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I was sick of things sliding off each other so I spent about 45 minutes doing this.
Using dollar tree or thrift store shoe boxes, you can label and sort your leftovers, meat by kind, veggies, seafood, and more.
I keep an inventory of what and when I put up there but if you label them, that is often good enough.
NOTE: I eat lima beans a lot. They are only available certain times of the year in my stores, so I buy several bags and just open and pour them into a clean shoe box. I can scoop out as much or as little as I want and the new headband keeps the box closed as it's on a precarious tilt.
Source: Seen things like this on Pinterest and Wimp.com
Freeze the zip locks laying down with as much air out as you can get. Then, try hanging them vertically from binder clips. It works for crafts so give it a thought? Hope that helps. Sandi
To save space and make extra room in my freezer, I remove the supermarket packaging. I cut out the label, and place the product and label, into a clear "snap lock" type sealed bag. The label tells me the item and date. The bag replaced the packaging which I have found to take up about 30-40% of the space.
Also I separate bulk items into portion packs, each portion is separately bagged. By using the labeled bag last I always know content details of the separated bags.
By George D. from Melbourne, Australia
It's a great idea to use ziplock bags, as the boxes some foods come in don't do so well in the freezer, plus you get much more space. Organization is the key! From another 'Aussie'.
When it comes to organizing your freezer, the first thing you need to do is clean it out. Go through the contents and throw away everything that is freezer burned or otherwise unusable. This goes for large bags of French fries that only have a handful left in the bag. (Might be a good time to make yourself a snack!)
Next, you need to come up with a plan to put the rest of the stuff back in. If you have some things that have been opened but are still good then try removing them from their boxes and placing them in freezer bags instead. This works particularly well for popsicles.
Now you can start organizing the stuff you have left. Think of your freezer in terms of planning a meal. Keep your meats, your sides, and your vegetables together. On one side of your freezer (or one shelf) try stacking your poultry, fish, beef, etc. On the other, stack your frozen peas, French fries, and broccoli. For the remainder of your space, put "fast" foods and snacks together such as pizzas, Hot Pockets, ice cream, etc.
If you're the type of person who buys in bulk and ends up getting a package of 20 chicken drumsticks even though you only have a family of 3, open the package when you get home and divide it. Place however many drumsticks your family will eat at once into separate freezer bags. The bags themselves are generally easier to store than the large packages. That way, you won't have to thaw the whole thing the next time you want to cook chicken, you'll just have to thaw the portion that you're actually going to cook.
Note: Remember that when you're thawing your meats it's always safer to thaw them in your refrigerator overnight or in a microwave than to place them on your kitchen counter and let them thaw at room temperature.
If you have a chest freezer, check to see if a milk crate will fit inside. We have enough room in our freezer for 4 milk crates stacked 2 high with room on the side for a couple of turkeys and or whole chickens. We can slide pizzas, pie crusts and other thin items in front or behind the milk crates.
Then we designate each crate for pork, beef, chicken and veggies. It keeps the freezer organized and allows easier access by lifting out a crate instead of digging. It is also easy to see what types of meat you need when you make your shopping list.
Also, in reference to the "chicken legs"... put each piece into a sandwich bag and freeze it overnight. Then put all the pieces into one bag and you can take out as many pieces as you need. Also works great for fish fillets.
I've found a way to keep my freezer organized that saves me both time and money. I have plastic bins that fit on the shelves and are labeled as to contents: chicken, beef, fish. I have 2 other bins labeled "prepared food" and "prepped ingredients".
When you freeze leftovers, keep a notepad by the freezer and write down what you have got in there. When you have a "don't know what to cook" moment, you will have inspiration.
The main thing that I have done for my freezers is go to an office store or dollar store and get paper holders. Then I put each filled with separated plastic bags; hamburger, chicken, pork chops, etc. I have done this for many years.
I use small meal size containers for berries to go with pancakes or deserts. The first trick is to turn over every second container, so that it's lid rim is down. I get one extra container per row that way.
We hang a cork board by the freezer to organize the meat in our freezer. List each type of meat along one side of the board, such as Beef, Chicken, Pork. Under these categories we list such as chicken, boneless breasts leg quarters and ground.
I've used shoe boxes and small basins, three on each shelf, to divide my freezer. This still leaves room above the boxes to slide in frozen dishes and pizza. Ice cream and miscellaneous fit in front.
One great tip I've found very useful is to make a list of what I put in my freezer and place it on the front of my refrigerator with a magnet.
I saw this tip on Thrifty Fun last year and it has really been a big help for me in keeping the food in my chest type freezer separated and organized. I purchased several cloth bags from the grocery store and use them for stacking the vegetables and fruits.
I had a freezer with out the shelf inside. The food, all in different sizes and shapes, would pile up and slide everywhere. I put water in four bottles, found an old soda crate, and put it inside.
I always try to have frozen veggies on hand, and often use less than a full bag at a time. To keep from losing these partial bags, I keep a plastic crate in the freezer.
I got really tired of trying to find things in my freezer. I went to Big Lots and bought some plastic boxes. I stood my bags of meat on end like a file drawer.
