Freeze Up the Savings
By Shannon M. Medisky
‘Tis the season for holiday cheer, gift shopping and, fortunately, lots of savings. If you’ve ever wished you could push a “pause” button on some of the sales, especially the food sales, in order to take advantage of them later on in the year, you’re not alone. Admittedly, it’s great to be able to purchase all your holiday baking supplies at a significant savings, but it’s downright painful to see such low prices during two months of the year and then be made to pay through the teeth the remaining 10 months. If you’re ready to matters-and savings-into your own hands, keep reading.
If you’re lucky enough to have extra freezer space whether in the form of an extra freezer or just a spacious one attached to your fridge, you have the opportunity to quite literally put a freeze on some of the savings until later on in the year. If freezer space is at a premium, just take stock of what you use most regularly and prioritize sales purchases and freezer space accordingly in order to maximize your overall savings and stretch your food dollar the farthest.
Granulated sugar and flour can all be had for a song during the holidays. Stock up and safely freeze it for long term storage by keeping it in the original manufacturer and then wrapping it again either in a layer of aluminum foil or a large resealable plastic storage bag. (This is exceptionally important for flour as it readily absorbs odors.) The great thing about freezing both flour and sugar is that it not only maintains the freshness, but both can be readily used straight from the deep freeze.
Sugar and fat, can’t be that unless, that is, it’s on sale for a great price! We’ve got the sugar part covered, but butter can also be easily frozen for later use. As is the case with flour, butter also can easily absorb different flavors and odors. So protect your savings investment and wrap a bit of aluminum foil around the butter packages. (The foil can be used again as it’s still clean.) When you’re in need of a bit of butter, just grab a brick from the freezer and let it gradually thaw in the fridge.
While eggs aren’t exactly readily freezable, that doesn’t mean there’s still not a way to snag some savings. Look for egg substitute often sold in cartons. These products are usually nothing more than egg whites with a bit of yellow food coloring and they freeze beautifully straight in the carton. Not only will your wallet thank you, but so will your waistline. With little to no fat to zero cholesterol, egg substitute products are great for every egg application from baking to scrambled.
Last but certainly not least, the holidays present a great opportunity to stock up on meats. From great big turkeys to spiral hams to Cornish game hens, a vast variety of great meats reliably show up on sales fliers throughout the season. In an effort to lure in more repeat business, some grocery stores even run specials enabling customers to earn free turkeys. Play your cards and your spending right, and you could very well stock up your freezer with great baking staples and a free bird to boot!
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