How to Get the Most Out of Your Limited Freezer Space
If you’re here, I’m guessing you’ve read several posts about how people stock their deep freezers for months at a time (I’m one of them – you can find how I do that here!) And as wonderful as it sounds and as much as you’d like to do it, there’s just one small problem… you don’t have a deep freeze!
Well I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t let that stop you. You can still make the most out of the freezer attached to your fridge! Depending on how big the freezer attached to your fridge is, I would guess you could make it a month on one big round of cooking! (Which I promise you, is still REALLY awesome!)
I want to be completely honest and transparent – I do have a deep freezer and don’t have any intention to stop using it anytime soon. (Mainly ’cause I’m selfish and my life is super crazy right now. I really don’t want to disrupt the system that’s currently working for us.)
But if I had to start all over with freezer meals, having limited freezer space – let me tell you what I’d do.
1. Clean out your freezer.
Since you have super limited freezer space, we need to make the most of it. Pull everything out of your freezer and decide if it’s worthy of keeping. (And give your freezer a good wipe down while you’re at it!)
Anything that has no foreseeable use in the future or is questionable should get removed from the freezer. I hate throwing away good food, but if you’re not going to eat it, don’t be a food hoarder. Give it to a neighbor or find something to do with it. Don’t let it take up real estate in your precious freezer if it’s not going to get used.
(You probably wouldn’t let someone live in your house for free, so why let something stay in your freezer if it has no foreseeable plan to get used?)
2. Plan your meals and stock your freezer.
This is up to you. If you subscribe to my blog, you’ll get access to the 5 freezer meal staples that make my freezer meal world go round. (To subscribe, click here or scroll down to the bottom of this post). Also, here’s a page that has some more of my own favorite freezer meal recipes.
Additionally, based on your lack of space, I have some recommended Do’s and Don’ts:
Don’t freeze things like bread, waffles, or French toast sticks. These things take up a lot of space and are relatively low yield. A giant pack of Eggo waffles might feed you breakfast for a week (if you’re lucky).
Do store your breads in the refrigerator. I have found that most breads will last 2-3 weeks if they are kept in the fridge.
Don’t store frozen vegetables. These are low yielding foods, a big bag will feed a family one meal.
Do keep canned veggies or fresh veggies.
Don’t store frozen fruit.
Do keep canned or fresh fruit (in the fridge or on the counter). Here is a post from a girl that only grocery shops once a month and tells what order to eat produce in to make it last (without freezing it).
(Additionally, if you want some of my best freezer meal tips and tricks, check out this post!)
3. Store food smartly and organize it well.
If you have limited freezer space, being organized is a MUST. You don’t want to end up with a lot of space that’s not usable and you also need to make sure stuff is easy to find.
There are two parts to this problem – the actual method you use to store food and the method by which you organize it in your freezer.
When it comes to storing food, I would suggest you mainly use resealable freezer bags. The reason for this is that glass bowls (like these Pyrex dishes) take up a LOT of space and there’s only so many ways you can stack them in your freezer. When you use resealable freezer bags, you have more flexibility in arranging them.
I would like to give you one thing to think about as you prepare food to stock your freezer. Cooking order will be important. For example, if you want to freeze soup, you will want to cook it at the very beginning, when your freezer is mostly empty.
The main reason is that you will want to put it into the resealable bags and lay them flat, like on a cookie sheet. Then freeze them that way, so you can pack them neatly side by side. If your freezer is full when you are making soups and marinated meats, you won’t have room for the cookie sheet and your soup will get frozen in awkward shapes!
Since I haven’t personally tackled organizing the small freezer attached to my fridge, I’m going to default to sharing a few great posts I’ve found. Ultimately, I would suggest buying some plastic bins and coming up with a plan before you get started.
Organizing a Top Freezer from Orgjunkie.com
25 Ways to Organize Your Freezer That Will Save Your Sanity from Passion for Savings
16 Tips On How To Organize Your Freezer (The Right Way) from One Crazy House
Well, now that you know the ins and outs of how to get the most out of your limited freezer space, what are you waiting for, get started! Share your pictures with me of your stocked freezer! What other tips do you have about getting the most out of limited freezer space?
Now get it out there and rock your busy mom life!