Saving Stuff

Efficient use of freezer space

Published: Donnerstag, 21. Januar 2010

How many times have you come back from the supermarket with a load of shopping including frozen items for the freezer, only to discover that there's no room in there?  You couldn't even squeeze a sausage in there it's so full.  It's a common enough problem so here's a few practical tips to help you make the most of the limited space in your freezer.

First of all, make sure you defrost your freezer on a regular basis.  As well as releasing all that space used up by "The Ice Monster" your freezer will actually be more energy efficient.  Most manufacturers recommend defrosting every three to four months to maintain peak efficiency.  Basically when there's a reasonable amount of frosting around on the shelves and the drawers are beginning to stick, you know it's time to do it.

full freezer drawerMany of the products we store in freezers tend to come with an excess of packaging.  A package of steak mince for example will be in a film covered plastic tray but half of the space will be taken up by air.  That's not a very good use of space so it might be worth removing the packaging and using freezer bags.  One thing that I should point out here though is that by removing the original packaging, you will no longer have a record of the expiry date, contents or ingredients.  It would be a good idea to label freezer bags with this information before packing the freezer, particularly as a non-descript bag of frozen meat isn't that appealing when you're hunting around trying to find something for dinner.

Knowing what's in your freezer at any given time is extremely useful.  As well as making it easier to plan meals, you'll also know how full the freezer is and what you need to buy next time you go shopping.  Personally, I use a spreadsheet shared online with my partner to do this, but there are lots of other ways to keep an inventory of the contents of your freezer.

Finally, it's also worth considering that your freezer is most efficient when it is full.  You might be wondering how you can possibly save space or find room for food if it's always full?  The answer is quite simple.  Keep the freezer 70-80% full of food and pad out the remaining space with ice packs or ice trays.  The excess ice can be removed easily when the need arises and they're always handy to have when you're going out for the day and taking a cool bag.  Ice cubes always come in handy!