Here are some great food tips for saving money on food by packaging and freezing it:
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I need ideas for organizing the narrow freezer space in a side-by-side fridge. Is there anywhere that I can get wire baskets or whatever to fit on my freezer shelves, to possibly create drawers or? My freezer shelves are 9 x 17. I have one pull-out shelf that sits 15 inches under a stationary shelf. It is very hard to utilize this space because it is so high and stacked foods come flying out in the front or in the back when I'm trying to get to stuff. It seems that some kind of bucket/basket to contain the items would at least allow me to pull it forward to get into it. I have a Whirlpool 21.8 cu ft side-by-side. I haven't found any Whirlpool freezer baskets/bins that I can buy.
Ikea. Container Store.
Yes I have nice baskets for my freezer. I got most of mine at the Container Store where they have 2 sizes. I also found that Wal-Mart carries in 1 size. You could first look at their websites. They really make it nice tho to organize frozen foods and you can slide in and out. Now everything is much neater and easy to get at.
Ideas for organizing an upright freezer. Post your ideas.
I purchased plastic bins at the dollar store for keeping in different types of food (one for chicken, another for beef, and a third for "other"...since that is all that will fit on one shelf). I have a different shelf for different foods, which sometimes overlap a bit. (top for meats, second for veggies, third for fruits and desserts, and bottom for breads)
A variation is to use shaker-style (or other sturdy weave and design) baskets - I put fruit in these, and it adds a quaint, eye-pleasing touch to the inside of the fridge.
Is there a certain way to stack food in your upright freezer? For example, should I put meat on top shelf, ice cream on second shelf, etc.?
By Pat M.
Gosh, I have never heard of a specific recommendation; and will watch to see if others do have one. That said, I like to keep meats together, fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, and the like. I prefer it that way because it makes it easier to keep track of what is in there. As to which particular shelf gets what, for me it has more to do with available space. Because prepared foods tend to come in boxes, they take more space; Bagged and boxed vegetables fit in my door shelves. I use topless cardboard boxes and unused dishpans as 'drawers" for smaller items.
What is really important to me is to make the items easy to find so I can minimize the amount of time my door is open, as my freezer is not frostless! Using boxes and bins let me pull out the bin and close the door while I find what I am looking for.
Always put meat on the very bottom. That way, nothing drips on to anything. I like using the plastic drawer units you can get anywhere. I put bagged veggies and fruit in them, as they are hard to keep their shape. Shredded cheese works good in them, too, and you can label the drawers. Plastic see thru' shoe boxes from the dollar stores work well, too, as they can be stacked.
Also, these items keep the freezer burn problem way down!
Compartmentalizing is the key. I hope this helps!
Here are some food freezing tips. Post your ideas below!
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The Freezer door: This is the warmest part of the freezer. I use it to store hot dogs, vegetables, butter, juices and the half-gallon milk jugs filled with water for picnic coolers.
Shelves: I used 3 plastic "bins" to sort my meat (purchased in bulk and shrink vac'd). One bin each for chicken, beef and pork. At a glance I can see if I need to purchase more ground beef, pork loin or bacon when is is on sale. Meat is portioned out into meal size servings and wrapped for proper storage.
When wrapping meat, be sure and label with an indelible pen (on the seam or on a label) the date. Use the oldest first.
I purchase items when they are on sale and when I have a coupon. I keep stocked up on frozen meals for "brown bag" lunches - much cheaper and healthier than fast food at work. I ALWAYS purchase butter when it is on sale, sometimes 10 pounds at a time. This especially comes in handy for holiday baking!
For more freezer advice:
By Diana from Prospect, KY
I make prepared meals and they're all stacked alternating types of dishes in the front right hand corner, I vacuum seal everything so I don't worry about things going bad, I have food which is up to but if not more than 5 years old and is still good as long as the seal is not broken.
Now I do organize my refrigerator with baskets, hot sauce in 1, jellies and jams in another, mustard, Mayonnaise, Ketchup, pickle relish and salad dressings in another, I have several baskets with fresh fruits or vegetables and I keep my rice, popcorn and pasta in the refrigerator also and they have their own basket. There is a catch all basket for the little odd things. (07/09/2008)
How do you organize a refrigerator freezer in a way that you can find what you want or even find what you have?
I also pull everything out every few months to ensure something didn't fall too far to the back and get forgotten. (07/17/2005)
If I add items to the freezer, the items are handwritten on the list as well. (07/20/2005)
We have an upright newer freezer that has several large slide out baskets. This new freezer is much more economical than our old freezer of 33 years!
We have several purchased baskets; I bought a larger wire basket from Wal-Mart and several of the plastic Square (milk carton type) containers & DH cut the top down a bit ... these will slide out easily. I also made tags and heat laminated them ... Beef, Chicken, Pork, Seafood and Miscellaneous and (punched holes) in the tags and attached to the baskets with zip ties.
Several baskets are easy to take out of the freezer and rearrange by dates ... we do have a tendency of adding new items quickly and not pay attention to the old versus new meats on top!
The top shelf is sort of a hodge podge fruits and stocks and a few tomatoes that we put into plastic containers that we have frozen. A Loaf of bread or a pizza.
The door is for vegetables, margarine/butter, juice, some meats like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, etc.
If you see signs on the baskets, this automatically organizes you. For us, this seems to work very well. Good Luck. (07/27/2005)