Love your freezer and save money!

With 2012 now in full swing, our New Year resolutions may seem a distant memory. But if you’ve set unrealistic promises, why not set ones which are manageable and will help you save money too?

At Waste Awareness Wales we’ve been busy looking at ways we can help you save money by reducing the amount of food you throw away. Sensible storage is the best way to preserve foods; which will of course mean less waste and much more money in our pockets.

In a recent Love Food Hate Waste survey, only 21% of people interviewed had frozen food before it reached its ‘use by’ date during the past week.

So if it has a ‘use by’ date, just freeze it before the date is up, defrost it and use within 24 hours.

Although many of us know we can freeze lamb, beef, fish, seafood, bakery (bread and cakes), chicken and minced meat, the survey also revealed that 20% of us thought that eggs, milk, cheese and fruit weren’t suitable for freezing. But you can freeze these things, and more.

To freeze an egg, all you need to do is beat it into a mixture or freeze the whites and yolks separately, de-frost in the fridge and not at room temperature. Also, adding salt (for savoury) or sugar (for sweet) stops the yolk going lumpy. Just remember that you can’t freeze an egg in its shell.

You can also freeze cooked meat, potatoes and yoghurt, take a look at our top tips on the Love Food Hate Waste website which will tell you more.

We must remember that it’s not always what we freeze but how we freeze foods too.  With our busy lifestyles, plans often change. If this happens, simply place your food in the freezer before the ‘use by’ date, then defrost and use within 24 hours. For any leftovers why not freeze them for a quick and easy meal another day? Freezing food in portions is always a great tip as the food defrosts quicker. By using Tupperware containers and freezer bags your food will be kept at its best and will help avoid ‘freezer burn’, which can affect the texture and taste of our food.

Even though food can be safely stored within the freezer the quality can deteriorate over time so make sure you eat your frozen food within three months.

The freezer really is the food lover’s hero, and we hope that 2012 will see more of us freezing rather than wasting, and saving rather than spending. By sticking to your Love Food Hate Waste resolutions, you could save yourself up to £50 a month – just enough money to save up for that summer holiday you’ve been thinking about in these cold winter months.

Don’t forget to visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for some great cooking recipes and extra tips.

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