If your lifestyle is typically hectic, we understand that the time you usually get to yourself is in the evening and thinking about what to eat is probably the last thing on your mind when you could be spending quality time with yourself or loved ones.

So, as a helping hand from Costcutter, we’ve put together the first instalment of our ‘Meal Prep 101’ top tips so that you and your freezer can become the very best of friends!

Prioritise your preparation

Planning and preparing for the week ahead not only avoids food waste but also makes meal-times less stressful. If you plan to make a soup for dinner, chop up and prepare the veg before putting them into a tightly sealed container and popping it in the freezer. That way when you want to make a meal, the veg is ready and waiting to be cooked when you need it, rather than spending time peeling and chopping, when you could really do without the extra hassle.

Why not add some chopped garlic and olive oil in an ice cube tray and freeze that whilst you’re at it?

Freeze your vegetables

The list of vegetables that you can freeze is nearly endless, which is why it’s a great idea to make friends with your freezer to make the most out of meal-times. The only vegetables that are not suitable for freezing are those with high-water content like cucumber, tomatoes and celery.

If you’re unsure on whether your vegetables are suitable for freezing, we’ve found a helpful link from the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign to answer all your queries. Just check out Love Food Hate Waste’s food storage guide

Top Tips from Costcutter

  • Shop little and often if you can - especially if it means supporting your local convenience store
  • Plan your meals beforehand if you’re doing a big shop to avoid food waste
  • Pop leftovers in the freezer when batch cooking meals for healthy, homemade ready meals
  • When you have the time, chop up and prep your veggies and leave them in the freezer for a stress free, mid-week meal
  • Don’t forget about fruit! If your blueberries or bananas are looking a little worse for wear, they are happy to be frozen too. You can use them at a later date for ice cream, smoothies or homemade sorbet!

Simple Stew

There are multiple ways you can use your frozen vegetables. A popular and easy dinner idea is a simple stew. The best thing about this is that it’s not only healthy and delicious, but also allows you to use up all of that sad-looking veg you have.

  • Grab your frozen veggies from your freezer stash. You could use carrots, swede, peas, sweetcorn, mushrooms… you name it!
  • Fry off some onions and garlic with olive oil
  • Add a few pints of stock of your choice, depending on how much stew you’re making
  • Throw in all the veggies you’ve previously chopped and frozen!  
  • Add any spices or herbs that you desire, perhaps some smoked paprika, mixed herbs or maybe just some salt and pepper
  • Allow it to come to the boil and simmer until the veg is soft
  • When it’s nearly ready, you can also add some frozen meatballs or protein of choice
  • If you want to make it super hearty, peel and boil some potatoes to make some creamy mash on the side
  • If you have leftovers, let them cool and pop them in a resealable container and let them live in the freezer until you need a quick meal

We have an abundance of recipes online, including some similar stew recipes on our website for more cooking inspiration. Search our recipes here

Support for you & yours…

Given the circumstances of our current climate situation, we want to give everyone a helping hand.

That’s why we’re committed to providing you with handy hints and tips for everything from cooking to keeping the kids entertained.

Be sure to check out our social media, website and blog for all the latest from Costcutter.