Thursday, January 19, 2012

Using the Freezer to Save Money

There is some produce that I simply don't have the time to attempt to grow. One of these is mushrooms. I love to saute mushrooms to put in an omelet, top a pizza with, put in casseroles, you name it! I got tired of buying them in tiny little cans or spending $3 for a pound of fresh mushrooms though.
As I was looking through the produce I saw several containers of marked down 1lb containers of mushrooms. Then it hit me. The freezer! So I loaded up my cart with 3 lbs of mushrooms for $1.35 a lb and set to work.

I had to make sure that I didn't procrastinate and end up with a bunch of rotten mushrooms, since they were marked down. So as soon as I got home I washed them up, sliced them, and froze them on a cookie sheet. Only put one layer on the sheet though, if you don't, you'll end up with a big chunk of mushrooms that are hard to break apart.

I was thrilled! I ended up with an entire gallon zip-lock baggie full of  mushrooms, ready to use! The next evening I threw a handful in the skillet to make my own concoction of Spinach-Mushroom Chicken. It turned out great.

I have to admit, I used to have the attitude that I should only can and dry everything. If I resorted to using the freezer, then I was being too "modern" and not trying to live how our ancestors did to the fullest. But honestly, if they had access to things we have nowadays, I would imagine that they would think that I was insane for not taking advantage of every method we have to preserve foods!

I still like to make sure things are balanced though. I would hate to lose all of the foods I put away because the power went out and everything was in the freezer. Likewise, I don't want to can things that my family doesn't eat. We don't like canned green beans, so we freeze them so they still have that fresh crunch.

Since this discovery, I have been on the lookout for what else I can buy cheaply and freeze. Abbi over at Proverbs 31 Living just put out a great article about freezing sandwich meat! You have no idea how excited I was to see that. I thought I was the only one constantly feeding wasted sandwich meat to the dogs...

I have also shredded half a head of cabbage that was leftover and just put it in the freezer. With only two of us, it's hard to use up an entire head of cabbage. Now I just grab a handful of frozen cabbage when I make Spinach and Cabbage Minestrone Soup. :)

I also love to pick extra blueberries and strawberries when they are in season to freeze for smoothies later in the year.

Does anyone else have anything that freezes well that saves you money? Please share!

This post is linked to The Country Homemaker Hop, Living Well Blog Hop, and Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop!

Growing Home


  1. At Thanksgiving time, when sweet potatoes were 20 cents a pound, I bought some, peeled, boiled, and mashed them. Then I froze them in 3/4 cup portions in zippy bags for Sweet Potato Muffins.

    Great idea for the mushrooms. I never would have guessed that it was possible to freeze them like that. Thanks for the tip!

    1. That is a great idea! I will have to check out that recipe :)

  2. I didn't know mushrooms could be frozen and I love mushrooms, especially in omelets and sauces. Great tip!

  3. I have frozen blueberries and sometimes I mix up a batch of fresh cut fruits like bananas, strawberries, grapes, peaches, and mango. I cut them into one inch chunks before freezing. When my husband wants a smoothie I take a few handfuls out, blend them fine with some vanilla bean ice cream and a little milk. I also shelled a gallon bag of my own fresh grown peas last summer that I have been slowly adding to soups and stews ever since.

  4. I love the freezer! I buy bulk meat and put in the freezer, other things on sale too if I need it. I used to pick lots of mushrooms and berries when I lived in Sweden and put in the freezer. In Sweden you're allowed to pick berries/mushrooms at no cost in the woods due to the All Man's Right Law..It was easy to fill the freezer with berries when it was free to pick them..Thanks for linking up to Living Well Blog Hop!

  5. We freeze meat, peppers, peas, beans, corn, blueberries, rhubarb, strawberries..
    I never thought of mushrooms. Good idea.

  6. It's great to hear everyone's use of the freezer! I would freeze Morel mushrooms in the spring, but we always eat them all!

  7. This is a great idea, especially for my house because I am the only one that eats mushrooms. I always want some but dont want to buy a whole container or can for myself, so maybe I can find some like you did and freeze them.

    You are right about the freezing, I bet they would have used the freezer way back when if they could. I am like you, just making sure I don't put EVERYTHING in there just in case!