If you just stumbled upon this post, or need a refresher, read this to get a better understanding of how I prepare for making freezer meals!
One thing I didn’t mention, though, was once I made my lists of food to buy, I went back through and put a blue dot next to the items to get at Costco or Amazon. My main reasons for purchasing these items online or at a big box store are:
- Buy in bulk and save money (especially if you hit their sale days)
- Stores in my area do not sell certain items
- Overall cheaper than in store.
I purchased these items over the course of the month (maybe six weeks), buying items that freeze well or are non-perishable first.
Once everything was purchased, I made a quick schedule of how the weekend would look. It totally took the guess work out and made things run smoothly.
But, I digress! Let’s get into the recipes, cooking, organization, and storage! Basically, my guidelines for choosing what to cook and/or prep were simple. They needed to have
- at least 4 servings per meal (leftovers or feed family that visits)
- easy to prep, cook, and store/freeze
- hearty and filling
- requires minimal effort beyond throwing it in a crockpot, oven, or reheating on the stovetop.
My reasoning behind food prepping was to be able to spend my time recovering, caring for baby, and for us to learn how to be a family without having to think about preparing and cooking full meals for a little while.
I looked on Pinterest, rummaged through favored cookbooks, and searched through family recipes to create the perfect list of nutritious, diverse, and flavorful foods.
The meals found through Pinterest were:
- chicken and vegetable bake
Follow the given directions
Follow the given directions
- no bean chili
To freeze, cook only the meat (let cool) toss everything into a gallon ziplock bag and freeze upright. When ready to cook/eat thaw over night, place into crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- bran muffins
I omit the raisins. To freeze, bake as directed and let cool. To speed up the cooling process, I will let muffins cool on wire rack for 5 minutes and then place them on a cookie sheet, and into the freezer for 30 minutes. From there, they can go into a freezer bag, into the freezer, and stay until ready to eat. Take out the night before and let them thaw. You can warm them in a toaster or conventional oven on low for 5 minutes, if desired.
Meals from family/old (unknown books)
- teriyaki salmon
- kung pao chicken
- egg scramble
Lastly, was creating dinner kits! Hands down the EASIEST thing to do! I made fajita, taco, and pizza kits for easy, fun dinners.
Once everything was prepped, cooked, and ready for the freezer I re-tallied all the meals to create a check off list. Then into the garage freezer it all went! Slowly as we plan out meals, the food will make it’s way into our main freezer, fridge, and/or crockpot!
Be on the lookout for Part 3 of the Food Prep in the coming weeks! It will be all about organizing the pantry and the checklist for the freezer meals!