How I Organized My Entire Freezer with a Single Trip to the Dollar Store

updated Sep 4, 2019
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Credit: Emily Dorio

When my brother moved to a new city, he gifted us his extra stand-up freezer and I couldn’t have been more excited. I even hopped into Kitchn’s Meal Planning Club Facebook to brag — “I just got a brand new garage freezer! What should I store in it? Any organization tips?”

Our meal planners were quick to chime in with advice, but my favorite was a hot tip to hit a dollar store for freezer organizing supplies. Recently, I did just that and my bonus freezer organization is one of the best things to ever happen to me (you know, aside from my husband and children).

Credit: Meghan Splawn

The Best Dollar Store Freezer Organizers

The original tip for organizing my new-to-me freezer was actually just about grabbing a cheap white board to keep an inventory list on the outside of the freezer, but a quick pass through the dollar store gave me lots more ideas. These are the three supplies that made the biggest difference in organizing the vast freezer.

1. Plastic Storage Baskets

I originally planned to grab plastic storage baskets at Target, but my local dollar store had strikingly similar bins in a better size — for just a dollar a piece. So I snatched up four of them. Now my freezer has a bin for broth, beans, beef (we have a cow share), and other meat that I can easily pull out and grab from. I mostly keep our frozen vegetables and fruit in the main kitchen freezer, but as we stock up on cheap summer produce or have a boon from our garden, I’ll likely grab two more bins later.

2. Baking Trays

Two of the biggest boons of having a freezer in my garage is that I can now keep my ice cream maker’s canister and big bags of ice in the freezer at all times. I grabbed two rimmed baking sheets from the dollar store to coral those larger items. Now, when I want to make ice cream or just move this stuff around, I can easily grab the (very cold!) trays.

Buy: Wilton Sheet Pan, $6.50 for two

Credit: Meghan Splawn

3. A Dry Erase Board

Oh yes, I did take that inventory tip to heart and added an inventory board to the front of my freezer, so I don’t even have to open it to know what is inside. I also bought a pack of magnets to affix the dry-erase board to the front of the freezer.

As you can see, I’ve still got plenty of room for more food storage — especially at the bottom of the freezer where I currently have jugs of water. Any suggestions? What are your favorite freezer meals?