When it comes to grocery shopping the average family spends as much as 50% of their grocery bill on meats. A great way to save money on protein is to buy in bulk. Usually the bigger the package the less it costs per pound. Sometimes though there is just a really good sale going on and it's a great idea to stock up. What ever the case may be it's doubtful that the meat will be completely used before it goes bad. The answer to that problem is to freeze it.
- Ground Beef- to properly freeze ground beef you want to remove it from the Styrofoam and plastic. If you have a food scale you can measure it out into half or one pound portions. Place each portion into freezer bags and flatten the meat out. This helps it thaw faster and it can be stacked. Make sure to squeeze as much air out as possible. Frozen properly they can keep for up to six months.
- Ground Turkey or Chicken- These are frozen the same way as the ground beef. When these are frozen properly it will keep between four and six months.
- Roasts, Steaks, Ribs, or Chops - Remove from the store packaging, then wrap in plastic wrap then in foil. If you want extra insurance put the wrapped meat in a plastic freezer bag. When stored as such the meats will keep up to a full year in the freezer
- Ground sausage and sausage links, patties- Ground sausage when purchased in a roll can be placed as is in the freezer. Bulk sausage and links should be divided out into portions (if necessary) and placed in freezer bags. These will last up to three months
- Bacon, smoked sausage or kielbasa- Bacon, smoked sausage and kielbasa are typically already in vacuum sealed packages. These meats can be placed right into the freezer as is and will be perfect for up to three months.
- Chicken and Turkey- Whole fowl can be placed in the freezer as is and will last up to a full year. Parts of the birds (legs, thighs, breasts and wings) should be portioned out and placed in freezer bags with as much air as possible removed from them. Bone in or boneless are both handled this way and can last for up to nine months.
- Lunch meat and Hot dogs- Hot dogs can be placed unopened in the freezer. Opened packages and lunch meat purchased from the deli need to be repacked in freezer bags with as much air as possible removed. These items are best used within two months of freezing.
- Fish and other Seafood- Divide the fish fillets or other seafood in small portions and place into freezer bags removing as much air as possible. There is an old wives' tale that the fish cooks better if it is frozen with some water, but I am not sure if that is the case or not. Fish and seafood will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Eggs- whole fresh eggs last for up to a month in the refrigerator so there is rarely a need to freeze them and that is good since they don't freeze well. To freeze the yolk of the egg separate from the whites and add one teaspoon of salt per cup of yolk to prevent graininess when thawed. Strain through a sieve before placing in a plastic container leaving about a half inch of room at the top. Freeze for up to one year. One tablespoon equals one yolk. For the egg whites strain through a sieve into a plastic container leaving room at the top for expansion. Two tablespoons of egg whites is equal to one fresh egg white. Egg whites like the yolks can be frozen for up to one year.
The length of time in the freezer is an estimate it's very possible for the items to last longer without getting freezer burn. I hope you find these tips useful. If you do please click subscribe on the left hand side to be notified when I publish a new article.