How to Freeze Cheese

Yes you read that title right I am posting about a good way (it’s probably not the only way) to store sliced cheese in the freezer. When I say sliced cheese I don’t mean those processed american cheese slices. What I mean is those real cheese slices by Kraft or Sargento among others. I have found in the past that when I freeze these then thaw them out they stick together despite being separated by manufacturer’s placed wax paper. So I figured out a great way to keep them separated without sticking together. Now this isn’t a pin yet, after I post this I will pin it lol but I wanted to share this because it’s a great way to save money! I keep posting about my own frugality and there is nothing I hate worse then paying full price for items…except maybe having to throw things away due to preventable issues! I recently got a bunch of Kraft Sliced Natural Cheese at a BOGO Sale ($2.99 each and I used a $1.50/2 coupon to pay $1.49 for 2 packages) so I used this to freeze them effectively.

Items needed:

Sliced Cheese

Freezer Paper

Freezer Bags

Ingredients

Ingredients

First I tore off a sizable chunk of freezer paper and I placed one slice of cheese on top of the paper leaving enough space at the bottom so you can fold this on top of the slice of cheese.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Lay cheese on freezer paper.

Then I laid another slice of cheese on top of the paper that I folded over the first cheese.

Fold over and add another.

Fold over and add another.

Then I roll the slices over so the top slice is covered then I add another slice and another until I have a packet of layered cheese, making sure none of the cheese is touching anything other then freezer paper.

 

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

4 slices layered and wrapped up.

I fit about 4 slices to a packet so I had 3 packets after all ten slices were rolled up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

All 10 slices wrapped up.

Then I put all packets in a freezer bag and placed the empty package on top so I knew which flavor was in each bag.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Everything all wrapped up and ready to store.

Once you needed cheese all you have to do is pull a bag out, thaw it in the fridge, and then peel a slice off the paper and use it! It may be a bit crumby, all cheese is after freezing it. But it should still be manageable enough after this to use.

Happy Pinning!

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Food (and life) Saving Tips

Imagine you’re cooking your favorite meal and halfway through it you realize you don’t have the spices for it or another important ingredient. Nothing is more frustrating right? Well thanks to Pinterest I have found so many neat tricks that have saved me a lot of time, money, and most important frustration!

Seasonings

I was halfway through making tacos one night when I realized I didn’t have any taco seasoning packets! I was also broke so I couldn’t just run out and buy one! Thankfully I remembered I had pinned some seasoning blends so I went to my computer and found this lifesaver!

Taco Seasoning:
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
mix and use! When I made this I omitted the red pepper flakes since I don’t like it to spicy. Also when using this put a little in at a time then taste it before adding more. I didn’t do this and my meat came out really spicy so I had to cut it down with water and more meat before we could eat it.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend:

I was making the pumpkin pie steel cut oats I realized that it called for pumpkin spice blend and I didn’t have any! S0 again I dug through my pins and found a great helping recipe.

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

mix together and use!

The best thing about these blends is the fact that they have no MSG, preservatives, or other additives! I like knowing what is in my food and I love how with a few simple spices you can save money by not buying packets at the store!

Freezing

Ever make something only to have a TON of it and no idea what to do with it all? I always freeze items for quick and tasty meals but I found some great tips that made this process a bit easier.

#1 Use a muffin tin!

Oatmeal in a muffin tin

Oatmeal in a muffin tin

(the pin http://highermiles.blogspot.com/2012/03/friday-food-oatmeal-from-freezer.html) After I made the pumpkin pie steel cut oats (post here https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/pumpkin-pie-steel-cut-oats/) I took a 1/2 cup measuring cup and filled the muffin tin with the oatmeal then I put it in the freezer. After they froze I used a knife to gently loosen them so they popped out and I put them in the baggie to save for later!

bag of oatmeal!

bag of oatmeal!

You can also use your freezer to make yummy desserts!

The pin: http://www.funelf.net/ice-tray-strawberries-chocolate-go/

Slice strawberries in half, place in an ice cube tray, pour melted chocolate over,and freeze! I would spray the tray with a bit of non stick spray so you can pop them all out then break apart!

Misc Tips: 

#1: Use your muffin tin to poach eggs!

Poached eggs

Poached eggs

Crack the eggs into a muffin tin and cook at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes! You can then freeze them like this then heat up for breakfast or make sandwiches out of them and freeze those!

#2 Use 2 cookie sheets to make crispy, baked sandwiches!

Perfect grilled sandwiches

Perfect grilled sandwiches

Hopefully these tips will help you in your cooking future!!

Happy Pinning!

Skip Grocery Shopping This Week part 2

In this post: https://aradiasilvermoon.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/skip-grocery-shopping-this-week/ I organized my cupboards thanks to some wonderful tips posted by The Budget Diet blog. Well since it said it would be a week long project I decided to clean out and organize my deep freezer!

