A few days ago, I introduced you to some of the pantry staples that I consider essential. Here's a list of some freezer staples:
1. Freezer Meals -- I usually have at least one casserole on hand in the freezer. They're great for "skinny weeks" when the grocery budget is thin, or for giving to someone in need.
2. Bagged Vegetables -- I use these for Little One's homemade baby food, plus they're great for portioning out however much I need for a recipe or for rounding out a meal.
3. Spaghetti Sauce -- I make my own, portion it and freeze it in bags!
4. "Shake Popsicles" -- The kids love homemade smoothies. I make more than they need in one sitting and freeze the leftovers in popsicle molds. Instant healthy treat!
5. Rolls -- Most recipes make batches of two dozen. I bake one dozen and flash freeze the other half for storage in the freezer. I can take out and bake as many as I want at once.
6. Raw Meat -- Chicken, ground beef, some kind of pork are in my freezer most of the time. I buy when it's on sale and use it as I need it.
7. Cooked Meat -- Using my slow cooker, I cook a big batch of chicken, then shred or chop it and portion it into meal sizes to store in the freezer. It thaws in a flash in the microwave or right in the pot for soup or sauce. Ground beef also freezes well.
8. Chicken Broth -- I strain the broth from cooking the chicken in the Crock*Pot and store it in the freezer if I won't use it in the next few days.
9. Pecans -- My sweetie and I love pecans in baked goods! The kids are ambivalent about them. Depending on how kind I feel that day, I may make both kinds. :)
10. Baby Food -- Right now, I keep homemade baby food at all times in the freezer. Each night I take out four containers to use the next day.
11. Fruit -- For use in smoothies and other recipes, mostly berries.
12. Breakfast Items -- My sweetie loves waffles and pancakes, and I freeze the leftovers for another meal. They reheat perfectly in the oven. I also occasionally make breakfast burritos to keep in the freezer. They thaw quickly with great results in the microwave.