An experienced deal-shopper will be able to practice this on all types of items on her grocery list: paper goods, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread products, etc. However, if you are just delving into the world of "buying ahead" for the first time, one of the best (and easiest) items to start with is meat.
According the the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service's fact sheet on safe food handling, most food products can be frozen indefinitely without any risk of spoilage. To retain the best flavor, freeze your raw meat as soon as you buy it and use it within 4 to 12 months. Again, frozen foods remain safe for an indefinite amount of time, so all you are really concerned with is quality of taste.
Meats can be frozen in the supermarket wrapping they are purchased in, but for best flavor retention freeze them in heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap, freezer paper, or freezer bags. Make sure to write the date frozen on the outside of the package as well as the type of meat packaged. It is also handy to freeze the meat in meal-sized amounts so it isn't necessary to thaw two pounds of ground beef if you only plan on using one. Unlike you may have heard, however; it is completely safe to re-freeze meat.
Now that you have a basic idea of what you're going to do, go put it into practice! This week in San Antonio, both H.E.B. Grocery and Sun Harvest are running some excellent deals on meat. Top sirloin steak is only $2.88/lb and boneless skinless chicken breasts are only $1.88/lb at Sun Harvest. H.E.B. has split chicken pieces in a 3-lb bag for only $0.99/lb and whole chickens for $0.79/lb. My freezer is full, what about yours?
This post is a part of LifeasMom's Frugal Friday.