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It probably didn’t take you long to figure out that having extra freezer space was going to helpful… let me throw one more reason at you though, Freezer Cooking.
I was first introduced to the concept when my twins were babies, a store moved into the area that you could pay $15-$20 a meal to go in a prepare ready to cook meals. For some reason we thought this was the best thing ever… looking back I shudder at the cost compared to what I could make those same meals for now. The concept, though, is still an awesome one.
What is freezer cooking?
Freezer cooking is a type of investment cooking, designed to fill your freezer with 2 weeks-2 months worth of home-cooked meals. Basically, you take one or two days a month and dedicate it to cooking meals.
At the end of the day, you can have 15 meal ideas with two of each meal – giving you 30 meals already made! Then you store the meal in a gallon size bag or stackable containers and freeze them until the day you plan to cook them.
On the day of, all you need to do is pull the meal out in the morning so that it can defrost and then reheat it before dinnertime for a hot, home-cooked meal!
Note: You don’t need to go huge. You can do this just a few meals at a time if you want.
The Benefits of Freezer Cooking
There are so many perks to changing your cooking style to freezer cooking. The one that I love most is that there is a significantly shorter preparation time when you come in to the kitchen after a busy day. All you need to do is pull it out of the freezer, throw the ingredients together, and reheat. This gives you more time to spend with your family and friends, or simply doing other stuff around the house that needs to get done.
Another perk that I love about freezer cooking is that you only have to prepare once! So if you need to chop onions, save yourself the trouble and chop 10 at a time. Preparing once means that you only have to clean up once! So you are reducing the amount of clean-up time every night if you go with this method of cooking.
Better yet, having food ready at home lowers the chances of going out-to-eat at the last minute…thus saving you money and helping you eat healthier. See that extra freezer is paying for itself.
Also, freezer cooking is fun because if there is ever an emergency or a family in need of a meal, you have several to choose from, cook quickly, and deliver to their door!
Freezer Cooking Tips
- Think about making a large of “starter foods” like meats, sauces etc. and making multiple casseroles and entrees from the one starter.
- You have to have a game plan for your day. Be organized!
- Create stations in your kitchen for meats, spices, and vegetables. This will help keep dishes sanitary and safe from contamination.
- Because we are all about saving money, you can’t shop for all these meals on the same day. You need to continue to follow sale cycles and then plan your menus off what is in your pantry.
- Split activities into two days if needed to avoid overload. Prep vegetables, spices and sauces the night before, then put your meals together the next day.
You may not be ready to mark off a whole day for cooking, so there are some things you can do now to make like in the kitchen so much easier.
- Buy already cooked rotisserie chickens (cold) from the deli. They are cheaper cold. Shred the meat and put into the freezer for pot pies, soups etc.
- Make sauces (marinara, pesto etc.) that you use regularly and freeze in large muffin tins. Pop out the frozen sauces and store in bags, now you have spaghetti sauce in servings you can use without cooking it each week! Do the same with left over soup for individual lunch servings.
- When you buy ground beef, rather than putting it all up raw, brown at least half and freeze already cooked. You’ll cut prep time for a variety of meals in half!
- Invite a few friends over and have a meal making party. You may not get a whole month done but you can each go home with 3-4 meals ready to freeze.
Do you have any tips to share??
Check back tomorrow to see my own Freezer Cooking Menu Plan.