Sunday, October 24, 2010

Labeling Your Freezer Meals

Labeling your freezer meals is really important in order to eat your meals before they go bad.  I don't know how many time in the past things have gone into my freezer not to be seen again for months (maybe even a year or so at a time!).  I have a labeling system that seems to work pretty good for my family. 

After I have covered the dish with at least three layers of foil (two going the length of the pan and then one or two going the width of the pan), I write on the foil what the dish is, when I made it, and how to reheat the dish.

Sorry this picture is sideways, but this is how I label the "top" of my freezer meals.

When that is done I label whatever side is going to be facing me when I open the freezer door with the name of the dish and the date I made the dish.  Also, if the meal is going to go bad before or after 3 months, I put the date I need to eat it by.  Most dishes are good in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

So, now I can add this to my stack of meals in the freezer.  I also have a list of meals that I have in the freezer on my refrigerator.

When it comes to labeling things like meat, I put it in clear Ziplock bags (quart usually) and I make sure I label it as descriptively as possible.  Examples:
Cooked Ground Beef, 1 pound, date
Shredded Chicken Breast, 2 pounds, date
Chicken Thighs, about 1 pounds, 6 thighs, date
Cooked Ground Beef with Onion, 1 pound, date
Cooked, cubed Chicken Breast, 1 pound, date

The ground beef I get comes frozen in one pound packages.  I keep them frozen if I am not planning on using them for a casserole (like if I am making meat loaf one day or meatballs).  I can tell from the package that they are one pound ground beef.  If I was to buy "fresh" ground beef (not frozen), I would split it into bags by the pound and label them accordingly before freezing. 

Hope that helps!  Let me know if you have any other labeling ideas.  I would love to hear them!!

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