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Cooked and ready-to-go main ingredients in the freezer are like money in the bank, especially when you come across a sale. If you keep basic pantry items (such as pastas, rice, canned tomatoes and soups) and frozen items (such as vegetables) on hand, you'll be able to have a hearty supper on the table in no time at all.

Easy measuring and freezing....

1 to 1-1/4 lb. uncooked lean ground beef, turkey, or sausage = about 2-1/2 to 3 cups cooked and crumbled.

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. uncooked chicken breasts = about 3 cups cubed and cooked.

Preshredded cheeses are convenient and freeze great but can be costly. Consider grating your own (2 [8-oz.] blocks of cheese, shredded = about 4 cups). Partially freezing the block, especially softer cheeses such as Swiss and Montery Jack, makes grating a breeze.

Chopped onions show up as an ingredient in lots of recipes. You can freeze them after chopping, but freeze them raw.

Label your items for freezing, including the amount and date. Posting a list on the fridge or freezer will help you keep track of your inventory and also help with menu planning, shopping and cut back on waste. If properly stored, shredded cheeses and cooked meats can be frozen up to three months.
 
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