Bacon—Dice a couple pounds of bacon, then brown until crisp. Drain and cool on paper towels. Store in the freezer for quick use in soups, stews, salads, omelets, pan sauces, vegetable dishes and sandwiches. It’s convenient to get use your frying pan once for a bunch of future dishes. Some recipes really need the bacon fried fresh but extra crisp bacon in the freezer is a huge timer saver for many dishes. Let defrost for a couple minutes on the counter or heat in the microwave for a few seconds.
Cookie Crumbs—Next time you make a batch of basic cookies like Oatmeal, Sugar or Shortbread, crumble few and store in a freezer container. When you need a little dash of texture over an ice cream sundae or a yogurt fruit parfait you can raid your cache.
Cranberries—Purchase enough packages during the Thanksgiving / Christmas holiday season to last through August or September of the following year. Store in freezer bags and use in salsas, smoothies and desserts.
Frozen Juice Concentrate—Keep a can of orange, apple, cranberry and pineapple juice in the freezer. Use the concentrate for sauces and dressings or reconstitute for beverages mixes. If you need 1/2 cup of apple juice for a recipe it’s easy to use 2 tablespoons of concentrate and 6 tablespoons of water so you don’t have to open a large bottle of juice.
Fruit—Stock flash frozen berries for desserts, smoothies and fruit salads.
Nuts—Because of their oil content, nuts perish quickly. Buy nuts in quantities and store in your freezer. You can chop and roast them right out of the freezer. I stock walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews and pine nuts and sometimes sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Sausage—Store large links of sausage, hot and mild, in small packages for quick use in soups, stews, omelets, pan sauces and vegetable dishes. My favorite application is on pizza. Use 1 link for a 15-inch pizza.
Soup Pouches—Double or triple your next batch of soup and store in quart freezer bags. When you need a quick lunch or supper, defrost and heat in the microwave. Avoid soups with potatoes which become mealy when defrosted.
Stock— Store homemade chicken stock in various pouch sizes. Pour some stock into one or two ice cube trays and freeze, then place the cubes in a zipper bag for recipes that just need a tablespoon or two of stock. You can also store chicken pieces in the freezer like the backbone and wings tips when prepping chicken. When I make chicken stock I add these frozen packages to the pot for added flavor.