When I shop, I tend to shop in bulk. I feel it saves me money in the long run and again time so I’m not always running back to the store mid week. My secret that makes organization in my life so much easier? Plastic ziplock bags! Coming back from the grocery store is usually just as much work as the shopping trip itself. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned around the way.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
I wrap each breast individual with seran wrap then place them in a single layer in a freezer ziplock bag to prevent them from getting freezer burn. I haven’t purchased a food saver yet, but its up there on my list of wants. People who use it, swear by them. The packages I buy my chicken breasts in tend to have at least 15 pieces of chicken. By wrapping each breast individually, I can take out the number of breasts I need each time as they don’t freeze together. If there is a slow cooker recipe that calls for chopped chicken breasts that I’ll be making soon, I cut up the breasts and place them in a small bag.
Roasts (Beef or Pork)
It may seem intimidating at first, but you know that HUGE pork loin the length of your arm for $25? It’s totally worth the investment. You can bring that loin home, cut it up into smaller roasts that will fit inside your slow cooker for pulled pork sandwiches, cut them into 1 inch chops for pork chops or cut it up into chunks for making pork kabobs or stews. I use the same technic here with the roasts and pork chops. I’ll wrap up each item separately and place in a freezer bag so I can pull out what I want, when I need. The pork pieces, I’ll label a smaller bag with what type of meat it is and I’ll also put the date. I don’t like mystery meat in my freezer and tend to leave it for months until I finally throw it out because I don’t know how old it is. By labeling the bag, I’ll help prevent this from happening. I tend to use regular ziplock sandwich bags for my meats but will place these bags in the larger freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. If you have a food saver, this is where it would come in handy.
This also works for beef just as well as it works for pork. A little trick I learned along the way is that you can put any meat in its frozen state into your slow cooker and it will cook at the way through. I’ve been doing this for close to ten years and it has never failed me. So for those mornings you’re craving a nice hot stew, grab a bag of chopped beef, toss it in your slow cooker with all your vegetables and walk away. All the chefs out there are probably cringing at this thought as I know you get a lot of flavour from browning your meat before you cook it with everything else. But let’s compare, they are paid to be in the kitchen. Last time I checked, my husband was not cutting me a cheque to cook for him and I know for a fact he would never even notice the difference.
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