Dairy products can be expensive, but you can save money on them in several different ways. You can stock up when you have coupons to pair with a sale, or you can often find them discounted due to short expiry dates.
Once you’ve brought home all that discount dairy though, how do you make sure it all stays fresh until you can use it? Did you know you can freeze many different dairy products to stretch their shelf life? Here’s how:
- Block cheese freezes well, but it can become crumbly. Either thaw it in the fridge and use in cooked meals, or grate it before freezing and freeze in bags.
- If you find a deal on pre-grated cheese, just throw it in the freezer as is.
- It keeps well for up for 3 months.
Cottage, Cream and Ricotta Cheese:
- All will last around 2 months in the freezer.
- Foil wrapped cream cheese can be placed in a plastic bag and frozen.
- Cottage and ricotta cheeses can be frozen in their containers.
- If you’d prefer to freeze it in daily portions, wrap the cream cheese in plastic wrap and the others can be divided into smaller plastic or glass lidded containers.
- All will become crumbly after being thawed in the fridge, so stir all of them to restore consistency. Cream cheese does best if stirred slowly over low heat to regain original consistency.
- Milk can also freeze well for several months.
- Both bagged and jugged milk can be frozen. If freezing jugs, make sure to pour a little out first to allow for expansion.
- Thaw in the fridge once you are ready to drink it.
- Make sure to shake well before opening and drinking; it can settle as it’s freezing so you’ll want to make sure it’s mixed back together.
- Cream can be frozen, but it does separate so it will need to be whisked once thawed.
- It won’t whip to the usual volume once it’s been frozen, so it’s best for baking or casseroles.
- You can freeze it in an ice cube tray before transferring the frozen cubes to a bag, if you just like to use a small amount at a time for recipes.
- Butter has a long life in the freezer, 6-8 months! Salted butter lasts up to 9 months, but unsalted will lose flavour faster so it’s better to use it within 6 months.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and seal in a freezer bag for best results.
- Make sure there’s nothing in the freezer with a strong smell as it could transfer to the butter.
- For easy thawing and use, freeze it in 1/2 cup portions to just thaw the amount you’ll need at a time in the fridge.
- You can freeze them both cooked or raw, as long as they’re not in the shell.
- Raw eggs can be cracked into glass or plastic containers; you can even divide them into ice cube trays to freeze individual portions. You can also separate the whites if you need them for a recipe.
- They will last for up to a YEAR in the freezer and you just need to them in the fridge as needed.
Sour Cream and yogurt do NOT freeze well unfortunately; you’ll only want to buy as much of this as you can use while it’s in the fridge. Do remember though, both can be safely consumed beyond the best-before date. Just be sure to sniff it and check it to make sure it doesn’t appear “off”. If you do try to freeze them, be sure to stir thoroughly and use them in smoothies or baked dishes as both can feel grainy on their own.