Save time, money and still eat fresh with bulk buys

Buying bulk lets you take advantage of seasonal pricing for your favourite fruits and vegetables. Here's how to give your taste buds a treat by eating fresh-from-the-freezer summer produce in January.

Save time, money and still eat fresh with bulk buys

Seasonal produce all year long

  • Long-lasting vegetables and fruit can be bought in bulk from pick-your-own farms at a much lower price per kilogram/pound than in grocery stores.
  • A sack of potatoes or onions can be stored through the winter. You can also store garlic, apples, pumpkins, squash and root vegetables such as carrots the same way.
  • Green vegetables can't be stored but some freeze well.
  • Tomatoes can be made into soups and sauces, then frozen.

Spaces for stocking up

  • You need space in a cool basement to ensure the produce doesn't go bad before you use it up.
  • Root vegetables should be stored in crates, separated by sand or sieved soil.
  • If you're short of suitable space, ask nearby friends or family if you can share with them.

A freezer that pays for itself

  • A chest or upright freezer can be a money-saving asset, as the savings on bulk-bought sides of meat can be significant.
  • You can cook double portions of meals, one for now and one can be put in the freezer for later
  • Freeze seasonal fruit and vegetables to take advantage of supermarket discounts on perishable staples.
  • Freeze food in single, double or family-size portions to suit your lifestyle.

Can you freeze it?

  • It's not always clear what will and will not freeze successfully and safely. When in doubt, freeze only items that have been cooked.
  • Although freezing halts almost all spoilage, bacteria in meat and some enzymes in fruit and vegetables are only destroyed by cooking at high temperatures.

Freezer friendly foods

These foods freeze well:

  • Raspberries
  • Skimmed, partly skimmed and homogenized milk
  • Eggs (lightly stirred or separated)
  • Tomatoes (for soups and sauces)
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes (fully cooked, or blanched in hot oil as french fries)
  • Fresh meat, poultry, fish and shellfish
  • Creamy desserts (souffles, mousses and cheesecakes set with gelatin)

If you're equipped with a freezer and some knowhow, you can get big savings at the grocery store. Just be sure to safely store all your food, and you can have seasonal delights any time of year.

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