Thursday, May 12, 2016

This is the week I get all of those remaining "Easter eggs" into the freezer

These are the eggs that I bought the week before Easter, for 99 cents per dozen, at Target. there was no limit, so I bought 20 dozen. Yes, you read that correctly, 20 dozen. I have this teensy problem of when I see a bargain, I get a little bit carried away, and really stock up. So long as I can do something to preserve the item I've stocked up on, it won't go to waste, and will save money in the long haul.

But, I've got to get all of the eggs that I bought into the freezer in the next couple of days. They're a bit passed the sell-by date. So . . .


I've been freezing eggs, one at a time. In a muffin tin, lined with squares of plastic wrap, I've frozen some of them. There's one egg on the far right that got a little messy, when the plastic slipped into the tin before I filled it completely with egg. I straightened the plastic, as best I could and continued filling. It'll be a bit harder to remove from the tin than the others, but should be okay.


I've also frozen bunches of eggs in containers, 3, 4 and 5 at a time. This is the simplest, and will be just right for many recipes. I mark the tops of the containers, so I know if there's salt or sugar added, how many eggs, and when I froze them. And if what I need is 3 eggs, but all I have is 4-egg quantities, I can thaw a 4-egg container, measure out 3 eggs (3 tablespoons per egg), and keep the last egg in the fridge for a couple of days, until needed. Thawed eggs remain "safe" for cooking, about 2 to 3 days in the fridge.


I've frozen eggs as pre-made, individual slices of frittata -- great for breakfasts or quick lunches. I use parchment paper to separate each portion. (They do tend to glom together, when frozen, due to the moisture.)


I've frozen eggs as loaves of pumpkin bread. A 2-loaf batch uses 4 eggs. Pumpkin bread freezes nicely. I'll be making several loaves of pumpkin bread this week, both to use the eggs, and use some of the pumpkin.


And I've frozen eggs as ready-made dinners, in the form of quiche.

My daily goal is to freeze about 1  1/2 dozen eggs, in some form or other. If I stick to this goal, I'll have gone through all of the eggs that I bought the week before Easter, giving me a nice supply of usable eggs for cooking and baking, as well as some ready-made items in the freezer.

Anyone else out there still using up eggs from the pre-Easter stock-up? According to the USDA, eggs remain safe to use in cooking for 3 to 5 weeks post the sell-by date. For more information on freezing eggs, here's a post I wrote a couple of years ago.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I read this to my husband this morning (he's now dozed back to sleep) since he didn't believe eggs can be frozen. He was in disbelief about freezing milk and so many other foods, now he's saying in awe he can't believe how much the freezer is helping us save.

    YHF

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  2. Btw everything looks so yummy. That's quite a production. I'm wondering if there is an advantage to keeping eggs fresh as long as possible or immediately freezing the eggs upon buying them, and using from freezer stock. Is there a perceptible quality loss with freezing.

    Have a great day!!

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      It seems like someone has come up with a way to freeze just about every food, doesn't it?

      As far as freezing right away, of course that would probably be best. But I'm not nearly that organized!

      Quality loss -- I've not had any problems with using eggs in baking or quiches/frittatas, after having frozen those eggs. So, I don't know what loss there may be. The eggs still perform the function I'd intended for them. The only thing I've noticed is frozen then thawed eggs look more orangey yellow to me. So if you're going for a pale cake or omelet, then maybe it would appear more yellow? That's about all I can think of.

      Have a great day, YHF!

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    2. I find freezing foods immediately upon harvest or buying in quantity the best solution in keeping organized, otherwise I forget to use up in time. That way it is already in user friendly state, onions are grated in the food processor and ready to add to dishes, kangkong is harvested every other day, blanched, chopped and frozen ready to add to dishes, dated milk and industrial sized tomato sauce frozen in one cup portions, pizza ingredients chopped and ready to use, etc. Of course that causes a backlog in the freezer and an organization nightmare there. But that appliance is saving us so much money, and cutting down prep time when cooking. The only slight disadvantage may be a slight nutrition loss over fresh, but I recall from my nutrition class (now over 40 years ago) that it will not be that much compared to losses when sitting out in the fridge for a long time. Seems the more I freeze the more I want to freeze lol

      YHF

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  3. Great post, Lili! We buy eggs "big", as well; but never seem to have too much trouble using them up, one way or another. We haven't had to freeze any "solo" yet, but keep your instructions on that in mind, just in case.

    What great timing you brought this up, though, because I was just getting ready to e-mail you this week about egg prices. Have yours dropped in your area?

    My husband bought a box of "loose" eggs last month for $16, which the time before cost $36 or something like that-- same product, same grade, same store. He thought maybe it was a mistake; but grabbed it up, either way.

    Well, we were getting down to the last three dozen or so of that box, so I figured I might buy more, while I was at the big store.... and imagine my surprise, they were $13.99 this time. You betcha our son and I juggled things around in the fridge until they all fit! (But we might end up freezing some this time around... though I've been making eggy things already and seem to be plowing through the end of the last box.)

    All of that to say, have you seen any price drop on eggs lately?

    Take care-- Sara

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    1. Hi Sara,
      yes, on lower egg prices overall. So, for the last year, I've not seen non-Easter sales on eggs for 99cents per dozen. Then a couple of weeks ago, both Safeway and Albertson's had an in-ad coupon for 99 cents/dozen, on just a regular week. And many on this blog have commented seeing as low as 69 cents/dozen. So, I do think the poultry issue has settled out, and egg production is back up.

