I don’t know how many blog posts and YouTube Videos I have watched with women spending HOURS Freezer cooking. Well, I’m here to say that ain’t for me! If I was to spend that much time cooking while my children were awake they would tear up the house and possibly kill one another. I mean am I alone in this???
But lets face it somedays in order to avoid eating out we need to have something that is we can just pop into the oven/crockpot.
Now, despite my totally apprehension to spend hours freezer cooking I still put away quite a few freezer meals every month! So what is my secret??? Well, I consistently do the following two things…
Freezer Cooking Made Easy
- I do a lot prep work throughout the month. I cut up and flash freeze onions, green peppers, celery and any other vegetable of which I have an abundance. I pre-cook beef, chicken and pork seasoned only with salt and pepper so I have lots of flexibility as far as how to use it. So what is so special about what I do in comparison to the all day freezer cooking gals? The difference is I do it by piece meal by doing it when I am preparing a meal that calls for that particular ingredient. So instead of setting a special time aside to cook I do it during the normal course of my day. So if I am making Tacos I might cook 6 pounds of ground beef and bag up the other 5 pounds we don’t need. If I am making something with green pepper then I cut up extra green peppers and freeze them. By doing this I save both cooking and cleaning time.
- Now here is where all of that food prep comes into play. When I am making dinner I purposefully plan to double and triple cook dinners that freeze well. All of the pre-chopped veggies and pre-cooked meats makes making dinner much less time intensive. So for example if I am making Lasagna I will make 2-3 lasagnas at one time and freeze the others.
How Many Frozen Meals Do You Need
Well, I do not know. It is going to depend on your lifestyle. I have 5 children with a busy sports & music schedules. I also like to have enough easy to make food on hand in case I get sick. So if you make do this 4-5x per month in 4 months you could have as many as 20 meals in your freezer. I would ideally like to have about 10-12 frozen meals in my freezer.
- If you get sick how long are you normally sick for?
- How many sports practices and games will you have in a week that will make it difficult to make dinner?
- How long does it take you to restock your freezer meals?
- What things events do you have coming up that you (or your husband) will definitely need a to use a freezer meal?
Then make the number of freezer meals that seems appropriate to you. It’s not a science you’ll learn by trial and error how many meals you need and your freezer can hold.
A few suggestions
- Make sure you date and label the things you are sticking into your freezer.
- Keep a list of your freezer meals so you know what you have and you know if your supplies are getting low and it’s time to do some more freezer cooking.
- Purchase containers that you can leave in your freezer. I use aluminum containers and zip lock bags. Some of you will prefer not to use aluminum, if so please list what you use instead in the comments. However, what ever you use make sure you have plenty of supplies when you start cooking.
An Incomplete List of Things we freeze
- BBQ pork or chicken Meat for Sandwiches
- Pork, Chicken Meat for tacos & Gyros
- King Ranch Chicken
- Mashed potatoes
- Roast Ready to Go (Roast with all the fixins)
- chicken/pork pot pie
- Lasagna Spinach or Beef
- Enchilada Casserole
- Duggar Hashbrown Casserole
This post is part of the Eat at Home Challenge
- Assignment # 1- Make a Grocery List
- Assignment #2 – 4 Steps to Effective Meal Planning