Foods you didn't know you could freeze

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Foods You Didn't Know You Could Freeze

You can actually use your freezer to freeze real food and not just frozen dinners! That's right, there's a bunch of food you can extend the life of by tossing in the freezer.

An easy way to save money is by freezing butter. Simply buy it in bulk or on sale, then freeze what you're not immediately using. When you're running low, thaw the next stick out in the refrigerator the night before you need it.

SEE ALSO: New study says you can eat your cake and fast food, too

You know what else you can freeze? Bread. If you feel like your baked goods go bad before you can finish them, try freezing them. When you're ready for some toast, all you have to do is use a higher setting on the toaster and you're good.

You can also freeze a lot of the ingredients you use to bake with. Flour, buttermilk, and chocolate chips can all be frozen to prolong their life.

Freeze herbs to keep them fresh. Put them in cubes of olive oil using an ice tray.

And finally, of course, you can freeze meat. Steak, chicken, bacon, whatever you like, take it cooked or raw and wrap it in plastic and throw it in the freezer. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and you're good to grill.

Related: See some foods you should never freeze:

12 PHOTOS
11 things you should never put in your freezer
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Foods you didn't know you could freeze

1. CHEESE
Soft cheeses such as ricotta, goat, or cream cheese tend to separate when frozen and thawed, which leads to strange textural changes. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar are usually a safe bet, but you're still better off buying only what you need and storing it properly in the fridge.

Photo credit: Getty

2. AND FOR THAT MATTER, MOST DAIRY
Cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and custard all separate and curdle in the freezer.

Photo credit: Getty

3. WHOLE EGGS
Eggs can expand when frozen, causing the shell to crack and potentially let bacteria in—never a good thing. Cooked eggs and egg-based sauces like hollandaise, mayonnaise, and meringue are also poor freezer candidates. If you really have to freeze eggs, crack them, whisk them (or separate the whites and yolks) and store in an airtight container.

Photo credit: Getty

4. FRIED FOOD
The crispy, craggily, gloriously fried exterior of fried foods—that is, the best part—is lost when frozen and defrosted. Unless soggy is your thing, keep these suckers away from the cold.

Photo credit: Getty

5. COFFEE
It's OK to freeze unopened, freshly-roasted bags of coffee for up to a month. But once you open the bag and start taking it in and out of the freezer, the coffee can get ruined. Thawing and refreezing yields condensation on the beans which causes them to absorb freezer smells.

Photo credit: Getty

6. SOME PRODUCE
Produce that has a high water content (cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce) gets limp and soggy when frozen and defrosted.

Photo credit: Getty

7. FRESH HERBS
Try to thaw a bunch of fresh herbs from frozen and you'll be left with a brown, soggy mess. Instead, turn your herbs into compound butter or pesto, both of which freeze impeccably.

Photo credit: Getty

8. COOKED PASTA
Cooked pasta turns into a mushy puddle of gluten after it's frozen. Avoid at all costs.

Photo credit: Getty

9. SAUCES THICKENED WITH FLOUR OR CORNSTARCH
Thickened sauces like gravy and béchamel separate when frozen and thawed. Not a good look.

Photo credit: Getty

10. AVOCADOS
The texture of avocados changes when frozen, so you can kiss that silky interior goodbye. (But really, when have you ever had trouble using up a haul?) (Oh, wait, you have? You should probably read this.)

Photo credit: Getty

11. POTATOES
When was the last time you craved a soft, grainy potato? Exactly.

Photo credit: Getty

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