Cold Weather Stockpile Storage – What Is Safe To Store?

Cold Weather Stockpile Storage {via HotCouponWorld.com} - If you have your grocery stockpile stored in the garage or other unheated space you need to read this article on what grocery items you can and cannot store in the cold. Don't let your groceries go to waste!Cold Weather Stockpile Storage

Many people store their stockpile in places where the temperatures can get below freezing in the winter. I personally store most of my food stockpile in an insulated garage. And winters here in Wyoming can definitely get well below zero. So that means I have to move around some of my stockpile items to protect them from freezing and being ruined by the cold.

This is not one of my favorite fall activities but it is something I do each year before winter sets in. I try to look at this chore of moving my stockpile around a bit as a time to access my stockpile too though. As I move things around I get things reorganized, make a list of things we are running low on or things I want to stockpile for holiday baking or for some of our favorite winter recipes. And then I use that list each week to narrow down deals for things we need.

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Infographic: Cuts of Beef

One of the ways to save money on meat is to purchase a whole of half cow from a local farmer. When you order a side of beef direct from the source you may also be asked to select which specific cuts you want. The infographic above is a great resource on knowing which cuts of beef to select when purchasing your side of beef.

Even if you are not purchasing an entire side of beef the infographic shows which specific cuts of beef are and how they break down by price which can be great information to have when shopping for meat in the grocery store.

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26 Foods That Don’t Freeze Well

26 Foods That Don't Freeze Well

26 Foods That Don’t Freeze Well

Being a frugal gal with not one, but two deep freezers, I know that freezing food items is one of the easiest ways to preserve food. The mantra buy now when the price is low and put up for later is one every smart shopper should live by. Of course you can preserve, pickle, can, dehydrate foods but those methods take more time and popping something in the freezer is easy!

But there are some foods that should not be frozen or if you freeze them their uses are different than if you were to use them fresh.

Here is our list of 26 foods that don’t freeze well…

Vegetables & Fruits

Fruits and veggies with high moisture content can become very mushy when thawed and the texture is greatly affected. When the water in the fruits and veggies freeze it expands and breaks open the cell walls creating a mushy unappetizing texture. If you are planning on eating these items in their frozen state they are OK or some may be OK to cook with. Just don’t expect the same texture.

  • Apples & Pears – they discolor and turn mushy. Cooked apples and pears in pies or pie filling are OK though.
  • Celery – like onions they turn to mush when thawed but are ok in cooked dishes.
  • Citrus – Thawed citrus that has been frozen is not going to compare to fresh. Juice your lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges instead and freeze that. However frozen slices of citrus make for pretty ice floats in lemonade, iced tea and party punches.
  • Cucumbers – again these turn to mush. Don’t freeze.
  • Grapes – fine to eat frozen (in fact frozen grapes are one of my kids favorite summertime treats) but they are pretty gross when thawed.
  • Mushrooms – they turn to slime when frozen. Don’t freeze.
  • Onions – fresh onions when frozen are mushy when thawed. They are fine in soups, stews and casseroles but don’t expect them to be any good on a hamburgers.
  • Peppers – ok in cooked dishes but otherwise you don’t want to eat thawed peppers.
  • Potatoes – raw potatoes cannot be frozen, they turn a funky color and taste horrible. You can however freeze well cooked potatoes. If I have extra potatoes I usually make a large batch of Totally Loaded Mashed Potatoes and freeze that instead.
  • Salad greens – lettuces and other greens turn into a soggy mess when thawed. However fresh spinach can be frozen and used in dishes that call for frozen spinach such as this Spinach Dip.
  • Sprouts – thawed frozen sprouts are a mushy mess.
  • Watermelon – turns to mush when thawed. If you have excess fresh watermelon you can juice it or puree the flesh in a blender and freeze that instead for smoothies. If you want to eat your melon frozen you can do that too.
  • Herbs – Basil, chives, parsley and other soft herbs are no good frozen on their stems, however you can make them into pesto or blend with oil or water and freeze in ice cube trays and plop those ice cubed into soups and stews.

Dairy Products

Dairy is one of those tricky items to freeze, some dairy products freeze just fine like fluid milk while others have a texture change once frozen.

