Friday, December 5, 2008

Save Money wrapping Frozen Foods!

Often, the best prices per pound for meats are on the 'family size' packages. We are a small family, so I bring these monster packs home, divide them up and re-wrap in smaller portions. The price of zipper bags, foil, freezer paper, etc. can make the savings evaporate into nothing! I've found a way to wrap up meat at home for very little expense.

I have been doing this for years, with great success. I have never had any freezer burn when I use this method. It works great, and it's cheap!

All you need is meat, plastic wrap, newspaper, scotch tape and a marker. This is how I do it:

First, I divide the meat - ground meat, chicken breasts, whatever I've gotten - into portions that make sense for the size of our family and the way that I cook. I wrap each portion in plastic wrap, making sure the entire portion is covered and free of air spaces. Next I wrap each portion in a paper cover. Put the packet at one end, in the center of the sheet of newspaper. These are small packages. If I were wrapping something larger, I might use full sheets of newspaper instead of a single page.
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Next, begin rolling the newspaper/packet. Photobucket

After it's covered in a single layer of paper (just one turn) fold in the sides. I taper the sides a wee bit, so it will stay tidy as I go.
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Note: If the meat is 'juicy', there is a chance of some leakage through the plastic wrap unless the ends of the plastic are facing up when I'm done wrapping. I just pay attention to how many times I flip it, and make sure to get it positioned properly. (This is easier than it sounds.)

Keep rolling...
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...until I get to the end of the paper. See how it's tapered in a bit?
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Tape the end shut with scotch tape and label the packet.
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Repeat. Voila'!
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These are ready for the deep freeze, and the expense of re-wrapping was much less than with other options. The food is completely encased in plastic, and the paper provides protection from freezer burn. The labeling tells me what we have, and it can't fall off the way a sticker sometimes will in cold temperatures.

When it's time to thaw, I simply remove the selected item from the freezer and take off the paper wrapping and thaw as I normally would. At this point, the plastic will very likely leak 'meat juice' as the meat thaws, so it's important to put it on a plate or in a bowl.

That's how I keep my savings where they belong - in my pocket! I hope this was helpful! Questions? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.

9 comments:

FromThe Creek said...

That is a great idea! I will have to try it.

Libby@Thrifty Victorian home said...

That is a great idea! I always get the big packs of meat too!

Susan said...

This is such a great idea! I hate how much $ I waste using freezer bags. I'm going to try this!

Krista said...

This was a great tip! Thanks for sharing. I hate having to use my expensive plastic baggies for freezing meat, so this is awesome!

Tate Family said...

Awesome idea! Thanks!!

homeschoolmom4 said...

Woohoo! Great idea, girl. I usually use plastic wrap and then put them in a gallon freezer bag. We go through it so fast it doesn't have time to get icky. Then I label the gallon bag and reuse when empty. ;)

GrammyGoo said...

I go through soooooo many freezer bags. I am going to try this my next Meat Shop, thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

I've been meaning to try this, and I finally did. I love it! Thanks so much for the idea!

Heather Mahon Estey said...

Thank you! My husband is a butcher and he said that he can see this working too, although we use freezer paper because he gets it so cheap. :) I am glad you posted this on my blog!

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