For most people and especially busy parents, there is a lot of concern over eating healthy, as well as the cost and preparation time of this food.
For me, having a standalone freezer is essential for saving money on food. Growing up, money was tight but we had a small upright freezer so I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have access to one. The return on investment of this appliance is quite high. I have been able to stock up on high quality meats, boxed frozen foods, and ice cream when they are on sale and I’ve more than made up for the cost of the freezer.
Cheese and fresh meat are two of the top stolen grocery items in the world. If you have ever purchased either at regular price, it’s easy to see why. Luckily, both items can be bought on sale and frozen for a later date. With cheese, I buy cheddar by the brick and I try not to spend more than 1 cent per gram. (Eg. $5/500 grams) Most of it gets eaten, but to prevent the rest from getting moldy, I grate the end of the brick and freeze the shredded cheese for pizzas or casseroles.
Meats are often offered at a higher discounted price as “Value packs”, which means that the package is larger than what you require for a normal serving. I load up on boneless, skinless chicken breasts whenever they are half price because chicken is never on sale when you feel like eating it! And because there is no bone or skin, there is very little waste and you’re slashing the length of preparation time.
Going one step further, I try to set aside some time to prepare some of those meats prior to freezing them. Top sirloin steak is an excellent cut of beef for stirfrying and is less expensive than other types of steak. I slice these large steaks into stirfry strips and freeze the portions in zipper-type freezer bags. I can thaw a bag of cut meat quickly by soaking it in a bowl under cold running water or zapping it through the microwave while I make rice or pasta. My vegetarian friends, I know I have grossed you out by talking about meat but freezing food also applies to you. Various mixes of frozen vegetables can aid in making a quick stirfry supper. They are as nutritious as fresh vegetables, you don’t have to chop them, and they don’t spoil!