours to cook a big meal and divide it up into individual containers or freezer bags to put in your freezer. All you need to do after that is fully defrost it in the fridge from the evening before and when you get home the next day, just pop it in the microwave to heat it up.

frozen food in containers

If you’re interested in saving time and money and want to give freezing a go, here are some tips to get you started:

Make extra

Meals like chilli con carne, shepherd’s pie, fish pie and chicken curry are perfect for freezing. Why not double up the recipes?

Add plenty of fruit and vegetables that are in season

They taste better, are more nutritious and are cheaper as they’re more widely available.

Bulk up dishes with beans, peas and lentils

I always keep some spare tins of chickpeas or kidney beans and a packet of lentils in my cupboard. They’re excellent sources of protein and a great way to bulk up my dishes.

Buy lots of freezer-proof lunchboxes

These can be quite cheap depending on where you look and trust me – you’ll definitely need loads once you get into the swing of things.

Posted: 29/06/2017 16:25:23 by Niamh Dowling
Filed under: Cooking, Freezrers, Recipes

About Me

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Niamh Dowling
Hi, I’m a Human Nutrition student from Ulster University and I’m spending my placement year with safefood as a member of the Human Health and Nutrition Team. My interests include being outdoors, reading, being overly affectionate with animals, hiking, cooking and spending too much time watching reality TV shows.