Getting Organised

Freeze as You Mean to Go On

If you are going to start freezing food, it’s a really good idea to empty out your freezer first. Ideally you should clear it down by eating the contents and then defrosting and cleaning it.

 

To make sure that it is the right temperature order a freezer thermometer. It should be -18 °C to freeze your food effectively. It's worth having one for your fridge too which should be between 1 - 5 °C.  

I really recommend not skipping this step as it will help your freezer to run more efficiently (plus you can fit more in if it's not full of frost!).

 

Also, your freezer works better (and more cheaply) when it is full (but not over-filled), so it is better to go through the pain of defrosting it and then you can set to filling it up with a fabulous Freezer Stash. Generally speaking it will then only need defrosting once a year, or when the ice build up is over 1/4 inch thick. 

If you don't have time to do this just yet, don't let this stop you from dabbling; it's easy to try out The Full Freezer Method even if your freezer is a little unloved. Just freeze small portions of ingredients and use them regularly.

Remember when using your Freezer Stash not to leave the freezer door open as this will allow the warm air in and your freezer will get frosty fast! I usually take out the bags that I need, put the ingredients into bowls ready to cook (I usually take meat and fish out first to defrost in cold water) and then return the bags to my freezer. 

Always Label Bags & Keep A List

I think most people have played freezer roulette at some point; digging out an unlabelled container from the freezer and hoping that it might become recognisable once defrosted. 

The Full Freezer Method doesn't really have this problem (except when freezing cooked leftovers), however I still always label my bags at the top so that I can find the bag that I want quickly without having to pull everything out. 

What I find really helpful is to keep lists so I always know what I've got.

 

I have tried lots of different approaches to this over the years (notepad, spreadsheet, list stuck on the freezer, lists on my phone...) and it was only last year that I had an epiphany. 

I created two list designs (one for cooked meals and one for my Freezer Stash raw ingredients). I then laminated them and stuck them to my freezer with magnets (they could also go in a cupboard with velcro if you prefer a tidier look to your kitchen!).

I can now easily update my lists as and when I use my food so I always know what needs to go on the shopping list.

If you like the sound of this, you can download your own copies to use in your our home!

 

You should only need one of each at the start, but as you build up your Freezer Stash you may want multiple versions of the Ingredients 'Freezer Stash' list. This is why it includes the label 'Categories' at the top. My 'Categories' include 'Meat & Fish', 'Dairy & Cupboard', 'Fruit & Veggies'. 

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