      In reading the egg market news from the USDA, wholesale egg prices dropped significantly in February, and then again in late March. Wholesale prices have tipped up very slightly, this month. It will be interesting to see how summer egg prices play out. In any case, retail egg prices are looking better for the rest of this year, compared to last year.

      I have also seen an improvement in chicken prices this spring over last, by several cents per pound.

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    2. So I just checked Cash & Carry's price, and they have large eggs, 15 dozen loose pack, for $11.99, which is about 79 cents a pound. That's pretty great for my area. Now I need to decide if I want another 15 dozen eggs ;-) I sure wish I had someone in the area I could split a case with.

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  4. Aldi's in west Michigan has eggs on sale again this week for 69 cents/dozen. The trouble is, it prices can change dramatically week to week ... or, you may have the same low price for weeks on end. When I see the Aldi store manager, sometimes I ask him about prices, but he isn't always working on the days when I shop.

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    1. Kim,
      I'm in West Michigan also but the closest Aldi to me had them for 79 cents a dozen. Where is your store? I bought my 6 dozen limit yesterday but I think I will go back again today and get another 6 dozen.

      Alice

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    2. Great prices on eggs at Aldi's for both of you. I'd have to buy 15 dozen eggs at a time (case) to get 79 cents/dozen right now.

      So, I was doing some figuring -- a 2-egg portion (without extras like cheese/ham etc) would about substitute for a serving of meat for an adult in our house, for dinner. At 79 cents/dz, eggs for 5 of us would cost 66 cents for the protein portion of the meal. That's not as cheap as dried beans, but cheaper than all types of meat that I can buy, including the 49 cents/lb bone-in chicken leg quarters (due to having to account for the bone/skin).

      So, I am considering that 15 dozen loose pack case, at 79 cents/dozen. Even with having about 10 dozen eggs in the freezer, in one form or another. (I'll be using those in late summer and fall.)

      Alice and Kris, are you just using your eggs in a "normal" way and amount, or are you stocking up?

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    3. I boiled 4 eggs this morning to see what they were like when peeling. They must be very fresh because I had a hard time peeling them. Knowing that, I KNOW that they will keep in the refrig. for 4-6 weeks or more. The reason I believe that is one year we took care of chickens for a summer and we had so many eggs in our refrigerator and we ate them all summer long. Stores (I've heard) sometimes don't even get them for on their shelves for 3-4 weeks after the chicken lays them. Am I wrong...if I am feel free to correct me. I'm just planning on using them as far into the summer as I can. Am I putting my health and my family's health in danger?

      Alice

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    4. Alice, I've heard that, too. If they are fresh, eggs are difficult to peel after boiling. And if they are older, they are easier to peel.

      For myself, I use eggs (or get them into the freezer), up to about 5 weeks past the sell-by date. And I've never had a problem with the eggs. The USDA says that eggs should be safe to consume up to 5 weeks past sell-by date. And I know of other's stories that they've raised hens and kept the eggs for a couple of months after laying. The sell-by date is a freshness date, the eggs will be at their best by XX date. But like I've said, I've never had a problem with eggs past that date.

      The eggs that you're buying this week likely have a sell-by date of early June, would be my guess. So they should still be within the USDA's guidelines for "safe" until mid-July. If all of your eggs don't get eaten between now and mid-June, you could consider freezing them, in the form of quiches, frittatas and rice and egg bakes, to use for quick suppers later in the summer.

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  5. Wow, great job with all of those eggs, Lili! I haven't ever frozen eggs in their original state, but I will have to consider it for the future. I don't have a chest freezer so am a bit limited in how much I can store that way, but I could probably make more efficient use of the freezer space we have.
    Mary

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    1. Hi Mary,
      It is good to know that they can be frozen, even without a chest freezer. It gives you options, should you decide to just buy an extra 3 or 4 dozen eggs, or if you suddenly find you can't use your eggs before expiry. Also, Fred Meyer repackages eggs from damaged cartons (where an egg or two has cracked), and I can find those packages marked down. Those kinds of unexpected deals can be hard to pass up. But I also totally understand the limitation of having just the freezer part of a kitchen fridge/freezer.

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  6. Holy Kazoli! I'm not sure I can quite picture 20 dozen eggs! In fact, I don't think I could fit that many into my refrigerator! I didn't stumble upon any good egg bargains this year, but Easter was sooo early that it sorta caught me off guard.

    I didn't have much luck freezing eggs last time I tried - they came out either WAY too salty or WAY too sweet. Perhaps next time I try it I'll use less salt or sugar and see what happens. I do have good luck freezing quiche though - hard to go wrong there!

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    1. Hi Cat,
      well, we're 5 hungry adults, here, too!

      As for freezing and too much saltiness, try halving the salt to 1/16th teaspoon per egg. I've been adding less than what was recommended in Joy of Cooking and having good results. I only add the sugar when I know I'll be using them in baking, otherwise I always go the salt route now. But I think you're right, the full 1/8th teaspoon is salty, especially if you add other salty foods like ham and cheese.

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  7. Lili, you are proving once again that being frugal takes hard work, knowledge, and creativity.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      It is a job. I can vouch for that. I have some weeks where I'm dead tired (like this one). But if I have to choose between working a job that I wouldn't enjoy all that much, or doing the frugal stuff, I'd choose the frugal stuff, as it gives me freedom to choose how to be frugal, and still allows time to spend with my kids or volunteering, without having to ask a boss for permission to take time off. So it's a choice I make.

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.