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Meal building blocks for the freezer

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  • waddy80
    waddy80 Posts: 1,157 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Fairly new to the Old style board but this thread made me swing into action today.

    I defrosted my freezer (something I had been putting off) and spent all afternoon filling it back up.

    I'd always frozen left over gravy / white sauce etc but I thought I would get ahead today and did some onions and tomato sauce.

    And cheese, what a great idea. Always used frozen grated cheese when i worked in catering, but never have done at home.

    I used containers which cost me 99p for ten from wilkinsons. Same as the plastic ones you get chinese takeaway in. Stackable and dishwasher safe.

    Thanks thriftlady for this thread, it has really spurred me on. Next step is to start menu planning more.
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  • pavlovs_dog
    pavlovs_dog Posts: 10,197 Forumite
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    thriftlady do you partly cook your veg base at all or just freeze it raw?
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  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
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    thriftlady do you partly cook your veg base at all or just freeze it raw?
    I freeze it raw PD, but you could cook it first to save even more time.
  • I freeze coconut milk in ice cube bags/ trays as often I don't use a whole can. 1 ice cube = 1 tbsp (approx). I also freeze stock and gravy. I have also just roasted off the Halloween pumpkin and frozen it in soup sized bags, ready roasted for soup.

    I also keep a stock of par boiled potatoes for roasties and bags of Duchesse potatoes.

    I also have pre fried onions and also mushrooms (bought reduced), sliced and fried. I also have 2oz portions of cheese eg Roquefort weighed and wrapped ready to go for some pasta dishes we like.

    I like the idea of the veg mix, Thriftlady and also the batter,Joannasmum.
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  • beany
    beany Posts: 349 Forumite
    I usually buy tinned tomato puree as it's usually cheaper than the tubes.
    Any not used I freeze in an ice cube tray,then pack into bags.
    Add one or two cubes to casseroles, soup etc
  • x_raphael_xx
    x_raphael_xx Posts: 4,317 Forumite
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    stefejb wrote: »
    brilliant ideas (as ever) I would add grated cheese - I buy huuuuuge moneysaving blocks and freeze it grated - defrosts very quicly even for sandwiches.
    your pastry - do you freeze it all watered and kneaded or at the breadcrumb stage?

    This is probably a stupid question...but do you freeze the grated cheese in little batches, or is it easy to grab a handful? :confused:

    I always thought the grated 'strands' would stick together in one big mass?
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  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    This is probably a stupid question...but do you freeze the grated cheese in little batches, or is it easy to grab a handful? :confused:

    I always thought the grated 'strands' would stick together in one big mass?
    I freeze a ginormous bag of it. It is easy to break up, just give the bag a whack, or massage it a bit with your hands and it all becomes loose ;)
  • dobs
    dobs Posts: 517 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I buy asda smartprice tupperwarefor my meals, thesmall square size usually makes one portion or you can get a bigger size.

    Dont know if these qualify as building blocks but i cook and freeze:Vegetable ratatouille as this can be used in lasagne, over jackets, in jacket skins with potato scooped out, over any pasta or rice,with mashed potato on top- i could go on!
    Plain fairy cakes to decorate later when kids are hungry, defrost v quickly.
    I make homemade veg and lentil soup, chuck in any veg and tinned toms,stock granules andlentils,water plus spuds. Then process til smooth butusually don't use all the juice thats left and freeze it touse in chicken casserole as hubby says its tastyesp with lentils in.

    Haven't time toadd morebut may pop back later to read some more of your great suggestions!
    grocery challenge jan 17 £ / 350.00
  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Posts: 3,573 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Just a thought that your 'building blocks' comment gave me...

    If you freeze the food in rectangular containers, you can pop out the frozen food into freezer bags, wrap them tightly and then label them on the sides - store them like books or videos in the freezer (if it's big enough), and you don't have to spend ages rooting around for them!

    (Competition now to find the first person whose freezer is in alphabetical order...)

    Well mine is sorted more or less from L to R Meat, fish, veg, the rest, with bread beingin the seperate section.

    I used to press out the frozen food and bag it up, but these days advanced to putting the food into a box that has a plastic bag inside it, just use the cheapests available, don't reuse... shame! I put all units of same type e.g Tom sauce into a big good quality bag, so I can tell when I have had the last one out.
    [SIZE=-1]"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"[/SIZE]
    Trying not to waste food!:j
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  • pmd
    pmd Posts: 65 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Not exactly cook-ahead, but prepare-ahead: Rather than see a sad half-lemon withering in the fridge after I've used a couple of slices, I buy unwaxed lemons (which tend only to come in packs of 4 anyway), slice and freeze them - then use them individually (a) with any grilled/ panfried/ microwaved fish, and (b) as ice-and-lemon in a G&T. Definitely worth the freezer space.
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