Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Frugal Friday: Off to the fruit shop!

Last week on the Frogblog I talked about stewing and freezing blocks of plums to use in my breakfast for the rest of the year. It makes sense to buy up big while the fruit is in season and preserve it to last through the rest of the year. Today – it’s apricot time!

As soon as I press ‘publish’, I’ll be jumping in the car and hunting down a box of apricots.

I already grow my own rhubarb – a $7 baby plant for Aldi 2 years ago has been an excellent investment! – so in a little while I’ll be buying a box of apples to make cubes of apple and rhubarb. My breakfasts will be healthy, full of variety and wonderfully easy. Oats, water, 3 cubes of fruit and into the microwave for 2.5 minutes. Couldn’t be simpler!

A couple of days ago I went to Costco while Ryan27 was at a job interview. (Spoiler: he got the job as a myotherapist.) While I was there I saw bags of garlic, so I grabbed a couple. Probably tomorrow, I’ll pop a podcast on the iPad and spend a tedious couple of hours peeling each clove. Then, I’ll freeze them.

I saw a friend of mine pull out ready-to-use cloves of garlic from her freezer and it Changed. My. Life. Sometimes the most obvious hacks are the most brilliant. I love to use fresh garlic but it’s a pain when it starts to sprout. This way – there’s no waste and I always have it on hand.

Along with fresh ginger. I just buy a pack from Costco every 6 months or so, slice it into coins and freeze. Works brilliantly.

Preparing the garlic this way is a perfect representation of delayed gratification and long-term thinking over short-term. Peeling the garlic is a nasty job. It’s boring and smelly and I’d rather be doing almost anything else. But the short-term pain is by FAR outweighed by the long-term pleasure of always having such a staple ingredient on hand whenever I want it. No rushed trips to the supermarket to get some more garlic for this little black duck!

Summer is the time when crops ripen and cooks all over the world start to frantically preserve the abundance for the leaner times. Usually by this time, I’m being overrun by tomatoes, but for the second year in a row, it looks like tomatoes are going to be a failure. Damn this El Ninâ weather pattern!

So, if I can’t save money on growing my own tomatoes, I’ll make use of whatever I can to fill the space in the freezers. It’s really a no-brainer. I save money, I save time and it gives me peace of mind. Why wouldn’t I do it?

Dad joke of the day:

Welcome to the plastic surgery addiction group. I see a lot of new faces here.


  1. Louise

    Hi Frogdancer. I don’t peel the garlic before freezing. Just separate them into cloves, put the cloves into a takeaway container, put the container into the freezer, and peel when I use them. Hope this helps.
    I have enjoyed your blogs very much. Thanks for writing them.

    • FrogdancerJones

      No worries Louise! I think I’ll keep peeling them upfront. It’s so good to just grab one out of the freezer and throw it straight into the thermomix without any peeling nonsense. 🙂

  2. Peach

    I second Louise with not peeling them before you freeze them. The peel pretty much falls off after it’s frozen so it is much easier and quicker.
    And thankyou for your book recommendations. I have really enjoyed them and have a long list on reserve at the library!

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’ve got 5 that I need to pick up from my local branch. Must get onto it!

  3. Lisa Kelly

    OMG mind blown about freezing garlic. What??? This is exciting. So are you able to slice it straight away or do you really need to think ahead earlier in the day and get it out to thaw?

    Btw – I was listening to some old episodes of Millionaires Unveilled today and was very excited to hear from Frogdancer Jones. It was so wonderful to hear your voice after reading your blog for the past year. A real treat. You spoke really well and since I know you have now reached all of your goals it was super fun to hear “past you” talk about “future you”. Made my day!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Oh wow. That podcast was recorded ages ago! I’m glad it stood the test of time. 🙂

  4. Rose

    I’m excited to hear about this ‘garlic hack’! I was able to grow some this year, and I have it hanging in the shed. I find it fine to prepare for use – a friend taught me that if you rub it in your hands first, it will peel very easily.

    I am keen for apricots as well, but I dehydrate them rather than stew. Where do your source yours from?

    • FrogdancerJones

      I just went to a fruit shop 4 suburbs away. Fruiterers are thin on the ground where I live.

  5. Maureen

    I grow a ton of garlic, mostly for the scapes. If you’re a fan of pesto, garlic scape pesto is pure, green, springtime bliss. I sort of freeze the bulbs – they are hanging in the unheated garage in this frozen land. I’d never thought of freezing ginger and will try it soon.

  6. sandyg61

    I used to always use sad bananas for cakes and muffins and freeze some of them but have recently discovered chopping them in chunks and freezing to use in smoothies. Something so simple!!!

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