Tips for Stockpiling in Your Freezer
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Tips for Stockpiling in Your Freezer

Posted on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 5:54 pm
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How long does frozen food stay good?  Will it last forever?  Here are some tips about stockpiling in your freezer. How long will the food in your freezer stay good? Obviously, the frozen food you have stockpiled in your freezer will stay fresh for a longer amount of time than if it sat in your refrigerator. Did you know that you cannot store frozen food forever? Here are some tips for stockpiling in your freezer.

Label everything!
What is inside that frozen bundle of aluminum foil? How long, exactly, has this plastic freezer bag of chicken been stored away? One of the easiest ways to waste food is to forget to label it. You aren’t sure what’s inside, so you grab something else to thaw out for dinner instead.

Food in your freezer will not stay good forever. This is why it is vital that you label everything with the date that it went into the freezer. It is smart to label the contents of each freezer bag and bundle of aluminum foil with the type of food that it contains.

How long will it last?
Is that frozen food still safe to eat? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a helpful list that will tell you exactly how long a food can be stored frozen.

Dairy
Unopened egg substitutes – 1 year
Milk – 3 months
Yogurt – 1 to 2 months

Blanched/Cooked Vegetables
Beans (either green or waxed) – 8 months
Carrots – 10 to 12 months
Celery – 10 to 12 months
Spinach – 10 to 12 months
Summer squash – 10 to 12 months
Winter squash – 10 to 12 months
Tomatoes – 2 months

Hot dogs & Luncheon Meats
Unopened package of hot dogs – 1 to 2 months (if you put it in freezer wrap)
Opened package of lunch meat – 1 to 2 months
Unopened package of lunch meat – 1 to 2 months

Frozen Dinners and Entrees
Keep it frozen until it is ready to heat – 3 to 4 months

Meat
Beef (steaks or roasts) – 6 to 12 months
Pork (chops of roasts) – 4 to 6 months
Chicken or turkey (whole) – 1 year
Chicken or turkey (pieces) – 9 months
Lean fish (cod, flounder) – 6 months
Fatty fish (salmon) – 2 to 3 months
Bacon – 1 month
Sausage – 1 to 2 months
Pre-cooked smoked breakfast links or patties – 1 to 2 months

Leftovers
Cooked meat, meat dishes, egg dishes, soups, stews and vegetables – 2 to 3 months
Gravy & meat broth – 2 to 3 months
Cooked poultry & fish – 4 to 6 months

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.