The average family stands to save up to £90 per month – or £1,080, the cost of a family holiday for four – on their food shopping by freezing fresh meat, fish and cooked meals as well as making the switch to buying longer-lasting frozen produce instead of fresh, according to new findings.
The research compiled by etailer Appliances Direct indicates that, currently, Britain is a nation of food wasters, as more than 65 per cent of the population admits to throwing away food because we’re unsure if it can be frozen or not.
65 per cent of the population throws away food because we’re unsure if it can be frozen
What’s more, 15 per cent of those surveyed admitted to using their freezer ‘rarely’, relying solely on the refrigerator to store fresh food.
By utilising the freezer to store foods that are unlikely to be consumed before their use-by date, or by purchasing frozen food, which tends to have a much longer shelf life in the first instance, households could save almost £1,100 each per year – covering the cost of Christmas, or a week-long holiday.
Frozen food not only reduces wastage, meaning families need to buy less, but it is often cheaper too, meaning additional savings can be made.
Fresh vs. frozen comparisons
- Vegetables: Frozen Birds Eye Field Fresh Green Beans (750g) have an RRP of £2 and will last for up to six months in the freezer VS Sainsbury's Extra Fine Beans (200g) with an RRP of £1.40, which have a recommended use by date of less than one week after purchase
- Meat: Frozen Sainsbury's British Chicken Breast Mini Fillets (500g) have an RRP of £3.30 and will last up to three months in the freezer VS Sainsbury's British Diced Chicken Breast (251g) has an RRP of £3.00 which will last in the fridge for less than one week after purchase
- Fish: Frozen Sainsbury's Salmon Fillets (400g) have an RRP of £3.75 and will last up to 3 months in the freezer VS Sainsbury’s Salmon Fillets x2 (300g) with an RRP from the fresh fish aisle which has an RRP of £5 and have a recommended use by date of less than one week after purchase
- Dessert: Frozen Sainsbury's Toffee Swirl Cheesecake, Basics (460g) has an RRP of £1.05 and will last in the freezer for up to 6 months VS Sainsbury's Lemon Swirl Cheesecake (600g) which has an RRP of £3.50 and will last in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Mark Kelly at AppliancesDirect.co.uk, said: “With household bills on the rise, it’s important that families are making the most of their freezer to keep costs to a minimum. When it comes to food, Britain is guilty of wastage and often this is down to the lack of understanding when it comes to what freezers can and can’t be used for."
Aside from the savings when it comes to purchasing food and wasting it, there’s also the energy-efficiency aspect to be aware of: "Newer freezer models tend to offer a better energy efficiency rating, and a well-maintained freezer will make for increased cost efficiency,” Mark adds.
Top 5 freezer tips
- In the event of a power cut, keep the freezer door shut and your food should be safe and keep frozen for the next 24 hours
- Most packaging will display advice and information on freezing, however a general rule which is useful to follow would be to never freeze dairy or fish for more than three months, and everything else should remain frozen for less than six months
- Defrost your freezer at least once a year to prevent reduced efficiency and therefore higher bills
- Keeping food constantly below 0°c means food is safe to eat once thawed; fluctuations in temperature can affect the food’s condition and texture
- Labelling products with the date they were frozen will help you keep track of how long they’ve been in there.
- Enter our competition to win a fridge and freezer here. Plus 15 sumer food hacks to save you time and money here.