Saving on the grocery budget is just one way that we practice holistic wealth management. The more money we save on the grocery budget, the more money we can spend on trips to see hidden hot springs or castles in America.
If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you know that I hate cooking. And, I work hard to do as much prep as I can to make cooking as easy as possible.
I make meal plans, set a grocery budget, and purchase the items I need for each. But, no matter how much effort I put into creating a meal plan my family will love, we do end up with food that doesn’t get eaten and is coming up on its expiration date.
As much as I hate cooking, I hate throwing food away even more. Mostly because I think about other families who don’t have the blessings that we do.
But, also because I put some work into sourcing, preparing and serving that food!
So, I have done some research and come up with a list of foods that I can put in the freezer to help save my grocery budget!
Save Money On Your Grocery Budget By Sticking These Foods In The Freezer
The cool thing about this list is that it’s full of foods that we all have thrown out. There’s nothing weird or exotic on this list. Like, “oh don’t you just hate it when your saffron expires”.
No. These are things that we buy, don’t use in time, and end up throwing away. Now, you don’t have to! You can just stick ’em in the freezer and get another few months out of them.
If you’re really organized, you can buy some of these items in bulk and drop them in the freezer. But, I would recommend trying each of them out first to make sure that you like the taste of them after they’ve been frozen.
Buying a bag of brown rice is pretty inexpensive. Not one of those 25 lb bags from warehouse stores but, a normal sized bag from the grocery store.
Then, you can cook the whole bag at once (either in your instant pot or on the stovetop) and put it into individual freezer bags or containers.
Then, when you are doing your meal planning, you can save money on your grocery budget by just taking the already cooked rice out of the freezer and heating it up.
Veggies for Stews & Soups
During the fall and winter, I make a lot of soups. They’re super easy, my family likes *most* of them, and I save on the grocery budget. For a little extra savings, I like to cut the veggies like celery, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes and freeze them.
I don’t cook the celery or tomatoes in advance. I just cut them into cubes and freeze them. But, I do cook the carrots and potatoes so that all I have to do is drop them into the soup while it’s cooking.
Pancakes & Waffles
My kiddos love pancakes and waffles for any meal of the day. But, I don’t like buying Eggo waffles or other pre-made products.
Instead, I prepare the waffles and pancakes and then freeze them after they are cooked. They all turn out great. I just put them on a plate and lay a moist coffee filter over them (we don’t buy paper towels) and zap in the microwave for a bit.
They’re perfect for a quick breakfast or just a snack. The 4-year old loves heated pancakes with peanut butter for lunch.
Got a couple of lemons that are about to go bad? Toss them in the freezer and they’re good for another three months. I realize that lemons are not that spendy. But, if you can get another three months out of the ones that you already have, why not!?
I like to slice them and freeze them flat so that I can just grab a slice or two for my water bottle or to cool my hot tea down.
Frozen grapes are the most amazing dessert ever. Seriously. It’s like eating sorbet. The green grapes are more tart so they’re like a sour sorbet. And, the purpose ones are sweeter so they’re like a berry sorbet. I also really love frozen blueberries for this reason.
My 5-year old went through a phase where he was eating a brick of cream cheese a week. He wanted bagels with cream cheese, Ritz crackers with cream cheese, apples with cream cheese. It was crazy.
But, during this phase, I learned that you can actually freeze cream cheese. Now that he’s older and eats more varied foods, I still buy cream cheese but, when I see that it’s about to expire, I toss it in the freezer and then throw it into a soup or stew just to add some cream and flavor to the base.
My kiddos eat a lot of cheese. They really enjoy quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches. Especially during the cold weather months. I’ve always got a bag or two of shredded cheese in the freezer. I can buy a couple of bags of it at the grocery store and then just toss one of them in the freezer.
I’m big on having broth in the house. I use it for rice, potatoes, soups, you name it. When I get really frisky, I will make my own broth in the crockpot. You basically just drop some soup bones from the meat department into a crockpot full of water and set it to low for a bunch of hours.
Then, after it cools, pour it into freezer bags or containers and stick it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, just drop the whole frozen chunk into the sauce pot or whatever you’re cooking.
Broth is so good for your digestion and gives flavor to everything.