My first “carnival” entry!
Call me frugal, efficient, or lazy – I’ll acknowledge them all. Any way you look at it, you may wonder why I have empty Ziplocs in my freezer. It’s all about doing fewer dishes and being prepared for healthy eating, my friend.
Some of my shortcuts when preparing a meal using real food involve doing some prep at other times. If I’m cutting onions, I ask myself: “Do I have time today to cut extra?” If I do, I throw some in a freezer bag (double-bagged for odor protection!) that is always in the door of my freezer. I mean always. If I’m out, I still leave the empty bag in there. It’s frozen, so I can then reuse it without problem, plus if I find it empty I know I’m out of cut onions, so I don’t keep looking “just in case”. It’s not like I could wash away the scent of raw onion and reuse that bag anyway!
In my fridge, sometimes you’ll find an empty plastic container in my meat and cheese drawer. It’s just waiting to be filled with sliced cheese. When I’m slicing cheese, I slice enough to fill the box. This way, my 3-year-old son can say, “Can I have cheese and crackers for a snack?” and I can say, “Sure, help yourself.” I don’t have to wash the cheese slicer or box every day, and we often are as ready to make sandwiches as the folks who shell out extra cash for pre-sliced cheese. I store the box empty because I hate dishes, and if I put it out on the counter to wait for more, it might get stinky.
I am also working on shredding my own cheese instead of paying Kraft or Meijer to do it for me. They add weird stuff to keep it from caking. I hear it’s made of trees. I probably don’t want to know! But I do hate washing the cheese grater. So I shred a box full at a time…and I leave the box in the fridge if it’s empty!
Other items that fill the empty containers:
- baby carrots for packed lunches
- soup-bound leftover cooked veggies
- salad lettuce that I haven’t washed, spun and chopped yet
- homemade applesauce
- dried out bread to be made into bread crumbs
- on my counter: if I have something dry like biscuits, I often reuse the container after just knocking out the crumbs in the garbage.
- …and my lunchbag often has a used sandwich baggie in it. If it’s something dry like crackers, I figure I can reuse the bag and save the Earth a little while I’m at it!
So if you visit my kitchen and open my refrigerator, your first thought will be: “Whoa. That’s a full fridge.” And then you’ll start to wonder why there are empty Ziplocs in there.
Click here for 10 Easy Prep Foods You’ll Always Find in my Freezer.
Hope you can benefit from my oh-so-lazy kitchen timesaver! It works for me! I can’t help doing a two-fer on this one – look for other basic tips at Works for Me Wednesday, and find other ideas for “Your Best Time-Saving Kitchen or Nutrition Tips” at the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.
Visit Kitchen Stewardship on Monday for a Meatless Meals Carnival!