A common misconception is that you can't freezer cook without a deep freeze. When I first started, I only used my refrigerator's freezer. In order to maximize your space, there are a few tips you should follow.
First things first! If you want to start freezer cooking and you don't have a lot of freezer space, you'll need to empty your freezer as much as possible. Throw out anything that is bad, or that you won't use. If there's anything you can move to the refrigerator, do that now.
Prepare in small batches. Making a big batch of something is fine, but you need to separate it into smaller batches when you put it in the freezer. This will save space, and time as well because you won't have to thaw huge batches later.
Use ziploc bags to store anything you can (soups, sauces, etc). They take up less space than bulky plastic containers. You can also use aluminum foil to wrap things like meat.
Soups take up the least amount of space, so prepare those when you're able. Soups are perfect for warm months!
Be sure to label everything, so you can get to it easily and so you don't thaw out deer meat instead of beef. Not that it would make a huge difference, but I'm a big fan of “everything in its place” – and if my menu says beef, I want beef.
Check out this post for saving space with items like burritos and such: Freezer Cooking in Less Space
Use a vacuum sealer to save even more space. You can use this for fruits, vegetables, and meats!
Refrigerate what you can. Not everything has to be frozen when you're freezer cooking. Some things can be left in the refrigerator, which will save you some valuable space. Just remember that things do not stay as fresh for as long in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan your menu accordingly.
When it comes to freezer cooking, the most important step is planning. When you make your menu and your grocery list, keep your freezer space situation in mind. Vegetables get much smaller when you chop them, so that's another thing to keep in mind!
Do you enjoy freezer cooking? What's your best space-saving tip?
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our 30 Days of Freezer Cooking series!