Y’all probably know by now that Wednesday and Saturday are my preferred Kitchen Days, which means on those days, you can usually find me in my apron doing some cooking, baking, and prepping up a storm! To see just what I make each week, on by checking out my Kitchen Day escapades on Instagram and Facebook. And today I’m sharing some of my thoughts and tips on food storage.
We eat most of our meals at home and my kids are hungry a lot, so I always make a ton of food. I get asked often what in the world I do when I cook all this bulk food! Where and how do I store it all? I realize that not everyone will be able to cook as much as I do or have room to store it all! But because bulk cooking and buying health foods in bulk are some of our family’s priorities, I’ve always found a way to store it all.
Jumping right in – here are a few quick food storage tips:
Tip # 1 – Get an extra refrigerator, freezer, or BOTH.
My husband is a hunter. We regular split the butchering of a cow with family. My dad is an avid gardener. I also know that when I purchase food, specifically ingredients, I will be getting it in large quantities. For example, if I’m buying oats, I get 50 lbs. at a time. If I go to Aldi and there’s a sale on our preferred butter or nitrate-free bacon, I may buy 16 of them.
I have an extra fridge and two extra deep freezers. And to be perfectly honest, given our family size and how we go about things, I don’t know what I would do without them. If you don’t have an extra freezer, you can almost always find used refrigerators and freezers on Facebook yard sales or Craigslist. Sometimes people will give their old refrigerators and freezers away for free if you take care of the hauling. That said, these principles can apply no matter the amount of space you have (or don’t).
When I cook, I am cooking from the expectation that I have two fridges and two freezers. I know what they hold and how much space I have in them at any given time. And I freeze anything and everything I can! Did you know you can freeze whole peaches? Avocados? Cheese? Butter?
Tip # 2 – Whenever possible, store your food in glass.
I personally would prefer to store everything in glass and I love the containers with the airtight interlocking lids. In my kitchen, I have entire shelves dedicated to my glass food storage products. I used to just wash and re-use my old butter, sour cream, yogurt, etc. containers to be more frugal. But I’ve since learned that a lot of these plastics just aren’t made for reuse. Reheating or not, it’s often not recommended by the manufacturers to use these containers repeatedly. I know some people say BPA-free is fine, but I avoid plastics if I can for long-term food storage.
For the most part, I do not use plastic containers for food storage.
I bought a bunch of my glass containers at Sam’s Club because I find the best deals on food storage solutions there! And I absolutely love these glass containers with interlocking lids. They snap on tightly – air tight y’all! – and are easy to stack in the fridge. I got a big box of these on sale for less than $25!
Tip # 3 – ALWAYS refrigerate food before you put it in the freezer.
I know some people disagree, but I find that this seriously cuts down on my freezer burn situation! You want to cool completely a food at room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours (or overnight!) before freezing. I never directly freeze things. You will find it cuts down majorly on freezer burn to do things this way. My preferred method of food storage is ALWAYS the freezer, except for bulk grains and the like.
If and when things need to go in the freezer, I prefer to use Ziploc bags. Why? Because they take up so much less space! I lay most things flat to freeze so that once they’re frozen, they will stack very easily. I do recommend you purchase the thicker, freezer-quality bags. These are made to be more durable so they better handle the cold freezer temperatures.
And just in case you’re curious or need some inspiration for your own Kitchen Day, here’s the breakdown of what I made recently during one of my Kitchen Days:
- Two loaves of bread for sandwiches – we go through A LOT of bread in this house.
- No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Fat Bombs – this time I snuck some Magnesium in them hopefully to help the kids sleep better! We eat a lot of fat bombs here so I like to always make sure I have them on hand.
- I made a big batch of Salmon Burgers to eat with mashed potatoes and peas. These reheat SO well.
- I cooked a bunch of chicken that I topped with Trader’s Joe’s “everything” bagel seasoning.
- I made a huge batch of taco meat.
- Lastly, I whipped up a batch of my Chocolate Avocado Pudding for the kids.
Please comment below with any food storage tips or ideas you have to share!