How To Freeze Food To Save Money

I have spent the last 3 years perfecting the food shop. We have now managed to get our average weekly food shop down to £10 per week… feeding a family of 5! You can read more about that here.

The big food shop

We hit the supermarket at a specific time for each store, when we know that the bargains come out. Our local store is at 6pm, and we know that we need to get there for bang on 6 (if not earlier!). Most of the food that we buy has been reduced down to 10% of its original price. Bread often costing around 10p, vegetables and fruit somewhere around the £12p-20p range. We grab as much as we can and take it home to prep and freeze.

Because we don’t write meals plans before buying our food, we have to go to the shops with a completely open mind, and happy to eat whatever is on offer at the time! It does take some effort to live this way, but the rewards are huge and it means that we get to eat healthy delicious meal for super cheap.

Prepping food for the freezer

Most food can be frozen, and if it can’t we eat it as quickly as possible. Food for the freezer should be prepared and frozen as soon as you get home, to keep it fresh. Food that cannot be frozen can safely be eaten a day or 2 after it’s best before date. I completely ignore the best before dates on fruit and veg, because if it looks/smells/feels good then I’ll just eat it anyway. Common sense tells me when fruit and vegetables are still good to eat.

Most food doesn’t take much effort to freeze. Bread and milk can be just thrown into the freezer as they are. Donuts, I like to take out of the paper bags and put into plastic bags, as it stops them from going stale as they defrost.

When we tackle the shops, I like to set aside an hour or two to get the food prepped for storing. It can be fun to get the kids to help too as it gets them learning basic food preparation skills, and they have fun too. My daughter loves cutting up beans for the freezer.

Food that can be thrown straight into the freezer (It’s handy to bag them first though!)

  • bread
  • milk
  • berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries etc
  • yoghurts- Frubes are great to eat as ice pops too!
  • margarine
  • fresh pizza
  • cakes and donuts
  • grapes- work well as ice cubes as they don’t water down drinks as they thaw.
  • grated cheese
  • cuts of meat
  • pies
  • Ready made soup
  • fresh pesto
  • cooked rice
  • cherry tomatoes- great for throwing into stews, not so great for sandwiches!

Foods that need peeling and chopping for freezing:

  • Mushrooms
  • Apples
  • herbs
  • onions
  • rhubarb
  • bananas- these can be frozen in their skin but chopped is easy for smoothies!
  • carrots
  • runner, broad, French and dwarf beans
  • parsnips
  • cabbage
  • peppers
  • potatoes- I freeze these for the main purpose of roasting. Boil for 2 minutes ONLY before freezing.

Some vegetables loose their flavour and colour when frozen, so blanching is often a good idea. If in doubt, a quick Google will help! Salad foods such as lettuce and cucumber cannot be frozen as they go slimy when thawed. Vegetables can all be cooked straight from frozen.

This is just a list of some of my favourite foods to freeze. What are yours?

 

 

 

The Perfect After-School Snack, With ChewyMoon

Now that the children are all back to school and parents across the country can once again enjoy a tidy home and a hot cup of coffee, we also have to remember how hungry the kids come home from school feeling. Busy brains make hungry tummies.

It seems that as soon as they come through the front door, I hear the words “I’m hungry”. I recently discovered a tasty, healthy and rather easy snack to keep them happy until dinner is served. Put away the crisps and close the fridge door, ChewyMoon have a tastier option.

What Is ChewyMoon?

I’ll be honest, as soon as I think of the brand ChewyMoon, my brain instantly sings the Button Moon theme. I just cannot stop the permanent 1980’s tune going round and around within my skull. Yeah, I am well aware that I have probably now got it stuck in your head too. #SorryNotSorry

ChewyMoon is a postal pack of 100% natural snacks, delivered straight to your door. Created by nutritionists and approved by kids, these boxes can be tailored just for your kids, ideal for those with allergies.

The boxes cost £3.99 (and 99p postage) and you can choose a package perfect for your family. Either have the box delivered once a week, or once every 2 weeks. Each box contains 5 smaller boxes, each containing a different snack.

Each box also comes with a fun activity pack for the kids to look at and do. Each box contains 2 collectable Battle Cards, a little comic strip, a pop-out-and-make animal totem toy (these are also collectable and they stack too) and a brain-bustin’ fact card. My 5yo really enjoyed reading the fact sheet, and has saved her battle cards (in her book bag to show off at school). My younger 2 loved the packaging and found all of the images hilarious… toooo hilarious.

How To Personalise Your Box

When ordering a box, simply choose from a fruit, savoury or variety box and then personalise your snack box- perfect for fussy eaters or those with allergies. Your subscription can be cancelled at any time too, so no need to worry about taking out a lengthy contract.

All snacks arrive in perfect portion sizes too, so you can just open-and-go! The portions were a great size, and the variety within the box was great. Sweet dried fruits, flapjack, and a savoury pack- containing popped cheese and pizza balls! All great fun and really moreish. I did struggle to not eat them all from the kids.

After school, Ivy is always snackish!

Admittedly with 3 kids all coming home from school or nursery, our box lasted just 2 days- and that was with myself being strict, to stop them eating all of the packs in one go! I would have like to see an option to order a bigger box, that would last a little longer with 3 hungry children.

Try For Yourselves

You can try ChewyMoon for FREE (just pay the 99p postage), and see if ChewyMoon are just as tasty for your family as the box was for mine. Just follow this link, to order your own ChewyMoon Box.