Recently I was packing some meat into freezer bags. In the end I used 10 bags. As I put the meat in the freezer, I thought "it stinks that in a couple weeks I'll use this meat and then throw the bag away." I love frugality, but there's no way I'm washing and reusing plastic meat bags.
Then I got around to thinking about all of the other plastic bags I use for freezer stuff. Vegetable bags, bags for bone and fat scraps, bags for bread and bread crumbs, bags for fruit, meat, and anything else I want to freeze, even if it's only for a few days or weeks. Was there a better way to keep food in the freezer without filling our dumpster with ziplock bags every year?
Finding Some Boxes
What ever happened to those plastic freezer boxes that my mom used for strawberry freezer jam? It seems like you never see them used anymore! Was it a fad? Did the plastic taste leach into the food? Did they not seal right? Did they melt in the dishwasher? Whatever the problem, I thought it was worth a try using reusable freezer boxes. I was tired of trying to stack flat bags of veggies and having them fall back down on me. I found a three-pack of plastic boxes at Walmart, but they were expensive. Like VCR players and old Christmas lights, I knew that I could probably find a ton of these boxes if I looked around.
Sure enough, I found my first stack of boxes in a garage sale free box. Unfortunately the boxes didn't come with lids, but I figured I could find some on Ebay. A couple weeks later, people in town were throwing their junk on the curb. Hubs and I went "junking" at my request to see if there was any good stuff. Sure enough, I saw some plastic and told him to pull over. It takes some humility to wade through someone's dirty junk right in their front yard by the street where everyone can see you, but I did it anyway. And I scored!!! Hubs came back around the block and I was waiting with two cardboard boxes and some paper bags filled with freezer boxes AND lids.
Free Stuff Takes Some Work
The boxes sat in my back room for a couple weeks until I finally got around to washing them all. It was a daunting task, but I ended up with 87 free, clean freezer boxes and a pile of lids. Woohoo! I already love using the freezer boxes more than bags. I'm not sure if they'll work perfectly, but we'll see. I can always use the boxes as storage containers (mice won't chew through!) or plant pots.
One handy thing I've done with the freezer boxes is use them for goat's milk. Lately the milk has been more "goaty" due to fresh pasture, and it seems to be going bad before I can use it. Previously, I couldn't collect enough milk before it went bad to make even a pound of cheese. Lately I have been freezing the milk straight out of the udder, and when I've collected a couple gallons in the freezer I'll make several pounds of cheese. This will be more worth my while, and I don't have to worry about using up the milk before it goes bad.
Do you use freezer boxes? Why or why not?