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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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freezer cooking meals

Freezer cooking fans! I’ve been working on some new recipes that will help you save some time in the kitchen this winter. If you’re new to freezer cooking you should check out my previous post with lots of freezer cooking tips (and recipes!).

I’ve broken this post up into three different meal categories: slow cooker sauces, freezer to slow cooker meals, and freezer to oven meals.

Slow Cooker Sauces: These are sauces that can be premixed, frozen, and then thrown into your slow cooker along with meat. The biggest pro about this method is that the thaw time is pretty fast compared to, say, a full casserole dish.

Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals: These are pretty fun because everything you need for your meal is ready to go ahead of time. Put all your ingredients, including your meat, in a freezer bag, thaw, and add to your slow cooker (it makes morning dinner-prep super fast).

Freezer to Oven Meals: These meals generally require more upfront work, but they’re nice because you don’t really have to thaw them before cooking them in the oven (however, if they are thawed, oven cooking time will be a lot shorter). These are also great for taking to families for new babies, funerals, etc.

Notes:
-If I’m slow cooking with beef, I generally sear my meats on medium-high in a cast iron pan just long enough to get it pretty brown on each side before I add it to my slow cooker. This creates a richer flavor in your finished meal.
-If you’re making several different recipes at the same time, do similar tasks all at once to save time. For example, chop a big bunch of onions, mince all the garlic at once, etc.
-Remember: try not to get overwhelmed! You can do as little or as much as you can. Have a cooking party and split duties with friends. Make a game plan with checklists.
-Use the item search to find items that are on sale at grocery stores in your area.

9 Easy Freezer Cooking Meals

Slow Cooker Sauces:

Honey Soy Chicken

½ cup soy sauce
½ cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced onions
1 tbsp minced garlic

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add to a freezer bag, label, and freeze flat.
2. The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
3. Add the sauce to a slow cooker with one pound boneless, skinless chicken. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Shred the chicken and stir to combine. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli.

Yellow Chicken Curry

1 can coconut milk (not the light version)
1 cup minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
juice of ½ a lime
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
2. Add to a freezer bag, label, and freeze flat.The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
3. Add the sauce to a slow cooker with one pound boneless, skinless chicken. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Serve with rice and cilantro.

Barbacoa Beef Tacos

4 chipotles in adobo sauce
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tomato, cored
2 tbsp vinegar
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
juice of ½ a lime

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to a freezer bag, label, and freeze flat.
2. The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
3. Add the sauce to a slow cooker with a 3-4 pound chuck roast. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.
4. Serve the shreds of meat (it should fall apart as you pull it with a fork) with tortillas, chopped onions, cilantro, lime, or whatever else you like on your taco.

Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals:

Meatball Subs

½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 lb ground beef
¼ cup milk
1 egg
½ cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 jar pasta sauce

1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together until well combined. Form the meat mixture evenly into balls (mine were about two tablespoons each).
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the meatballs (in batches if needed) and allow to brown on each side. Transfer to a labeled freezer bag along with the pasta sauce and freeze flat.
3. The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
4. Add to your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve on hoagie rolls with lots of mozzarella cheese and extra sauce (toast them in the oven to make them gooey and melty!).
Note: You can definitely use store-bought meatballs to make this even easier.

Pulled BBQ Chicken

1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce (around 18 oz)
½ cup diced onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1. Add the first 5 ingredients to a bowl and stir until well combined. Add to a labeled freezer bag along with the chicken and freeze flat.
2. The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
3. Add to your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. Shred the chicken and stir to combine. Serve with rice or buns to make sandwiches.

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 lbs stew beef chunks
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 lb baby carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 cup diced onions
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 32 oz carton broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen green beans
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Add all ingredients to a large freezer bag, label, and freeze flat.
2. The night before you’re ready to cook, transfer the bag to the refrigerator to thaw.
3. Add to your slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 8 hours. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Freezer to Oven Meals:

Stuffed Shells

12 oz jumbo pasta shells
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. In a large pot, cook the pasta shells until al dente (they’ll be soft, but still have a bite to them). Drain and set aside.
2. In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the ground beef, break it up, and cook until brown.
3. Add the pasta sauce and allow the mixture to come to a slow simmer and reduce until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese until smooth.
4. Add ¼ of the meat mixture to the bottom of a casserole dish (this will prevent the shells from sticking). Reserve another ¼ of the mixture to spread on top of the shells.
5. Use the remaining ½ of the mixture to stuff the shells. I used a spoon to stuff them (it’s okay if they get messy).
6. Arrange the shells evenly in the casserole dish and then top with the remaining ¼ of the sauce/meat mixture. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over everything.
7. This is the point where you’d freeze the dish (I covered my dish with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, then I used a permanent marker to label it).
8. When you’re ready to cook it, remove it from the freezer and put it in a preheated 350 degree oven. Cook covered for 50 minutes (remove the plastic wrap! only use the aluminum foil to cover it while you cook it) and then uncovered for 10 minutes or until everything is bubbly and slightly browned.

Chicken Taco Casserole

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
½ cup sour cream
½ block (4 oz) cream cheese, cut until cubes
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
tortilla chips for topping

1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Add the corn, black beans, cumin, and chili powder and stir until everything is hot and evenly coated with the spices.
3. Stir in the sour cream, cream cheese, salsa, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir slowly until everything is combined and all the cheeses have melted. Stir in the cooked chicken.
4. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with the remained 1 cup shredded cheese and crush tortilla chips over the top.
5. This is the point where you’d freeze the dish (I covered my dish with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, then I used a permanent marker to label it).
6. When you’re ready to cook it, remove it from the freezer and put it in a preheated 400 degree oven. Cook it covered for 50 minutes (remove the plastic wrap! only use the aluminum foil to cover it while you cook it) and then uncovered for 30 minutes until everything is hot, bubbly, and the tortilla chips are crispy. I like to serve it with chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 package crescent rolls, 8 oz
1 lb ground sausage
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced bell pepper
6 eggs
½ cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8×8 casserole dish. Open the crescent rolls into 2 sheets and spread them evenly into the bottom of the dish (they will go up the side on one side of the dish).
3. In a skillet over medium heat, add the ground sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink. Remove the sausage and set aside. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Add the cooked sausage in an even layer over the crescent rolls.
5. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, and cheese. Add in the cooked onions and peppers and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the sausage and crescent rolls and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top and crescent rolls are golden brown.
6. Allow the casserole to cool and then cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil (use a permanent marker to label and date) and freeze.
7. When you’re ready to cook it, remove the plastic wrap, cover with the aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350 oven until it’s heated and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

See more frugal recipe ideas!

    • Tie Dye Jen

      I love to make a BIG batch of soup and freeze in pint size canning jars (wide mouth only) for easy work lunches. My favorites are taco soup, chorizo soup, chicken chili/tortilla and ham (made from leftover ham bone). Just add fixings like cheese, sour cream or avocado after heating.

    • judy

      Hey Jenny, for the honey soy chicken, is it 1 cup honey? Thanks so much for the recipes…they sound delicious!

    • jean

      The Beef Tacos also has a couple of question marks in the ingredients. What should those be?