I love to freeze things for later, it just makes life easier. However, cleaning out the freezer is just not fun-- it's cold in there and once things freeze into geometric shapes it's hard to tell what they once were. Plus, with all the food contamination scares out there you don't want to eat something funky from your own freezer.
But there are times when we all just need to suck it up and get in there for some good freezer cleaning fun (well maybe fun isn't the right word to use).
For a few rules of thumb when going into the freezer,
- Throw out fish older than 3 months
- Throw out meats older than 3 months
- Throw out cooked chicken older than 4 months
- Throw out raw chicken older than 9 months
- Throw out breads (and cakes) older than 3 months
- Throw out casseroles older than 4 months
- Throw out veggies and fruit older than 4 months
For all you freezer skeptics: Studies by the FDA consistently reveal that frozen produce is as nutritious, and in some cases even more nutritious, than fresh produce.
Fit's Tip: A good idea is to write on directly each item (with a sharpie) two things. 1.) The date you put it in the freezer as well as 2.) What it is. Before I started doing this, I can't tell you how many times I wanted turkey chili (and thought I was pulling it out) and got my dad's famous meatballs. Wrap things well (or double bag) to prevent freezer burn -- but you should know that while kind of gross, freezer burn does not affect the food's nutritional value.
Real Simple provides an even more detailed list.