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Eat It or Freeze It and Use Your Freezer Treasure!

Eat It or Freeze It and Use Your Freezer Treasure!

The freezer is one of the greatest tools we have to avoid food waste. By freezing food for the future you can save it from ending up in the bin and create a treasure chest of convenient meals that can save you time, money and energy every day.

Our most recent National Food Waste Attitudes Survey found that over 80% of Irish people consider themselves “very bad at keeping track of food in freezer”. However, 20% also said that they started freezing food items more often during the Covid-19 lockdowns. We can build on this!

Whether you’re already freezing batch cooked meals and leftovers like a pro, or your freezer feels likes an abandoned wasteland right now, we’ve got lots of helpful and easy tips to help you make the most of what’s in your freezer.

  1. If you don’t plan on eating your food, freeze it:

  • Did you know that food can be frozen right up to its use-by date? If you’ve got something that’s about to expire that you’re not going to use, putting it in the freezer acts like a pause button so you can enjoy it at another time.
  • Our golden rule is eat it or freeze it so if you know you’ll only get through half a loaf of bread before it starts to go stale, try freezing slices in pairs to defrost as you need. If you cooked a huge batch of lasagne, freeze the extra in portions for an easy dinner another time.
  1. Make the most of the food in your freezer:

  • Do you know what’s in your freezer right now? Check your freezer regularly to discover the treasure of foods already there and include them in your meal planning.
  • Adding some staples that you tend to use often, like peas or frozen fish or soup, means you’ll have a ready store of food when you need it, saving a trip to the shops, and money!
  1. Do a freezer cook-out every three months

  • Food can be kept in the freezer for three to six months (check out our A-Z Guide for more!) so make a habit of regularly eating it and you’ll be sure not to pass this point.
  • Regularly using up the store of food in your freezer to make meals will save you money and avoid wasting food. It’s also a great way to create space when you know you’ll need it, for example, in the run up to special celebration, or at Christmas.
  1. Organise your freezer for success

  • Add dates to items you freeze and put new food items behind ‘older’ ones – so when you look in the freezer the first thing you see is what should be eaten next!
  • Freeze food in clear, sealed containers or bags – if food is properly sealed, it should last well for 3-6 months without succumbing to freezer burn. Using clear bags and containers means you’ll see exactly what you’ve got by freezing in portion sizes you can defrost only as much as you need.
  • Keep like with like – for example, keep frozen meals together and frozen veg in a dedicated space so you can check in easily and always find what you’re looking for.
  • Cool before freezing – hot food should be left to cool to room temperature before freezing. Freezing hot food will increase the freezer temperature and could cause other foods to start defrosting.

Read more about Freezing Fundamentals and freezing food safely!


Do you have other freezer tips? Share them with us no social media using #StopFoodWaste

#FreezerFoodTreasure #EatItOrFreezeIt.

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