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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Did you know that March is National Frozen Foods Month?

Yes, a whole month dedicated to frozen foods.....




Please note that my freezer has only looked this nice when it was brand new and I was first transferring things over to it. Neither has it looked this empty...I'm always cramming stuff in. Two refrigerators, one deep freeze, and I fill it all up. No wonder I'm so intrigued by this month's theme.




Kudos to the inventor of frozen foods---Clarence Birdseye. Thanks to him, my life is much easier---I can buy foods in bulk when they are on sale and freeze them. I can have better quality veggies during the winter months. And I can prepare meals for use at another time.

You'll most likely see lots of great sales from the grocery stores as they celebrate National Frozen Foods Month. I thought it this was a great time to review storing foods in your freezer, how long things will keep, and freezer meals you can prepare at home.

According to the USDA, here are the lengths of time you can keep foods in the freezer at zero degrees for food quality (you can safely keep foods indefinitely):


Bacon and Sausage- 1 to 2 months
Casseroles- 2 to 3 months

Egg whites or egg substitutes- 12 months

Frozen Dinners and Entrees- 3 to 4 months

Gravy, meat or poultry- 2 to 3 months

Ham, Hotdogs and Lunchmeats- 1 to 2 months

Meat, uncooked roasts 4 to 12 months

Meat, uncooked steaks or chops- 4 to 12 months

Meat, uncooked ground- 3 to 4 months

Meat, cooked- 2 to 3 months

Poultry, uncooked whole- 12 months

Poultry, uncooked parts- 9 months

Poultry, uncooked giblets- 3 to 4 months

Poultry, cooked- 4 months

Soups and Stews- 2 to 3 months

Wild game, uncooked- 8 to 12 months


You can freeze a vast array of food, especially if you know the best practices. A great resource is the National Center for Home Food Preservation.


Once you are savvy about how long to freeze, and what you can freeze, you can store leftovers this way. You can also make meals specifically to be frozen and used at a later date. There are numerous cookbooks devoted to this. There are also many resources available online. Here are a few:

http://www.frugalmom.net/once_a_month_cooking.htm
http://organizedhome.com/freezer-cookbook-recipes-freezer-cooking
http://www.30daygourmet.com/
http://www.dinnersinthefreezer.com/


Just make sure you leave some room for ice cream! :)


Other Resources:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_freezing/index.asp

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/freezing/how-long-you-can-freeze-foods-10000001012124/index.html

http://www.helpwithcooking.com/food-storage/foods-freeze-well.html

4 comments:

Janelle said...

We bought ice cream today!! HyVee has A&W Root Beer on sale for $2.50a 12 pack, and so we got some of that and bought a big pail of vanilla ice cream, which was $4.68 less 10% coupon in the ad. The kids have been asking to go to A&W to get floats - we'll just make 'em at home!!!

Great post on frozen items! Of course, March means great sales on frozen items, and my freezers are at capacity! Drat!!

Kaycee said...

Great tips. My freezer is really full too. There is usually a frozen veggie avalanche when I open it. It's a safety hazard really.

Don't you worry about the ice cream though, I'll find it a good home.

Michelle said...

LOL....I'm thinking the ice cream will always have a good home :)

Trying to clear out and eat up so I can make room for more!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Great post! We have a full size freezer that always seems crammed with stuff...and I often wonder how best to store the things I make to freeze for later store better in there!