The Most Important Tool for an Organized Freezer

published Jul 8, 2017
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

My mother-in-law is an excellent cook. She bakes, she makes soup from scratch, she gathers herbs from the garden to blend into pestos and more, and, luckily for me, she usually makes more than she and my father-in-law can eat. Many a time we’ve gone to visit for the weekend and come home with a tote bag full of delectables and end up eating like kings for the week.

Beyond her skills and years of experience, my mother-in-law has one secret weapon for her freezer: masking tape.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Why You Need Masking Tape

Chances are, especially when you’re cooking for two (and you like to make chilis, stews, or baked goods that are best done in big batches), you’re going to get bored of eating the same thing before you can consume all the food you’ve made. That’s where freezing come in. If you do it right away — right after that first meal is served and you’ve packaged up one more meal’s worth of leftovers — those foods taste just as amazing thawed as they do the day you made them. That is, if you know what you’re getting and reheat it properly. That’s where the masking tape comes in.

The Best Way to Use Masking Tape

My mother-in-law keeps a roll of masking tape along with a Sharpie right next to the fridge. When she packages things up, she rips off a piece to add a label — including what it is, when she made it, how many servings are in there, and some basic reheating instructions. (The serving information is ingenious because she doesn’t have to stand there, a month later, wondering if that flattened bag of frozen chili will be enough to feed four people once it’s heated up.) And because it’s masking tape, it’s easy to remove from reusable containers. And also because it’s masking tape — versus washi tape, or painter’s tape, or some sort of too-fancy sticker specifically designed for freezer labeling — it’s cheap. Which means you can feel double thrifty using up those leftovers. Huzzah!

Some Meals to Label and Stash in the Freezer