Pork Loin Freezer Prep

Freezer Preparation of Large Cuts of Meat

Your local grocery store of butcher will often have large cuts of meat on sale for much less per pound than a smaller cut.  In my area, this is especially true for large cuts of pork.

I am bewildered by the fact so few people take advantage of the significant savings available by purchasing this way.  This week I purchased a large loin of pork for just over $12 that will make a couple very good dinners for us, but even more meals for people with smaller families.

The trick to purchasing this way is to ensure that you package them properly for the freezer so they last for months without any damage.  I am a huge fan of vacuum packing for several reasons.  First of all,  if you vacuum package food it will last longer in the freezer, often twice as long as it prevents freezer burn and ice crystal formation.  Secondly it allows you to add spices to your meats and vacuum seal them together then, during the defrost process your meat continues to marinade resulting in a very flavorful cut of meat.

For pork cuts, such as in the video, I mix olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic salt and black pepper.  Using fresh rosemary is always preferable but when I don’t have any fresh I don’t hesitate to use dried rosemary.  I rub it all over the roast, then I place in the vacuum seal bag and seal it.  I then freeze it and when we want to eat it I allow it to unthaw in the fridge or if I am in a hurry a bowl of cold water.  I then allow it to come to room temperature before cooking it in the oven.  Some people prefer to sear it prior to putting it in the oven and that method works just as well.

Cook at 325°F until your meat thermometer registers at least 145°F (up to 160°F).

It takes just a few minutes to cut, season and vacuum pack a couple of roasts and not only do you save money, it allows you to season them in advance which results in a more flavorful roast.

Seasoning Recipe:

3 tbsp olive oil (vegetable oil if that is all you have)
3 tbsp  fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Mix ingredients together and rub over roast and then package and freeze.  You can double or half the recipe depending on the size of the roast you are preparin

This is the food saver I use to package things at home.  You can purchase it on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com


Saving Money On Hand Soap

Most people seem to buy the pump hand soap containers and put them in each bathroom and often one in the kitchen and in the course of a year go through a great deal of them.  Even though they are only about $2 each, over the course of a year, the cost adds up.

So lets work things out based on purchasing 20 containers per year.  If you bought 20 of them it would cost you $40 per year, however, companies like Dial offer refill packages that can fill up a container 5 times at a cost of $4.  So if you used refill containers you would need 4 per year at a cost of $16.  That means rather than spending $40 per year you are now spending only $16, an easy savings of $24 per year.  Yet, you can save even more money than that.

So what’s the trick?  Well, in our house we actually prefer the pumps that pump out foam rather than liquid.  It’s not only a personal preference but a huge money saver because, unknown to most people, inside the container is not regular hand soap but watered down hand soap.  Regular hand soap just won’t foam, it’s too thick, so they need to dilute it…and that is where the savings come in.

We buy the refill containers of hand soap and when we need to fill up our hand soap pumps we fill the container about 1/4 full of hand soap, fill the rest up with water, mix it and you are ready to go.  That means that a refill container will not fill up the containers 5 times but 20 times.  That means you will need only 1 refill container per year and will only spend $4 per year on hand soap!  Now that is an amazing savings.  Now imagine if you have a bigger family and go through 40 hand soaps a year?  You will only spend $8 and save $72 per year.

These refill containers also go on sale on a regular basis, so watch out for sales and then grab a couple of them to lower your costs even more.

Now I know some people will say “Well you only save $20-$40 dollars a year” and my answer is “Isn’t that awesome!!!”  You see, the best way to have a decent financial life is to watch your pennies and when you do, the dollars will take care of themselves.  Save $20 here, $50 here, $30 here and pretty soon your backside is parked on a lounge chair in a sunny climate enjoying a vacation you never used to be able to afford and it’s all because you stopped wasting money on things you simply don’t need to!

TV Dinners From Scraps

I love the Bento type boxes with the 3 different sections because they truly are a real money saver.

Now I know you have probably seen people post pictures of an afternoon spent in the kitchen making up a week’s worth of lunches that they appear to bring to work each day that week.  And you know, I’m really happy it works for them, but I can’t imagine myself eating rice, chicken and veggie for 5 days in a row.  I just really enjoy variety which is why in our house, leftovers in the fridge rarely get eaten.  If they do it is because I have created a new dish from the leftovers rather than a repeat of the meal before.

There are also plenty of posts about someone spending the day making various TV dinner style meals for the freezer for days when you don’t have time to cook, or you are eating alone, and those are great as well and something I do on occasion.

What I have done frequently of late though is making TV dinners from what I consider scraps.  Previously if all I had left from dinner was a little bit of mashed potatoes, I would just throw them away, but not any more!  What I will do is grab one of the 3 section freezer containers and fill up a couple of them with the leftover potatoes and pop them in the freezer.  Then, when I have a bit of left over meat I will add it to the containers with just potatoes and a bit of gravy.  At that point, if I don’t have leftover vegetables, I will just throw on some frozen corn that only takes 5 minutes of my time and add the vegetable and I now have complete TV dinners made from scraps I would have normally thrown out.

In the past 6 months I have probably made 50 TV dinners at least completely from scraps from meals made over several days all of which would have been tossed in the garbage.

When we want to eat one, it’s as simple as popping off the top, covering it with an ordinary microwave lid (the ones with the perforations to let steam escape) heat it up and dinner is served.  These containers are freezer, microwave and top rack dishwasher safe so super easy to use and very little clean up since you can eat out of the container if you want to.

Saving money this way is very easy and over time the savings can really add up.  If you find little ways like this to save money every month you will start to notice it.  The trick though is that if your grocery budget every month is less, take that money and put it towards something that matters no matter how little. So if you can spend $50 less a month on groceries, take it and make an extra payment on a debt to pay it off sooner, or save for a vacation or whatever.  You need to first find savings, and then do something constructive with them other than flitter it away. Financial stability makes life a whole lot easier!

You can purchase the containers I use on Amazon.ca as well as Amazon.com

Watch my video to see what I mean!