For most of us, storing leftovers is a big part of keeping the household fed day in, day out. Some people have a system to maximise efficiency for preparing weekday meals and avoid food waste, while others of us are still struggling to keep supply and demand under control!
One Aussie foodie come up with the ultimate fix to all our waste woes with a clever Kmart ice cube hack discovered while cleaning out her fridge. Karyn Cullen found a bunch of half-empty sauce jars at risk of going bad and cleverly filled ice cube trays with the leftovers, sparking a huge conversation and following on social media, with others jumping onto the hack.
“I started thinking about how I could avoid [waste] and wondered if I could freeze them,” she wrote on Kmart Home & Hacks Facebook page.
“I went into the Kmart website and saw they had ice cube trays with lids and thought that would be perfect! When I went into the shop, however, I saw the hard trays with the rubber bottom and thought they would be much easier to use – they are!”
Karen’s idea is simple: pour any excess goods – be it curry pastes, pasta sauces or spices – into an ice cube tray then pop the frozen blocks into labelled zip lock bags or containers. This is fool-proof for keeping track of use by dates and extending the life of produce.
“I use them in curry, stirfry, Bolognese, anything really,” she explained. “They only take a minute to dissolve in the pot and you’re not messing around with spoons and jars, just pop the cube in.”
“It takes two minutes to do. Saves you time during prep. Doesn’t take up much space in the freezer. Saves you lots of space in the fridge and more importantly, money!” she added.
While these ice cube trays are no longer available at Kmart, keep your eyes peeled for a revival, and meanwhile, we’ve found that many more models that do the trick just as well – or better – depending on what it is you’re freezing.
Silicone ice cube trays work best for easy release and these are now available in larger cube sizes, ideal for pasta sauces, baby food and yogurt.
Ice cube trays with lids and in smaller block sizes are great for freezing tablespoon portions of pastes and purees, such as garlic and ginger puree.
You can bet we’re incorporating this ice cube tray hack into our weekly meal prep session, it’s total genius!
Shop the ice cube tray hack
Silicone ice cube tray, Big W
Silicone works beautifully to pop out little squares of flavour. Assorted shades allow you to colour code your condiments for sweet and savoury.
Square ice tray in Blue, Myer
$4.17 (was $6.95)
Firm ice tray that makes 21 cubes with a handle on the end for easy access in and out of your freezer.
Silicone freezer tray, Kmart
The generous pod size of this freezer tray holds approximately 600ml so great for freezing larger portions of sauces, fruit and pastes. Baby food can also be easily popped out of these round silicone moulds.
Essentials ice cube tray, Woolworths
Made in two colours fromTPR (thermoplastic rubber) these standard ice cube tray twists easily to release frozen portions of ice or food. Handwashing is recommended.
Easy-release ice cube tray, Amazon
This silicone set of 3 trays each makes 6 large ice cubes and comes in a choice of two colourways. Dishwasher-safe and microwaveable, each tray comes with a lid making them stackable and avoids spills.