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If I didn’t convince you last week that having extra freezer space was a huge money saver, then how about this week convincing you that your freezer can save you a ton of time…
Let me start by saying that I don’t freezer cook very often. I tried it years ago and found that we only ate about half what was in there and then eventually had to throw things away because we snubbed them so long. We are going to cover freezer cooking, just not this week. Today it’s more about freezer prepping.
I’m a freezer prepper. Not in the apocalypse is coming kinda way (though I have enough in my freezers – we have two). The prepping I mean is in reducing cooking time. Not only is our family not a freezer cooking family, we also fail at menu planning most weeks. I long to do it, I crave little lists and will steal away scrap paper and make menus… but we never eat them. My husband and I end up never wanting what was planned for the day. We have maybe 12-13 meals that we rotate through on a regular basis with a few new things thrown in from time to time. Since I’m starting all of them after work though, this is where the freezer comes in handy.
I don’t want to walk in and have to thaw meat and start from scratch. Instead in our freezer I keep a few things always stocked and ready to go that are parts of meals.
- Ground Beef – already browned in meal size portions
- Chicken – cubed and cooked (could be grilled or pan sautéed depending on when I did it)
- Steak thinly sliced and stripped for fajitas (get the butcher to cut it for you while you shop – then cook straight from frozen).
- Pork Chops – wrap in freezer paper individually and put in bags of 3-4 per bag. Unwrap and cook straight from frozen. (If you forget to wrap you’ll have to thaw first).
If you have marinades you use on a regular basis go ahead and add those to the bag before freezing meat. Then pull it out and while it thaws, it marinates!
- Onions- in large bag, I just take handfuls when I need it.
- Bell Peppers – sliced (you can dice later if needed)
- Carrots – diced
- Minced Garlic
- Celery – diced
- Cooked White Rice
- Chicken Broth (what else do you do with a can/carton you don’t finish)
- Bread Crumbs (another waste saving tip)
- Vegetable Ends – bag of nubs/ends that you wouldn’t always eat for making vegetable stock
With all of these always on-the-ready, I can throw together an awesome Shepherd’s Pie, Fajitas, and a number of other meals without getting out a single cutting board or taking any prep time.
Keep in mind everything here is on top of all the bags of frozen veggies we buy super cheap with coupons and meats we grab in bulk.
Do I have you wanting a freezer yet? Then enter to win one!! Thanks to awesome crew at Amana one Southern Savers reader will win a freezer worth $850!! (If you don’t see the widget below, click this link.)