News and Tribune


March 29, 2014

MAKING CENT$: It’s the season for freezin’

It’s March Madness, so go clean your freezer now, because it’s Frozen Food Month.

Yes, it is that time of year to go through your freezer and clean it out so that you can make room for all the frozen food bargains that you will be able to find this month. I try to clean my freezers completely every March by taking every item out of the freezer and anything that looks freezer burnt or has a lot of frost on it, I toss out and the rest I place in a cooler with ice while I finish the cleanout.

I make my own cleaner using one cup of water, one teaspoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of dish soap. Once clean, I replace the contents I have decided to keep.

Although the FDA does say that freezing at zero degrees Fahrenheit keeps food safe indefinitely, I generally follow their guidelines, which lets me know how long food can be kept frozen and eaten:

∞ Chicken or turkey pieces, uncooked: 9 months

∞ Fruit: 6 to 12 months

∞ Steaks, uncooked: 6 to 12 months

∞ Butter: 6 to 9 months

∞ Lean fish: 6 months

∞ Roasts, uncooked: 4 to 12 months

∞ Chicken or turkey, cooked: 4 to 6 months

∞ Chops, uncooked: 4 to 6 months

∞ Shellfish, uncooked: 3 to 6 months

∞ Hamburger: 3 to 4 months

∞ Meat casseroles, cooked: 3 months

∞ Fatty fish: 2 to 3 months

∞ Soups and stews: 2 to 3 months

∞ Ice cream and sorbet: 2 months

∞ Ham, cooked: 1 to 2 months

∞ Bacon: 1 month

During the Frozen Food Month, you will find the biggest bargains on frozen vegetables and frozen dinners and entrees. Ice cream and other frozen foods will likely be on sale but not necessarily at rock bottom prices.

Pair those sales with printed coupons and digital coupons and it’s the perfect time to stock up. You can even try and win $10,000 in the Frozen Food sweepstakes from Easy Home Meals’ website at

— Questions or comments can be sent to Darlene Hilsenbeck at

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