Lets face it, we often keep our fridge and freezer well-stocked, but some things tend to sit there and gather dust (or in this case, freezer burn!). Eventually those frozen foods get tossed out because they expire. Instead of letting things accumulate in your freezer, set aside a couple days or a week to work on using up some of those items.
There are so many benefits to freezer clean out week!
~ save money by not going grocery shopping or by only buying a few ingredients – just think, go a week without grocery shopping!
~ reduce waste by not letting foods expire
~ use up products that are taking up space
~ clean out your freezer because you are moving / going on vacation / spring cleaning
Here are some tips to get started.
Check expiration dates & freezer burn
The first thing you can do is to go through expiration dates, which will make it easier to prioritize what to use. This is even something even the kids can help with. If something is just newly expired, you can decide if you want to toss it or use it immediately. I am not recommending to eat expired foods, but if you find some frozen green beans just a couple days beyond the expiration date, I would guess it is still fine.
Another thing to consider is freezer burn. Regardless of expiration date, you may find foods that have a lot of freezer burn and may be caked with frost, and those are usually an easy decision to toss.
While you may want to toss some freezer burned foods, you can also salvage some. For example, use frozen fruits in smoothies.
Get your freezer organized. By putting like things together, it gives you a better idea of what you have and where to find it. Plus, to use up frozen items, it helps to know what quantities you have to put together for a recipe.
Some examples include vegetables, meat, fruit, and desserts.
Put oldest food to use on top
Prioritize what foods you want to use first. Put those on top so that those are the first to get used up.
Start with those that are close to expiration and/or showing some freezer burn.
Come up with recipes
Let’s say you have a couple cans of artichokes that are about to expire. Do your research and come up with some recipes to use up the artichokes. This also might mean adding something else to your shopping list, like linguine – or perhaps also pulling that out of the pantry. The goal is to use up a bunch of ingredients, prioritizing the ingredients that are expiring first. Try to minimize adding things to the grocery list, and I try to only buy fresh produce when I am cleaning out the pantry so that we are keeping things healthy.
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About the Author: Marysa
Busy blogger and mom of two girls. We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure!