Cost of living: Woman says she saves more than £1,000 a year - by freezing ingredients individually
A woman claims she saves more than £1,000 a year by freezing ingredients individually after a ‘lightbulb’ moment.
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Meet the woman who claims she saves more than £1,000 a year - by freezing ingredients individually. Kate Hall, says realising she could freeze ingredients on their own was a “lightbulb moment”.
The 37-year-old had previously been freezing entire meals which, when reheated, could only be used once. But she now has a constant “stash” of ingredients in her freezer - meaning she can always use the right amount and reduce waste.
This has allowed her to limit her trips to the supermarket and save money as her frozen produce could be used time and time again, she says. Kate’s freezer trick has also enabled her to start her own business where she shares her top tips with others.
Kate, a full-time business owner from Orpington in Kent, said: “When you add it all together it’s easily north of £1,000 saved a year - as things just aren’t going in the bin. The way that I have my freezer set up is to have a stash of ingredients. This reduces that temptation to buy things when you’re in the shop.
“I always buy the multipack of vegetables or big pack of chicken so I can freeze those left over bits. The beauty of what I’ve developed is that you don’t actually need to defrost everything as all of the veg I can cook straight from frozen.”
If she’s not using everything, Kate will spend a couple of minutes prepping the excess ingredients to go in the freezer. She added: “One of the best things about this is the beauty of being able to stretch things out.
“Rather than thinking I have to use the whole pack of chicken, I can separate and freeze. I’ve had students on my course thinking they have to use that up and make a bigger portion but we teach them to be able organise and save food for future meals.
“It helps you to be able to pull a meal together based on various ingredients that you’ve got. You can be much more flexible about the things you use.”
Kate says her method has reduced prep time as she can add things to the freezer as she’s cooking. She said: “I know if I put something in the fridge it’s just going to end up in the bin.
“But I use the approach of going, ‘Well I’ve made my meal and whilst that’s cooking, I’m just going to chop up these peppers’ - and get them in the freezer. If you haven’t got that time to chop up food, why do you buy it?
“I’ve got no judgment of people being busy, I am too, but it’s very much about stealing a minute here a minute there to think about things going in the freezer rather than the bin.”
Kate began sharing her freezer and food waste tips during Covid as a means of showing people how to get the best out of food. She said: “When the pandemic hit, I was put on furlough and I worked with one of my colleagues to put together an e-book about how to self-isolate with food.
“I was then made redundant from the day job and I thought I’d make a go of it and found that what I was sharing was really helpful for people. More and more people were having these little moments that they could relate to and I made the decision to try and make it into a business.
“In the last year or so I think people have looked at food in a very different way.” Kate says her business is about “reassuring and feeling confident”.
She said: “When I first started doing this, I had no idea how bad food waste was for the planet and I soon learned about the environmental impact as well and I thought if I can share something that helps people to save money then that solidifies it for me.
“Every time I spoke to another person and found out how helpful it was to them, I realised I wanted to do this all day, every day. It’s about using your freezer in a safe way and it’s about how you look after food before and after that makes the difference.”
Kate shares her tips on her website The Full Freezer.