I’ve had a few comments and questions on this post lately and have decided to re-post it with just a few edits. I originally posted this on Feb. 14th, 2008.
When I am pregnant, which I’m not right now, and for months afterwards I like to prepare a month’s worth of meals (about 24) in about 3 hours on one afternoon and freeze them in our deep freezer. I LOVE doing this and I really should keep it up. It makes preparing dinner really easy.
Most of these dinners can just be thrown in the crock pot in the morning. Most require pasta or rice and we just cook that up on the day of. Adding pasta and rice as a filler really makes meals go a lot farther. We will usually make about 3 or 4 or each meal and put them all in freezer bags. Crock potting frozen food makes the food taste fresh and the meat SO tender.
What does this have to do with being frugal?
- When you know what you are going to make you are less likely to buy things at the grocery store that you don’t need. You will have a list and be prepared for the up coming cook day.
- You won’t waste food because after a few tries you will be portioning the perfect amounts of food into your freezer bags to suit your family.
- You are less likely to order out or stop for fast food.
- No more mad dashes to the grocery store because there is nothing to eat in the house.
We make things like:
- Roast with veggies and rice or pasta (4)
We usually buy two good sized roasts and split it them half. I put each half in a freezer bag with carrots, celery, peppers, etc (add potatoes when you cook it). Then I add a bunch of bullion, steak seasoning, and garlic powder. I write on the outside of the bag what it is and what needs to be added the night of. The day we eat it I will toss it into our crock pot in the morning along with 6 cups of water, then cook the pasta and rice right before dinner time. This makes 4 easy meals.
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (4)
I have a large pan and I can brown about 5 lbs of ground beef at a time. I add about 4 cups of meat balls, 4 cans of diced tomatoes, two cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. I separate this into 4 freezer bags, write on the outside what they are and what they need on meal day (spaghetti) and throw them in the freezer. The morning we need the sauce I toss it into the crock pot. It is perfectly ready at dinner time. Just add pasta!
This is a VERY Simple and VERY yummy dinner. I brown 5 lbs of ground beef. While it is cooking I cut up onions, carrots, and celery and toss them into 4 freezer bags (add cut up potatoes when you cook). I also add cans of corn, green beans, or whatever else I have in the cupboard. There are really no rules for this recipe. I toss in some of my favorite seasonings (we love steak seasoning and garlic) along with some beef bullion. When the ground beef is browned I split it up between the four freezer bags, label the outside, making a note to start a loaf of bread in the bread maker, and throw the bags in the freezer. We add rice or pasta depending on what we feel like on the day we eat it. Tossing it into the crock pot in the morning makes a super yummy stew at dinner time.
We will do these with turkey, chicken, or ground beef. They are all great in chili. You are also really open with what veggies to add. I like to add corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. Don’t forget the Kidney beans! Add about 2 cups of cooked meat in each of 4 freezer bags along with the veggies and a can of beans in each. Then add oregano, basil, chili pepper, garlic powder and cumin (optional).
This one is so easy. Cook and dice enough chicken for four meals for your family. Then separate them into 4 freezer bags with a can of peas and carrots in each one. Label them as needing your favorite pasta and toss in the freezer. On meal day just pull one out and put it in the fridge in the morning. After you cook your pasta add your chicken mixture along with mayo to taste. Then add seasoning salt and pepper to your liking. This is good served hot, cold, or room temp!
I take a large roast and cut it all up (a lot of grocery stores will do this for you if you ask). I cook them in butter and onion until cooked through. Then I separate them into 4 freezer bags and add 1 large can of mushrooms, salt, and pepper. I label the outside, making sure to write that egg noodles are needed and to start some bread in the bread maker. On meal I put the mix in the crock pot in the morning. When it is warmed through I add a medium sized container of sour cream and boil the egg noodles. Serving this with fresh bread and garlic butter (butter with garlic powder mixed in) makes a delicious meal!
The nights left in the month we eat leftovers or have dinner at a friend’s home. Also, having meals made up this way makes it so easy to invite people over! Just pull two meals out instead of one! You can also have easy meals ready to heat and serve to a family in need.
Doing this has really been a blessing to my family and has made meal preparation so simple! It only takes me about 3 hours – that is really not much time when you think about how much work it saves you in the end!