Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cool Eatin'

This is the inside of my upright deep freezer in the garage (partial view).

Do you see the stacks and stacks of freezer meals in there? It's like looking at heaven.....

Yesterday I planned out, shopped for, and made freezer meals with my little sister. (With a pretty big amount of help from both my parents too.) By the end of the day we counted out that we had made 53 small-family-sized meals! All for $134 and a couple of things my mom already had in her pantry. By the time we split up the cost between my parents and two of my siblings, we ended up paying $40.

It was long hard work (which I confess, I only worked on for about 2 1/2 hours because I had an appointment to go to in the middle of it all). But we all scored big time! I came home with 15 meals to put in my freezer :) My sister got the lion's share since it was her idea and she's having a baby in a week and a half....

Someone had made a comment on facebook recently about wanting to make freezer meals, but they didn't know what to make or how to do it. It's super duper easy (yes, I know that's a cheesy way to say it, but it really is no nonsense) You can freeze almost anything! Starches don't freeze very well (potatoes, rices, and pastas); They only last a week or two, but other than that, seriously. Almost anything.

The few meals we decided to make were chicken cordon bleu, chili, chicken enchiladas, meatloaf, chicken pockets, chinese sundaes/hawaiian haystacks, parmesan chicken, and sloppy joes.

This added to the chicken chimichangas, veggie stir-fry, homemade avacado hamburger patties, spicy chicken tacos, pork roast, and several bags of plain cooked hamburger for quickie hamburger helper and tacos etc. that I already had in the freezer.....

I love having dinner already mostly made for me. Especially in the summer when it's so stinking hot! And because we're trying to conserve energy by turning our air to 83 during the day, (ugh), I have a hard time finding the energy to cook!

Another tidbit that I've learned is a HUGE help is this....A menu. Justin found this magnetic backed whiteboard (8 1/2 x 11) and it is on display on our fridge. I'll admit I'm not always the best at using it, but when I do, my week goes SOOO much smoother! I save money on groceries because I can plan ahead and only buy what we need, rather than guessing and having to go back several times in the week for ingredients.

It's also nice because I don't have to figure out what's for dinner every single day. I take about 20 minutes once a week, flip through my recipes and my pantry and make up my list. In this case, I have meals planned for two weeks at a time. I don't know why, but it's awesome. Other than milk and bananas, I shouldn't have to grocery shop until the 26th. Dinner is kind of my daily bummer. But these couple of things make my job a ton easier!


The Gatherers said...

Love this! Thanks for the freezer meal tips,I want to make a bunch before my baby comes also. I LOVE weekly meal planning! I don't know what I used to do without it.

Ise, Chels, & Graham said...

I just started doing this. I got the idea from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, the cookbook. You should check it out. Just google the cookbook name and up comes her website. She is awsome and makes the nights themed which helps you plan them too. She also talks about dinner being so important in eating together as a family and in her cookbook it even has conversation staters for dinners for older kids. It's awesome!! Now i want your recepies from your frozen meals or just HELP...i don't know how!!!! :)