- Cooked Rice - When I need to cook rice, I always cook double or triple the amount I need, then immediately freeze the extra in 'freezer to microwave' containers to use another time. I cannot even tell the difference between re-heated frozen rice and freshly cooked rice, and its a god-send when I'm busy or tired to pull out rice from the freezer and either a frozen casserole or pop something easy in the oven like store-made enchiladas. If you have a little left over from your meal, don't throw it out, use it the next night to make a rice pudding.
- Grated Cheese - I used to be lazy and buy the expensive ready grated cheese from the supermarket. But now what I do is buy a couple of big blocks when they are on special, then set up my food processor with the grater on and grate it all, then divide it up into freezer bags. Pop in the freezer, and you have a big supply of grated cheese to use! I also got put off buying grated cheese for 2 reasons - quite often it was mouldy and I had to chuck it out, and they put some sort of coating on the cheese which I feel really suss about, it seems like some strange chemical to stop it sticking together.
- Tomatoes - If you see tomatoes on special, buy a big bag and put them in the freezer. Do not peel and do not blanch. To use, just run warm water on the frozen tomato and the skin will come off easily, then use in stews, casseroles, or to make sauce (you can't use tomatoes that have been frozen on sandwiches or in salads).
- Nuts - I quite often have to throw away nuts I have in the cupboard because they do go rancid after a while. So freeze any nuts or ground nuts to prolong life and prevent wasteage.
- Bread and Bakery Products - I'm a bad one for putting off grocery shopping so I always try to buy 2 loaves of bread and put one in the freezer (I double wrap). That way I'm not short on bread for school lunches if I can help it. You can also freeze baked goods, which saves wastage as they go off quickly sometimes.
Rule of thumb to keep in mind is don't re-freeze anything that has already been frozen, and keep a supply of different sizes of freezer bags on hand!
There are some areas I definitely need to explore further with the freezer, one main one being making sandwiches for school lunches in batches and freezing until the day you need them. If any of you do this I would love to hear your tips for doing it successfully!