Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thrifty Thursday



Take a tub, an ice cream tub, a margarine tub any plastic tub will do, best with straight sides though.  Use it for freezer storage,  fill with soups, stews, curries, blanched vegetables and delicate items pasties, pies etc.  They stack well and, providing you label them on the top and the front, you can find what you're looking for in seconds.  If you don't have enough tubs stand a plastic freezer bag inside your tub and then fill it, once the contents are frozen you can take out the bag and it will be tub shaped and you can stack that and re-use your tub over and over.  A full freezer uses less electricity to keep its contents frozen and frozen rectangles fill the space well, with less little pockets of air that could get warmer.

If you have too many tubs......


... cut the straight flat section out of the lid, and then cut each side section into a flat rectangle.


Then cut each rectangle into strips and you have plant labels, lots of lovely plant labels all ready for next Spring when you sow your seeds.  You can write on them with permanent marker and re-use over and over again by cleaning this off with a little meths on a cloth.

Better to do this than send to landfill where they will sit for years not rotting away.


A big bundle of labels from one icrecream tub.  I get about 25 from each tub, but you could make them narrower and gets lots more.


You could also make shaped large plant labels to go at the end of rows in your veggie beds, but this way you get less plant labels from one tub, the choice is yours.  But in my mind a nice looking veggie bed makes you want to work it more and look after it better, so treat yourself to big, decorated labels if that's what you want, after all they cost you nothing but five minutes of your time.

*****


Icre cube trays are brilliant for freezing small quantities of foods, here I'm about to freeze the Basil Pesto, I made a while ago.   After a week or so in the fridge, we hadn't eaten it all so I decided to freeze what was left so it would last us through the Winter.  The jar behind is a fresh batch, I was determined not to waste any of my lovely Basil plant that was starting to look worse for wear, so I made some more.


Once frozen tip the contents into a tub, label it well and stack it in the freezer.  These little cubes will keep us going for ages, because they are small they thaw quickly and are each approximately a heaped teaspoonful, so you can dot them over pizzas, quiches etc and have little puddles of lovely Pesto exactly where you want them in your finished dish.

You can use the 'ice cube' method of freezing for all sorts of things, another one is to buy the tins of tomato puree, much cheaper than the tubes, and then once opened put the remainder of your tin into ice cubes trays and freeze, each time a recipe calls for a teaspoonful of puree, simply pop in a cube.  Your herbs can also be frozen this way, preserved chopped in a little water or oil ready for use all through the Winter when your plants have died off.

Pop a raspberry, blueberry or slice of strawberry into an ice cube tray and top up with water, these look gorgeous floating in your glass of chilled water or wine and add a special touch to party drinks.


If you don't have an ice cube tray don't rush out and buy one, first have a think, in the past I've used the plastic liners from boxes of chocolates, the plastic trays that divide piles of biscuits (these make BIG ice 'cubes' but as long as they fit in your jug or hold the amounts you want frozen for your other things does it matter?).  Ice 'cubes' don't have to be cubed  shape!!


So start saving your tubs, before you throw anything in the bin ask yourself, 'What could I do with this?  There's usually something.  You paid for the product inside it AND you paid for the tub/packet/bag, if it goes in the bin your throwing away some of your money...

....THINK before you throw money away!!

Sue xx

7 comments:

  1. I love thrifty Thursdays and couldnt wait for your post today. I feel really inspired by your tips, and the fact that you blog in the mornings means that I have the whole day to absorb what you say and am already planning what to do with herbs that are left in the herb patch.I am now going over to tracing rainbows to see what ang has to offer advice on! With many thanks, Lynda x

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  2. Great post Sue. I keep any tubs but I need to remember to USE them as they are currently falling out of the cupboard!

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  3. I freeze pesto and chopped fresh herbs in ice cube trays. Really convenient to have them on hand through the winter when bought herbs are ridiculously expensive.
    Jane x

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  4. Another great post today Sue, some great ideas.

    In the summer we chop up vegetables and freeze them in water in the ice cube trays and feed them to our guinea pigs and prairie dogs.

    Have a good day

    Martin.

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  5. Brillian tpost Sue, thanks for sharing in Thrifty Thursdays
    blessings x

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  6. I use ice-cream tubs for storing things in the freezer- homemade soup and sauces, and also portions of raw meat and fish. It's slightly worrying when I see just how much ice-cream we have consumed in the past! And thanks for becoming my latest follower and for your comment!

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  7. I do the tomatoe puree thing. We don't get icecream in those plastic tubs here in Canada, they are all cardboard now. It's been years since I have seen one like that. Love theidea though as plant markers.

    Gill in Canada

    http://thatbritishwoman.blogspot.com

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Sue xx