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You know those little food bags you buy on a roll in the supermarket?  My freezer is full of them. I use them to store little odds and ends of foods, to be used at a later date. I’m not talking about the leftovers of cooked meals, although they do feature heavily in my freezer too, I mean scraps of ingredients. This frugal little trick has helped me out many times, so let me explain what bags I have and how they are used.

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Fresh banana: anytime my kids eat half a banana and discard the rest, I lop off the bitten bit with a knife and salvage the rest to go in my ‘banana bag’. These can be used for fruit smoothies,  or take a few and whizz up frozen with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a spoonful of honey. Instant, healthy banana ice-cream.

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I suspect she only had one bite of this one!

Bread: I recommend that you keep sliced bread in the freezer anyway – it will last longer when you only defrost as you need it. But we also have a ‘bread bag’, where all the ends of loaves and discarded pitta etc are put. Old loaves are cut into chunks and added too. You can whizz these up into breadcrumbs for meatballs, soak in egg to make french toast or take to feed the duckies.

Cheese. All the endy bits of cheese that have gone hard go into our ‘cheese bag’. Any excess grated cheese from making other meals is added too. All cheese, from cheddar to parmesan to mozzarella go in. One day you will make a cheese sauce, or require some cheese to top a pasta bake or lasagne, and voila!  A stock of cheese to use. Handy.

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Bacon. Buy a pack of cooking bacon or streaky bacon and divide it up into smaller portions. Then take out as you need for making meals.

Apples and pears. If you have any of these in your fruit bowl and they are past their best,  don’t throw out. Cook them off with a little butter and sugar, and mash into a fruit stew of sorts. Freeze on a lined baking tray, and once frozen cut into cubes. Pop them in your ‘stewed fruit’ bag. You can pop these little cubes into porridge whilst it is cooking to add sweetness, or defrost and serve with custard,  or top with crumble mixture. Many possibilities.

Animal carcasses! The bones left over from a roast meat are frozen and saved to make stock at a later date.

What do you keep in your freezer to cut costs?

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