8 Things in Your Freezer You Should Toss Out
Need to make some room in the freezer? When in doubt, throw it out.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Smelly Ice Cubes
There’s nothing refreshing about taking a big gulp of ice water and tasting the garlic you put in the freezer last week. Once ice cubes have taken on the scents around them, they’ll never get rid of them. These covered ice cube trays ($17) can help preserve them longer.
Forgotten Freezer Meals
Look at you with your freezer full of healthy freezer meals! It’s great to plan ahead but don’t get overambitious with your meal prep. Prepared freezer meals should be eaten within three months. Keep track of all your hard work with freezer-safe food labels ($9) and try a first-in first-out approach.
Stale Coffee Beans
Storing ground coffee in the freezer can preserve freshness but be mindful of how long those beans have been sitting in there. Coffee beans absorb moisture, as well as different tastes and smells around them, so make sure to use them within three months.
How long has that bag of frozen mixed veggies been sitting in the back of your freezer? If it survived your last move, it’s time to toss it. Frozen veggies can be kept in the freezer for about three months or shorter if you notice freezer burn. Check out the complete guide on how long you can freeze foods.
We love keeping a supply of chicken freezer meals on hand for busy weeknights. Once meat like chicken begins to thaw, though, it needs to be thrown out to avoid salmonella and other bacteria. So if you started defrosting it and then changed your mind, don’t refreeze it. Vacuum seal bags ($37) can keep meat fresher longer.
Pastries with Creamy Filling
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of making a heavenly cheese danish from scratch, the last thing you want to do is throw away the leftovers. Pastries and other treats with cheese or creamy filling don’t keep well in the freezer; toss them after a month (or just eat them to avoid this problem altogether).
We love finding creative ways to repurpose leftovers; they just won’t last in the freezer forever. Most leftover dishes will keep for two to six months in the freezer. If they’ve been sitting for a while and you can’t remember what the food was in the first place, pitch it and start over.
Old Ice Cream
Most of us don’t have the problem of ice cream lasting too long in our homes but if you happen to have more self-control, you may find yourself in this predicament. If your tub of ice cream is older than three to four months, it’s time for it to go. So grab a bowl and a spoon before time is up! When making homemade ice cream recipes, store them in individual silicone containers ($31) to preserve that fresh flavor.