When it comes to meal planning and prep, storing healthy staples in our deep freezer is one of the biggest tricks I utilize to make sure we always have healthy meals on hand. We found our first deep freezer to be a worthwhile investment when I was nursing our first daughter and storing up the extra breast milk. During this season as new parents, our deep freezer also provided us with the space for several make-ahead freezer meals that every new mom needs. For these reasons alone, even a smaller chest-sized deep freezer is something I would encourage all young families to at least consider investing in one early on.
Now that we moved out to "the country" and are 20 minutes from a grocery store and 30 minutes from a Costco, we have upgraded to a full-size deep freezer. This has caused me to realize that although I love grocery shopping in a geeky way, buying the same exact staples each week used to drive me crazy.
It took unnecessary time to plan and shop for, and it positioned me to purchase whatever items I could find despite them being a good deal or not. Paying too much for healthy food when I don't have to is another thing that drives me crazy, so thankfully keeping a properly stocked freezer has minimized how often that happens.
Now, I consider these the top reasons to have a deep freezer:
- Buy in bulk or when items are on sale and save.
- Shop less frequently for staple items my family eats frequently.
- Tote my toddler through the grocery store in a less-stressed and more-efficient fashion.
- Batch cook quick and easy make-ahead meals.
- Have a meal ready in minutes any night of the week, while requiring no major meal prep or planning.
Optimizing your freezer space, no matter how big or small it is, can create a real time-, money-, and sanity-saver. Consider how keeping an ample freezer stock of these freezer staples may benefit your family's food supply.