What a mess!!

What a mess!!

 

As you can see it has been awhile since it has been defrosted or organized! Whenever I wanted to find something I had to dig around and move stuff which, at times, proved to be quite hazardous to my feet. Ever dropped a frozen package of hot dogs on top of your feet?? OUCH!!! So to start I took everything out and placed it on the floor of my utility room and I started throwing out old stuff. I found several pints of frozen yogurt that when I tasted them were gritty and freezer burned…nasty!…so I tossed them. I also tossed some old chili I had made who knows when and a few other waaaaaaaaaaay out of date things! Then I unplugged the freezer,  boiled multiple pans of water, placed them in the freezer and closed the door. When everything was thawed out hours later I wiped out all the water and lingering frost (my deep freezer is strategically placed over the drain in the utility room so when I defrost it there isn’t much mess on the floor.) and started putting things back in a more organized manner.

When I open the door...

When I open the door…

Easy to see what I have!

Easy to see what I have!

Nice and organized!

Nice and organized!

 

 

Now I can see what I have when I open the door without having to shift and move things! Yay no more bruised feet!! Also the frost was so bad that I found a package of tortillas buried under it as the defrosting started!

Tips from me:

#1 When organizing your freezer place the boxed items in a way that you can clearly see what is inside each ones. Now when I go for veggies I can see what each flavor is the second I open the freezer this make is a lot easier to locate what you need.

#2 Group by like items (i.e veggies) or brand (i.e Bird’s Eye or Green Giant) so you always know which self has what. My top shelf contains misc boxed frozen items, my second shelf has all the boxed snack food (ice cream bars, hot pockets, easy fries etc.), one basket holds all my frozen “loose” meats like hot dogs, individually wrapped pork chops and steaks etc along with my cheese, under that is all the frozen meat on a shelf (like packages of roast, chicken breasts,  lunch meats etc.), and the bottom basket holds my frozen creamers and fresh takes.

#3 Like she stated in the blog if you come across anything you have no idea what to with just do a quick internet/pinterest search and you can find lots of recipes!

So now that I can clearly see what I have I cook for a whole other week just using what I have on hand…apparently we’re going to be eating a lot of asparagus lol!!

Happy Pinning!

Skip Grocery Shopping This Week!

I already had dinner planned for tonight and it wasn’t anything I had pinned so I picked another one out that I had been meaning to do. Lets say I have been meaning to do this for a long, long time but always put it off. Well tonight I completed it as my Project Pinterest of the night!

The pin: http://www.thebudgetdiet.com/skip-grocery-shopping-this-week

It states: 

“Good news…here’s a way you can save money at the grocery store – skip grocery shopping this week! Bad news…you’re going to clean out and organize your pantry, refrigerator and freezer! Consider this your challenge for the week!”

I started with my cupboards and oh boy did it take some work! I found a lot of multiples of things all spread out…I had so many because I didn’t see the ones I had so I went and bought more! I had about 10 cans of green beans alone! I only found one expired item so it got tossed and the rest I grouped up into like items and got them cupboards looking mighty spiffy!

 

My drink, oatmeal, and snack shelf.

My drink, oatmeal, and snack shelf.

My veggie shelf. See all the jarred tomatoes and canned green beans I had?

My veggie shelf. See all the jarred tomatoes and canned green beans I had?

Top part is baking mixes, middle is condiments, and bottom is pasta.

Top part is baking mixes, middle is condiments, and bottom is pasta.

Raw baking ingredients.

Raw baking ingredients.

 

In the last photo you can see a pink plastic basket. I decided to use this to hold my loose envelope spices (i.e taco seasoning, gravy mixes, marinades etc) since I never knew what to do with them. Now they are all in one tidy spot ready to use! Tomorrow I will tackle the deep freezer….which I am not looking forward to lol! I will add at this point the reason I have some multiples (like the frosting and boxed pasta) is because I use coupons. No…no…I am not an “extreme couponer” that is actually an insult to good, smart shoppers since that show portrays people using coupons in ways they weren’t meant to be used.  I can get loads of items for cheap but draw the line at like a bazillion mustards! So now you know one of my secrets so please don’t judge me for my 8 boxes of macaroni noodles!!

Changes I would make:

#1 None at all these instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow! 

#2 The writer has some great tips like making a snack bowl and cleaning as you organize to make things easier…love it!

#3 I really liked the tip about searching the internet for cooking ideas if you find items you don’t know what to do with. I found 3 cans of Libby’s canned pumpkin I got for super cheap after the last holiday season. A quick search of Pinterest and I found Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats…crock pot style. Can’t wait to try this!

Happy Pinning!