It is always good to keep useful containers of different sizes for storage. Items like jars previously used for sauces and jams are great for storage and it also helps you recycle. Always make sure you sterilise your jars before using them. Check for cracks, wash with hot soapy water, rinse and dry. If the lids start to show black spots or stains around the rims – you can always discard the old lid and buy new ones from hardware stores.

Plastic containers suitable for food packaging or microwave safe plastic containers are fine for freezing. Always check if the container has this microwave safe label before using for defrosting. It can also be used to heat meals or defrost frozen meat, fillets and poultry. Best to use the lowest heat level on the microwave till the produce is slightly tender. Then leave it out at room temperature to defrost further.

Ice cube trays are also good for storing home made stocks. This can be very useful to use in enhancing taste in stir-frying or any small portion meals, an option to bullion cubes.

Most importantly, knowing the freeze life of your produce helps you to plan your meals for the week. This will in return assist you to manage your spending. Here below I have included a table with the freeze and fridge life of items that you would usually have in your kitchen, based on my kitchen experience and experimentation.

Meat & Poultry
Storage Time
Handling Hints


Fresh beef & lamb
6 – 12 months
3 – 5 days
·       Steaks or chops should be wrapped individually separately.
·       Meat cut into cubes can be kept into one container.
·       Always prep you meat before storage.
10 months
24 hours
·       Either whole or chopped.
·       Prep your chicken immediately you get back from the market. If it is left to stay at room temperature, the chicken may turn bad. If marinated, it is good to be left in the fridge for 1 day.
Minced beef, lamb or chicken
2 – 3 months

Burger Patties
2 – 3 months

·       You can either wrap each patty separately or in one container with a wax paper in between each patty.
Cooked chicken
3 months
5 days
·       Either roasted, stews or cooked in sauce (curry, sambal etc).
Cooked meat, fish, poultry
3 months

·       Placed in safe containers.
Storage Time
Handling Hints


Fresh: Lean fish
6 months
1 – 2 days
·       For bigger fillets or a whole fish, keep them separately - individually.
·       Always prep your fish before freezing.
·       Keeping your fish in the fridge is not advisable. If you plan to use it the next day, its fine to keep in the fridge. Defrosting a fish taken out from the freezer makes it watery and less sweeter.
Prawns, squid and crabs
6 months

Cooked prawns and fish
3 months
3 – 4 days
·       Best to be eaten with in 2 – 3 days, kept too long makes prawns mushy in texture and fish to be too dry.
Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables
Storage Time
Handling Hints


Salad leaves, green leaves, tomatoes

2 – 3 days
·       Green leaves would keep better when wrapped in newspaper. Keeps the leaves dry.
Fresh rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano

2 – 4 days

Other more substantial vegetables
12 months
7 - 14 days
·       Carrots, ginger, galangal, squash, pumpkins, aubergine, lady fingers etc.
Potatoes, onions.

·       Can be kept at room temperature for 1 – 2 weeks.
·       To take away the pungent sting that makes you cry when you cut into the onions, you can store your onions in the fridge.
Dairy, baked goods, dough
Storage Time
Handling Hints


2 months
2 days
·       Wrapped tightly in cling wrap.
·       Let stand for 15 – 20 minutes before use.
·       Do not defrost in the microwave.
3 months
2 weeks
·       Kept out in room temperature 4 – 5 days.
·       Wrap with foil if freezing.

5 days

Coconut milk/santan
1 month
3 – 4 days
·       You can store this in the freezer straight from the market.
·       If it is in a box, it can stand in room temperature as long as the dates on the box.
Eggs – in shell

3 – 5 weeks
·       When you break the egg and the yolk does not keep its shape – the egg is no longer fresh.
Hard boiled egg

1 weeks
·       Will become watery.
4 months