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Posted:  |  Updated: 08/31/12 10:48 AM ET

11 Surprising Foods You Can Freeze (PHOTOS)

You should think of your freezer as a savings account. Not for storing stacks of bills, but for saving you money on your groceries. So often we find ourselves throwing out withered, rotten or spoiled food that could have been salvaged with just a little bit of forethought. You know that half used can of tomato paste? You can freeze that. And the quarter of a glass left in that bottle of wine, don't let it turn to vinegar -- freeze it. Click through the slideshow below to learn which surprising foods you can freeze; and start saving money.

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  • Wine

    If you find yourself often tossing the end of a bottle of wine, you might want to consider freezing it instead. The wine won't maintain its quality for drinking, but will be great for cooking. <a href="" target="_hplink">Store in ice cube trays </a>to quickly add to stews and sauces.

  • Tomato Paste

    Usually when we need tomato paste, we only need a tablespoon or two. The rest of the can or tube gets forgotten in the fridge only to be thrown out a month later when it's covered in mold. Rather, spoon out the remaining <a href="" target="_hplink">tomato paste into tablespoon measurements</a> and freeze it for a later date.

  • Fresh Herbs

    Fresh herbs are also often wasted in the fridge after a one-time use. If you don't intend to <a href="" target="_hplink">use that basil or thyme</a> within the next few days, place them in an ice cube tray with a little bit of water -- once frozen, you can store it in a Ziploc bag for up to six months. You won't be using it in salads, but works great for cooking.

  • Eggs

    While you can't just throw the whole carton of eggs into the freezer, <a href="" target="_hplink">you can store eggs</a> for up to a year by mixing the egg white and yolk together and freezing in a plastic bag. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator.

  • Nuts

    Nuts go rancid fairly quickly due to their high oil content, but if you freeze them they'll stay fresher longer. Nuts <a href="" target="_hplink">keep for six months in the freezer</a> and when ready to use, thaw them at room temperature. Or if you're going to bake with them, you can even use them frozen.

  • Breads

    While bread usually only lasts a week on the counter, it can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. And if you're using it to make toast, you don't <a href="" target="_hplink">have to worry about thawing</a>.

  • Ginger

    Unless ginger is a regular in your dishes, this ingredient usually shrivels away in your crisper drawer. Take the time to <a href="" target="_hplink">cut it into slices</a> when you buy it and throw it in the freezer. Next time you have a recipe that calls for that tiny amount, you can just grab a slice.

  • Milk

    If you're going on vacation and still have a substantial amount of milk in the fridge, you can freeze it. While the texture will change slightly when thawed (becoming a little grainy) it will <a href="" target="_hplink">keep for up to three months.</a> Thaw in the fridge and shake before using.

  • Citrus

    While you don't want to throw the entire orange, lemon or lime in the freezer, you can easily freeze the juice into ice cube trays and then store in a plastic bag. Thaw it when in need, or use it to <a href="" target="_hplink">chill and flavor iced tea</a>.

  • Cheese

    Soft and semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella, parmesan or cheddar can be frozen. The <a href="" target="_hplink">texture will change </a>-- becoming crumbly once thawed -- so you won't be using it for sandwiches. But it'll still work great for cooking.

  • Butter

    Unless you're an avid baker, you probably don't go through that much butter in your household. But waste not, put those <a href="" target="_hplink">extra sticks of butter right</a> in freezer. They thaw in no time when in need.

  • WATCH: How To Freeze Food Properly


Filed by Julie R. Thomson  |