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Saving time and money in the kitchen is high on everyone’s list. At our house, we prioritize better-quality and organic food, which can add quite a few dollars to our grocery bill. As a result, I’m constantly looking for ways to trim our spending without cutting corners on quality. Today’s post is all about a simple habit that helps accomplish that goal: That’s right, we’re talking about the “how and why” to freeze chopped onions.
One of my favorite ways to accomplish this goal is to utilize my freezer. I frequently buy food in bulk to get a better price. When possible, I process the food in some way right away, and into the freezer it goes! The idea is to buy the best quality at a discount and then to simplify my life later by grouping repetitive tasks today.
A good example of this habit is ONIONS. I buy organic onions just once per year, then spend an evening listening to Audible and chopping and packaging onions. By buying them in bulk, I save money in our food budget. Also, by chopping and preparing the onions for use in advance, I save precious pre-meal prep time! And, since I rarely run out of onions, I reduce last-minute meal prep shopping and simplify my menus.
Recently, I bought a 48 pound bag of organic yellow onions for $24 at Azure Standard. The onions were excellent quality, and just 50 cents per pound. Note that at my local grocery stores, the “normal” price for conventional yellow onions is 75 cents a pound, and for organic yellow onions, the “normal” price is $1.99 a pound.
Then, I sat at the table (with a towel handy for wiping my eyes), and chopped onions.
Get your own Faithfulness & Gentleness bowl at my Mary & Martha shop.
Next, I used a measuring cup to scoop 2 cups of onions at a time into plastic quart-size freezer bags.
I typically use the approximation that one large onion = one cup chopped onion. You can store the onions in smaller or larger bags if you wish, but it’s easy to use two onions (the full two cups) in a standard entrée recipe. You can also use half the bag to approximate one onion without needing to actually measure. By freezing the onions in two cup portions, you further simplify your cooking time later.
Lay the bags flat in a stack to freeze.
When you are ready to use the onions in cooking, there is no need to thaw. Just add the frozen, chopped onions to your pan or dish and prepare as usual.
Compare the bulk price to the “normal” organic price of $1.99 per pound at one of my favorite grocery stores: A total savings of $71.52 and per pound savings of $1.49, which equates to 75% discount to the “regular” price.
Even if you choose to compare to conventionally grown onions, there is still benefit: A total savings of $12 and per pound savings of $0.25, which equates to 33% discount to the “regular” price.
In my area, this habit actually brings the cost of organic onions BELOW the price of regular onions (see above). It’s a simple way to increase access to organic food without also increasing your food budget!
It’s so easy to pull a bag of prepared onions from the freezer at cooking time, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pick them up at a weekly grocery run!
What time and money saving methods do you use in your kitchen? Send me an email and share your ideas, and I may feature them in an upcoming post!
I'm a homesteading, homeschooling mama to three little ones. I'm passionate about helping other moms find ways to live the homesteading life of their dreams.