10 Foods You Should Always Keep In Your Freezer

Most of us take our freezers for granted, but they can be an invaluable tool when it comes to eating healthy, budget-friendly meals at home.

1. Cooked rice and other grains

1. Cooked rice and other grainsDiscover

Because they can take so long to cook, grains can really throw a wrench in your cooking process. But, if you make a few servings beforehand and freeze them, you'll have rice (or quinoa, grits, etc.) ready to go when you need it.

2. Very Ripe Bananas

2. Very Ripe BananasThe World Around Us

When your bananas are on the cusp, throw them in the freezer. You can use them later for banana bread or a quick and easy smoothie.

3. Nuts

3. NutsGlossophilia

Nuts are delicious and nutritious, but they're also expensive. To save a little money, buy them in bulk and freeze what you won't use immediately.

4. Vegetable Scraps

4. Vegetable ScrapsYesHelper

Any time you cut up aromatic veggies (think onions and carrots) store the scraps in a bag in the freezer. Once it's filled, you can use it to make your own vegetable stock.

5. Cookie Dough

5. Cookie DoughCBSNEWS

The next time you make cookies, save a few pre-portioned sections of the dough, then, the next time that you want something sweet, you can throw a few in the oven for a quick, easy snack.

6. Pre-prepared Meals

6. Pre-prepared MealsSuper Savvy Me

When you have a little extra time, prepare a few slow cooker recipes and throw them in the freezer. That way, on days when you just don't have time to cook, you can put one in the slow cooker and have a delicious meal with minimal work.

7. Butter

7. ButterButter Through The Ages

Frozen butter can be a miracle for baking. Cold butter makes for great pie crusts, scones and biscuits.

8. Fresh Herbs

8. Fresh HerbsCuisinicity

It's easy to let fresh herbs go to waste. Instead of throwing out herbs you don't use in time, store what you don't use immediately in the freezer. This applies to everything from rosemary to kaffir lime leaves.

9. Double Up on Dinner

9. Double Up on DinnerWikipedia

If you're making large-batch dinners like meatloaf, enchiladas, or lasagna, make even more and store it in the freezer a quick and delicious meal when you're crunched for time.

10. Bread

10. BreadWikipedia

Bread can last a surprisingly long time in the freezer, and it only takes a minute or two to warm it up in the toaster.

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