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料理

冷凍庫をフル活用!節約が捗る自炊生活6つの秘訣

料理

「貯金したいから、節約しようかな~」とお考えのあなた、食費が一番節約のしどころということをご存知ですか?これまでの食生活や工夫のしかたによっては、食費はみるみる削ることができる項目なのです。

しかし、“3食88円のカップラーメン”や“3食菓子パンで”などという節約はオススメできません。栄養バランスの崩れは体調不良やストレスを招くばかりか、大きな病気になってしまっては莫大な医療費がかかることも。

確かに食材を余らせずに使い切るのは、自炊初心者には難しい問題。そんな方に活用してほしいのが、冷凍庫です。氷やアイスクリームを入れておくだけではもったいない!食材やおかずの保存に冷凍庫を利用することで、節約生活が可能になるのです。

本記事では、冷凍を上手く使った節約自炊生活の秘訣をご紹介しています。食費を削る余地がある方は、ぜひ本記事を参考にしてみてくださいね。

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節約自炊生活の設備投資

料理

まず、細かな冷凍の秘訣をご紹介する前に、“これだけは用意してほしい”というグッズをご紹介しておきます。

  • 食材保存グッズ:ラップ、タッパーウエア、保存バッグ(ジップロックなど)
  • 大きめの鍋
  • ステンレスのバット

冷凍の原則は食材が空気に触れないように包むことです。冷凍庫の匂いが付いてしまうと、臭くて食べられなくなってしまいます。ラップと保存バッグで2重に包むと、そういった事態も防ぐことができます。

まずはステンレスのバットに包んだ食材を置いて冷凍庫に入れると、すぐに冷えて凍ります。ご飯やお肉などを冷凍するときに活用してください。

できれば冷凍庫が大きめの冷蔵庫があればベストなのですが、大きい買い物なので無理は禁物です。自炊生活が充実してきたら必要に応じて購入を検討してみてください。

節約のための冷凍自炊生活の秘訣

以下、冷凍を上手く活用した自炊のコツをご紹介していきます。

お米はまとめ炊き&冷凍

まずお米を買うというのは節約の基本です。10kg4,000円くらいのお米を買ったとして、1合60円、お茶碗1杯にして30円と外食よりかなりリーズナブル。

さらに節約したいのであればお米は週末にまとめ炊きして冷凍しておくことをオススメします。お茶碗1杯分くらいずつ小分けにして、ラップで包むとレンジで簡単に解凍できます。

炊飯器は電気を消費するので、何度も炊飯する電気代とその都度保温しておく電気代両方の節約になります。また、自炊のモチベーション維持にもつながるのでオススメ。ご飯のストックさえあれば、なにか適当におかずを作ろうという意欲が湧いてきます。

パンは買ったらすぐ冷凍

実は、パンも冷凍することができます。食パンを1斤買っても、最後の方は固くなってしまったりカビが生えたりしてしまうことが多いのが一人暮らし。買ったらすぐ、冷凍してしまいましょう。

1枚ずつラップで包み、食べるときはそのままトースターに入れればOKです。余った調理パンやカレーパンも、すぐ食べない時は冷凍しておきましょう。

食材は買ったらすぐ冷凍

お肉や野菜など、「悪くなってしまう前に食べよう!」と無理に1食で食べるくらいなら食材を冷凍しておきましょう。冷凍NGの野菜もありますが、たいていの野菜は大丈夫です。あくのある野菜は軽く湯がいて水気を切って冷凍してください。

以下のコツを参考に、食材を買ったらすぐ使わない分は冷凍する習慣をつけましょう。

  • お肉は1回使う分(80g~100gくらい)ずつラップで包み、保存バッグで冷凍
  • 野菜・きのこは、使う形に切ってから保存バッグで冷凍
  • 特に小口ネギを冷凍しておくと重宝
  • 冷凍で栄養価がなくなる野菜:きゅうり、レタス

お肉は使う前にレンジや冷蔵庫で解凍しておく必要がありますが、野菜やきのこは凍ったまま加熱調理して大丈夫です。

おかずをまとめて作って冷凍

オススメしたいのは、時間があるときにおかずをたくさん作っておいて冷凍するという方法です。食材も使い切ることができ、光熱費の節約にもなります。何より、疲れて家に帰ってきたときにおかずのストックがあるというのは非常に有難いことです。

以下、ストックにオススメのおかずをご参考までに。

  • 大鍋料理:カレー、シチューなど
  • メインおかず:ドライカレー、ハンバーグなど肉類は大抵OK
  • 主食系:お好み焼き、パンケーキ、いももち
  • 副菜:煮物(ひじき煮、切り干し大根、きんぴらごぼうなど)

食材を加工して冷凍

おかずの冷凍と並んでオススメなのが、食材を加工して冷凍するという方法です。ある程度調理が進んでいるためすぐにおかずが完成するうえ、バリエーションも付けられます。食材があるときに、次のような加工方法を試してみましょう。

  • ひき肉そぼろ:そぼろ丼、肉味噌麺、おにぎりの具など
  • 肉団子:スープの具、ミートボール、中華風あんかけ、スパゲティに
  • ミートソース:スパゲッティ、グラタンやドリア、オムレツなど
  • たれに漬けた肉:焼くだけで豪華おかずに、炒めものに

生菓子は冷凍しておやつストックに

実は、ケーキや大福、おまんじゅうなどの生菓子も冷凍することができます。余ってしまった、たくさん実家から送ってきたというような場合は、無理して1度に食べきるのではなくおやつのストックとして冷凍しておきましょう。

その際、ラップで包むのを忘れずに。ケーキや大福は冷蔵庫で解凍し、おまんじゅうは解凍後レンジで少し温めると美味しく食べられます。

まとめ:冷凍で食材のムダをゼロに

本記事では、冷凍を利用した節約自炊生活の6つのコツをご紹介してきました。ここで、もう一度それらのコツについておさらいしてみましょう。

  • お米はまとめ炊き&冷凍
  • パンは買ったらすぐ冷凍
  • 食材は買ったらすぐ冷凍
  • おかずをまとめて作って冷凍
  • 食材を加工して冷凍
  • 生菓子は冷凍しておやつストックに

食材を冷凍することのメリットは、食材を使い切れるということばかりではなく、色々な食材やおかずのストックがあるのでバリエーション豊かな食事ができるようになるということも一つです。本記事を参考に、充実した節約生活を送ってくださいね。

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