I love freezer cooking AKA once a month cooking AKA batch cooking. It feels SO good to have a freezer full of food for either my family to eat or to be able to pull from for people that need meals. However, a freezer can become full VERY quickly if you don’t use your space well. There is nothing worse than cooking a ton of food and then not having anywhere to put it.
That’s why I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ziploc (and yes I’m a brand snob on this one) freezer bags. You fill them up, push out the air, smush (love my technical terms) them flat and then lay them flat in your freezer. They stack GREAT. And, once they’re frozen you can even stack them like books on a bookshelf for even more room in the freezer.
The hardest thing about using a freezer bag is getting things like chili into the freezer bag without making a HUGE mess. They don’t exactly hold the shape you need. A few years ago, I started using this big purple cup to help me. I line the cup with the baggie and pull the edges out over the sides. Then, I use a soup ladle to transfer my chili, or soup, or whatever into the baggie. It doesn’t fill the baggie all the way up, but it fills it enough that when I pull the baggie out, what’s already in there will hold it upright. Then I finish it off, lay it flat, smush out the air, and put it in the freezer.
My big purple cup – it works for me!
Just an FYI: I think I got my big purple cup at Walmart years ago. They sell them every year in various colors. This is the only big purple cup that survived the great purge on 09 when we got rid of everything we don’t use regularly. All the other big purple cups were in the garage sale. But, I had to save just one for my baggies!!
Linked to Works for Me Wednesday.
I love Ziploc bags, too! The cheaper brands just aren’t worth the aggravation. (I also vacuum seal some of my things, but you can’t really vacuum liquids, LOL!)
Ziploc really makes great bags. Fortunately, our commissary brand also is great. I really dislike Hefty zippered bags. They never stay closed.
I don’t have a big purple cup. But I have a can that used to have spaghetti sauce in it. It’s the perfect size for the quart bags. I used to use an old margarine tub for my gallon size bags when filling them.
I ♥ OAMC.
AH!! That’s so smart!!!
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I love Ziploc bags for freezing, too, and have noticed that the “zippers” hold better and last longer than other brands–I wash and reuse them (just turn them inside out, soak them in the soapy water while washing dishes, rinse thoroughly, and hang over big spoons in the dish drainer until dry) and mark the contents on the bag each time, so I notice which ones last longer! Glad bags are pretty good too.
BUT: I wouldn’t put hot foods into them. Are you refrigerating your chili before you put it in the bags? If not, it may be melting the plastic–not enough to make holes in it but enough to get chemicals into your food. Plastic bags are not safe for hot food.
Great point Becca about letting the food cool.
I always let things get room temp before putting them into baggies. Might need to go back and add that to the post.
Thanks for pointing it out!!!
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Such an efficient idea for the freezer
I love my purple cup. I use it ALL the time!
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