I’m sure that you have seen posts on other blogs in which women host Freezer Cooking Days during which they take one day to cook several meals or parts of meals for their freezer.
Frankly, cooking all day long overwhelms me–I don’t care how long it keeps me out of the kitchen! I prefer to do freezer cooking over time. So what does that look like?
Easy Freezer Cooking TM has several components:
I watch weekly sale prices and purchase meat and other ingredients in bulk when they hit the lowest price. For example, in my area boneless skinless chicken breasts go on sale for $1.99/lb regularly.
When I see them for $1.78/lb or less, I buy as much as I can afford which is usually one to two months worth. I place some of the meat in plastic zipper bags in meal size portions and place them in the freezer. I bake and shred some of the meat and place it into zipper freezer bags in meal size portions. The frozen chicken can be used in soup, enchiladas or casseroles. (See my Easy Meal Planning Chicken Plan here.)
I also find over-ripe bananas for as little as $.25 cents a pound. We eat as many as we can and freeze the rest in zipper bags for later use in smoothies or baking. My children will even eat them straight from the freezer like popsicles!
Many foods are easily frozen for later use. I chop onions and green peppers for use in recipes, freeze blueberries purchased on sale for use in baking and smoothies and freeze yogurt I find on clearance. If you are going to freeze vegetables, just make sure to lightly steam them before freezing.
Rather than freezing my ingredients raw, I sometimes pre-cook them before freezing. My favorite food to cook ahead and freeze is ground beef which I have purchased on sale. I brown it with onions, salt and pepper and place it in plastic zipper bags for later use in tacos, casseroles and chili. Click here to see what I did with 20 lbs of ground beef I purchased from Zaycon Foods.
As I mentioned above, I also boil or bake chicken breasts, shred them and place them in freezer zipper bags for quick enchiladas, chicken casseroles and chicken salad. Brown rice and beans are also great foods to cook ahead. Click here to see how I prepare beans for the freezer.
Another quick way to fill your freezer is to double time consuming recipes like lasagna. It takes only a few minutes to make another casserole when I already have the ingredients on the counter. By cooking two and freezing one, I then have an easy meal for later.
You can also bake double batches of bread or muffins and freeze them. Frozen muffins can quickly be reheated and served for a quick breakfast.
I also place leftovers in the freezer such as roast chicken, vegetables or chili. By freezing them in single servings my husband can have a quick lunch, or I can throw a pot of soup together when we need dinner fast.
Freezing leftovers saves money on the grocery bill too. How many times have you found forgotten, spoiled food in the back of the fridge? Freezing the leftovers immediately prevents this waste.
Easy Freezer Cooking saves me money and sanity! It keeps me out of the drive-through, helps me get dinner on the table quickly and provides variety in our diet when we have one of those “Oh no, spaghetti again!” weeks.
©2010-11 The Peaceful Mom-Please do not copy or reprint this material without my permission. Thank you!
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