I wish I could say that I am crafty and organized enough to have come up with freezer cooking on my own. Nope. I'd see a Facebook friend posting about how she was making X for dinner and A, B, C, D and E for the freezer. Honestly, I thought it odd. Who cooks for their freezer? Weirdos. That's who. Then my favorite weirdo (ha) took a stab at it at well and I was inspired.
So what it is? To put it simply freezer cooking is doing all (or nearly all) of the prep work for a meal in advance and then freezing it. When you're ready for it, you pull it out of the freezer the day before and heat it up when you're ready. The process varies by the menu item, some things you can put in the crock pot, some things you can microwave, some things are baked in the oven. By doing all of the prep work on one day, you can relieve some of the stress that can happen on other days. Let's face it, juggling career, husbands, kids, relatives, hobbies, me time, a moment to actually use the bathroom... will leave you starved for time. This takes the drama out of dinner. No more worries about what to cook, you just take out what you need and bam!
You can find freezer recipes online, search Pinterest, or sign up with a meal planning site. I've used Once A Month Mom which has a subscription service with new menus each month, but they also have old menus available for no cost.
Last Sunday was my cooking day. I did most of my shopping Friday after work, finding all but a few items at Aldi.
|Not the best pic but it'll do - my Aldi's haul - ~$70|
|A crock pot with a timer is a working woman's best friend|
On Sunday morning I made my second trip to the grocery store and spent around $30. Part of what I bought on Sunday was foil pans for storage. You don't have to use foil pans, you can freeze in casserole dishes, which is what I did in beginning. And then I couldn't find any because they were all in the freezer. The foil pans make clean up a snap too.
It took roughly 3.5 hours on Sunday and I made two of each of the following:
- Beef Enchiladas
- Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice
- Orange Chicken
- Chicken Pesto Sandwhiches
- Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops
- Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry
|Lasagna, Beef Enchiladas, Tex-Mex Chicken & Rice, Chicken Pesto (for sandwiches)|
|Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops, Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry (with Rice)|
15 Dinners (including the soup) for $100, $6.67 per meal. Everything I made was for four people ( I like left overs for lunch) it comes to $1.67 per person per meal. You can't beat that. And everything is healthy, well maybe not the enchiladas (LOL) but much healthier than what I'd pick up after a long day.
Have you freezer cooked? How has it improved things for you?