  • Cottage Cheese – does not freeze well at all.
  • Cream Cheese – if you plan on cooking with it (like making a cheesecake) it will be OK however don’t expect to spread cream cheese that has been frozen on your morning bagel.
  • Creamy Salad Dressings – dressings like ranch and Caesar do not freeze well.
  • Custard or Pudding – does not freeze well, you can however make pudding pops and eat them frozen.
  • Mayonnaise – mayo separates when frozen and no matter how much you blend, whip or stir it will not go back together.
  • Soft Cheeses – like cream cheese these just don’t hold up well but if you are cooking with them or are going to melt them into a fondue you should be OK.
  • Sour Cream – the texture changes however you can use it in cooked dishes like casseroles.

Other

Here are a few other items that don’t freeze well…

  • Eggs in the shell – if you freeze eggs in their shell they will explode (what a mess!) instead crack your eggs and scramble them and pour into freezer containers. Thaw and use in any recipe that calls for scrambled eggs or eggs for baking.
  • Fried foods – Greasy foods just don’t do well in the freezer. French fries and onions rings are the exception. You can reheat these and they will come out crunchy.
  • Frosting – egg white and cream based frostings do not hold up well in the freezer.
  • Gelatin (Jell-O) – when frozen your Jell-O will weep or turn runny when thawed.
  • Sauces – Sauces that are thickened with cream, eggs, cornstarch or flour do not freeze well. Think sauces like hollandaise, alfredo, etc.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions, tips or suggestions on this topic of freezing foods please feel free to leave a comment below!

DIY: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser Tutorial

Mason Jar Soap DispenserI LOVE these mason jar soap dispensers! They are so cute and save you money on soap by helping you to not squirt so much on the sponge. I read several tutorials on how to do these (I apologize I don’t have the original links) before I decided to give it a go. These are so easy to do and you most likely have all the items needed already. I am the fortunate owner of a good sized stash of Blue Ball Mason jars which what I started with. I made a second one with a regular clear mason jar. You could really use any jar as long as the lid fits. Since making these (one for my dish soap and one for my hand soap in the kitchen) we are using a lot less dish soap when washing dishes. I would say we are using 1/2 the soap we were.

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser - Tools Needed

Items needed:

  • Clean jar, lid & ring. (You can use a used lid since you’re not canning this)
  • Pump from lotion or soap
  • Work surface like an old cutting board (you need to be able to hammer on it & it will get marked up
  • Hot glue & glue gun
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Pliers (needle nosed worked best for me)
  • Dish soap, hand soap or lotion to put inside

Instructions:
Plug in glue gun & be sure to add glue

Remove tube from pump & set aside

Make a hole in the lid. I used a nail & made several holes. I then used my needle nose pliers to pinch and pull it until it was big enough. You could do this with a screw driver too.

Just be careful! The punctured lid is sharp! Test the size of the hole by inserting the pump.

It should fit snugly & allow the bottom of the pump to be flush with the lid.

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser - Gluing Pump In Lid

Insert the pump through the lid. Apply a generous amount of glue around the pump where it meets the lid on the inside. I did a few rounds of this. Let dry. You don’t have to glue the pump but I felt like it made it sturdier & also protects me from slicing myself on the lid when refilling it.

Insert tube back into pump. If the tube is too long to fit in the jar use a pair of sharp scissors to cut it until you can fit the lid on & screw it tight. Cutting the tube with slight angle will help with the soap flow.

Add soap or lotion, admire your handiwork & enjoy.

Two Finished Mason Jar Soap Dispensers

Click here for MORE frugal DIY ideas!

 

Twine Covered Vases

Twine Covered Vases

Twine Covered Vases

These super cute vases cost me next to nothing. I used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles (these were a gift so they cost me nothing), hot glue that I have oodles, acorns for the fall ones & mini pine-cones for the winter ones (free :-D ) & twine that was left over from another project. We all have bottle and jars we can re-purpose so just find ones that you like the shape of.

What you will need:

  • Bottle or jar
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Twine
  • Embellishments

Instructions:

  1. Prepare bottle by cleaning & drying. There was a sticky residue left on mine from the label. I didn’t bother trying to remove it since it would be covered by the twine & could even help hold it in place.
  2. Put a small line of hot glue on the bottle (I started along the edge of the lip of the bottle) and lay the twine on the glue
  3. Keeping the twine taught wind it around the bottle putting a small line of glue every couple of rounds
  4. When you reach the bottom cut the twine and secure the end with hot glue.
  5. Yes, it really is that easy.

Embellish anyway you’d like. For my acorn vases I hot glued the acorns to a length of twine and then tied it around the vase. For the pine-cone vases I tied twine bows around the vases & hot glued the pine-cones to the bows.

I think these would look great as a centerpiece on a table (maybe even with some greenery of wintry stems) or you could even make them into place holders & add name tags to them.