I’ll be honest: making sandwiches for lunchboxes, to take on outings or simply to have for lunch at some is one of the necessary parts of parenting that I’m not a big fan of, but unfortunately it’s an essential job if you want to save money. I’m not really sure why I hate it so much… I just find it a really monotonous task, usually done in a hurry with little hands tugging at my jumper. Recently however I have discovered something which has been a total game changer: freezing sandwiches. When I first read about the concept, I thought ‘hmm, do the sandwiches actually taste OK once they are defrosted?’ and the answer to that question is ‘yes, they actually taste exactly the same as fresh sandwiches’, as long as you stick to a few simple guidelines.
Why consider freezing sandwiches
- You can make them in huge batches and simply take the necessary quantity out of the freezer the night before and allow to defrost in the fridge. Although making lots of sandwiches at once still takes a bit of time, it takes way less time than it would when you add up the time it takes to make each sandwich individually
- It gets it out of the way – I only have to do the dreaded sandwich-making task once a month instead of almost every day
- You can save money by stockpiling bread that has been marked down – I often find that sandwich thins (which is my bread of choice for freezing sandwiches – see below) are reduced, in fact I would say in my local supermarket that almost half the time I look in the marked down section of the bakery there will be sandwich thins there
My top tips for preparing sandwiches that are suitable for freezing
I have done a fair bit of experimenting with different types of bread and different fillings and here are my findings:
- Use sandwich thins rather than traditional sliced bread – the end product tastes better
- Don’t use cucumber, tomato or lettuce as they go funny when defrosted… you could always add these at the end once the sandwiches have defrosted
- The best fillings are quite ‘dry’ – personally I do a thin layer of spreadable cheese on each side of the sandwich thin then put ham in the middle. You can do tuna mayo but go easy on the mayo and make sure the tuna has been thoroughly drained, Because the sandwich thins are, well, thin, you don’t have to worry about the sandwiches tasting dry
- Stockpile sandwich thins in the freezer when you see them reduced, then make a batch once you have enough thins or when you see your preferred filling reduced too. My last batch that I made worked out incredibly cheap because I encountered a huge pack of ham slices that was reduced considerably
- Lidl also do packs of 6 for only 59p – bargain!
How to store them in the freezer
Once I have made and cut up my sandwiches, I put them into batches of how many I need each time. I cut each thin into 4 triangles and I tend to find that to feed both kids I need 7 triangles (4 for my 3 year old, 3 for my 1.5 year old) – so I bundle up 7 triangles and wrap the bundle in clingfilm (if you are a regular reader you will know that I hate single use plastic but until I come up with a better solution I try and reuse clingfilm whenever possible)
I then put all the bundles in a large ziplock bag – Ikea sell them cheaply. Then all I need to do is take out a bundle the night before I need it and leave it to defrost in the fridge.
Have you tried freezing sandwiches before? I would love to hear in the comments of any fillings you have tried that have or haven’t worked!