Frozen foods get a bad rep for being highly processed and loaded with preservatives, but not all of them are made alike. The process of freezing food is not inherently bad, it’s what’s in the food that matters. Not only can frozen foods be huge time-savers, but also great for your wallet. Here are five frozen foods you may want to consider the next time you go grocery shopping.
Did you know that fresh produce starts to lose its vitamins and minerals within hours of being picked? Frozen vegetables are picked, prepped, and frozen at their nutritional peak, meaning that you could be getting more vitamins and minerals from frozen vegetables by the time you’re ready to eat them. Plus, they’re often cheaper and have a longer shelf life too — minimizing food waste.
Every fruit and vegetable has a peak season and prices fluctuate based on seasonality. One of our money-saving grocery tips is to purchase seasonal fruits and veggies. However, if you’re craving a mango smoothie in the middle of winter, buying it frozen will be your best choice. Fresh fruit that is out of season will be more expensive and not as tasty when the climate is not providing the optimal growing conditions. Buying it frozen when it has been picked and preserved at its peak will satisfy your cravings and your wallet.
Frozen fish is approximately 20% cheaper than fresh, and since it’s frozen at its peak freshness, all the flavor, nutrition, and texture are preserved. The convenience is also a plus, being able to quickly defrost your nicely cut and pre-portioned fish. For lean fish like tilapia and cod, you can even cook them frozen. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn that freezing fish helps kill parasites and other pathogens.
Ground beef spoils sooner than whole cuts of beef because more of its surface is exposed to oxygen. If you buy frozen ground beef, it was likely frozen while it was relatively fresh, minimizing the chance for bacteria to form. This applies to burger patties too. Buy your ground beef and patties frozen for the best quality. If you can’t find it frozen already, check the dates and buy the freshest one to freeze it yourself at 0°F (-18°C) or below.
Appetizers and Snacks
In the mood for some dumplings? Maybe you’re craving some mozzarella sticks or samosas. If you’ve already hit your “eating out” budget for the month, frozen appetizers and snacks can be a great, affordable alternative. Sure, you could buy all of the ingredients and make those mozzarella sticks yourself, but more likely than not, all of the “specialty” ingredients you’ll need will cost more than if you buy them prepared and frozen for $6 at your local grocery store — and are you really in the mood to cook for hours? The best part is that a lot of these treats go on sale often, so be sure to check the Flipp app for some BOGO deals and stock up! As long as you’re following a balanced diet, you can treat yourself to these convenient frozen snacks every once in a while.
You shouldn’t be afraid of the frozen food aisle, and there is no shame in buying the foods that work best for your lifestyle and budget. Whether it’s for the convenience, the price point, or both, the great news is that there is a lot of variety, choice, and resources to help you reach your goals. For more grocery saving tips, check out our post, 3 Easy Ways to Maximize on Grocery Deals.