Meat and poultry take up a big part of our grocery budget every week. It’s just so darn expensive! The best way I’ve found to save money on groceries is to stock up during awesome sales and freeze meat and poultry in the extra freezer.
If you’re not careful, though, you could end up with more freezer burnt meat than not. It’s important to learn the proper way to freeze meat to keep it as fresh as possible.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you freeze meat…
1. Repackage before you freeze meat.
The packages that meat comes in from the supermarket is acceptable for temporary storage, but if you want to freeze meat long term, it’s better to repackage it. Use two layers to help prevent freezer burn. Wrap the tightly meat in plastic wrap first, then put it in a heavy duty freezer bag.
2. Preportion and prepare meat ahead of time.
Before you freeze meat, cut and separate it into meal sized portions. This makes it much easier to pull out just what you need for dinner. While you’re at it, you might want to prepare the meat and get it ready to be cooked. Form ground beef into hamburger patties or meatloafs, for instance, or marinate chicken breasts.
3. Smoosh the meat as flat as possible before freezing.
It’s so much easier to freeze meat and store it if it’s flat. Frozen solid bags of flat meat stack nicely in your freezer and take up less space. Smoosh ground beef flat before freezing, and place steaks, pork chops, and chicken pieces in a single layer in the plastic bag before freezing.
4. Label EVERYTHING!
Don’t make the same mistake I did—label EVERYTHING when you freeze meat and poultry! You might think that you’ll remember what’s in the bags and when you put it in the freezer, but you wont. I guarantee it. After you package your meat and poultry for freezing, use a permanent marker to label the bags with the type of meat, the cut, and the date you froze it.
5. Stay organized.
Keeping your freezer organized not only leads to less frustration, but it also reduces the amount of time you leave the freezer door hanging open. Besides keeping your meat labeled, it can also be helpful to place different types of meat in different areas of your freezer—chicken on the right, beef on the left, and pork in the middle.