How to Maximize Your Freezer Space for Stocking Up
If you haven't taken stock of your freezer's contents in a while, it may feel like the place where food goes to die. A random mishmash of frozen leftovers and abandoned TV dinners is not an optimal use of that valuable space. Following our simple tips, you'll quickly be able to get your freezer trimmed down and ready to stock up with essentials.
1. Do a Cleanse
And we're not talking about the juice kind. Go through your freezer and toss anything you know you won't eat, like that freezer-burnt bag of peas from last Thanksgiving and your first attempt at freezer jam. Anything that's still unopened and intact can be donated to a local food bank — just call ahead to make sure yours will take frozen donations. While it may seem counterintuitive, by preemptively clearing out space in your freezer, you'll be able to refill it with foods your family will actually eat.
2. Be a Square
Well, more of a rectangle actually. When buying frozen veggies, look for the rectangular box packages — such as chopped spinach, mixed veggies, or chopped broccoli — to save space. They're easy to stack and store more efficiently than bulky bags.
3. Unbox It
Not all boxes are created equally, and some boxed items just take up valuable freezer real estate. If you have boxed foods that are individually wrapped — think waffles or veggie burgers — then take them out and toss the box into your recycling bin because those few extra inches of space will come in handy. However, for small, loose items like Uncrustables or Popsicles, keep the box to avoid the contents from tumbling everywhere.
4. Label, Label, Label
How many times have you stuck a homemade stock or sauce into the freezer and thought, "I'll remember exactly what this is next week!" and next thing you know, it has been two months and you have no clue what awaits in that mystery Ziploc bag. Always use a permanent marker to label and date foods, that way you know what's worth keeping and what isn't.
5. Stock Up On Soups
Making freezer meals is a great way to get ahead and have delicious dishes on-hand for when you're busy. But instead of freezing large casserole or hefty cuts of meat, try batch cooking some soup instead. By freezing gallon-size bags flat, you'll have an easily stackable stash of meals at your finger tips.
Related: Best Make-and-Freeze Soups
6. Goodbye Freezer Gels
While freezer gel packs for lunch boxes are convenient, they're a waste of space if you aren't using them regularly. If you're working from home, these can easily be removed from the freezer and tucked into a cabinet for future use.
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