How do you squash the “what’s for dinner and who’s making it” debate? Freezer meals! How do you save hundreds of dollars and stop recognizing all the drive through attendant’s voices? Freezer meals! How do you turn a father who’s “special dish” is Top Ramen into a hero ? Make ahead freezer meals!
As you can see I have a huge passion for freezer meal cooking. My name is Karrie and I am a busy work-at-home mother of 4. I am little bit disorganized and a free spirit. And make ahead freezer meals for a month have saved me.
Here’s how it started – After a few years of being married I gave birth to my first boy and girl. Yep! Twins. These twins sent my life into a busy chaotic whirlwind of diaper changes, feeding, chasing them around and trying to cook dinner for my family. Often times, when I had an especially busy exhausting day I would turn to fast food, or home cooked fast food for dinner like boxed Mac – n – Cheese, hot dogs or even cold cereal. I knew this wasn’t the food I wanted myself or my family to eat, but because of being exhausted and not wanting to spend an hour or two in the kitchen I would do the easy fast thing. It was during this time I heard about easy freezer meals for a month and decided to try it out. I cooked for a whole day in my kitchen and got 30 meals done. I felt so wonderful and the rest of that month I didn’t dread the dinner hour. My husband was so happy to have real cooking again and it was the start of my love of freezer cooking.
Make ahead freezer meals are great for people:
- Who have busy lives and don’t always have time to cook a nice meal.
- People who eat at fast food a lot but want better healthy meals quick.
- Brand new mothers who just had a baby and need to rest or enjoy every precious minute of a new one.
- Folks who are sick, elderly or injured and cannot cook.
- And let’s be honest…pretty much everyone else out there.
What can be frozen and what cannot?
There are a few items that don’t freeze well. Lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and raw potatoes will turn mushy when thawed. Hard boiled eggs will go rubbery so I avoid freezing those as well. Egg based sauces like mayonnaise will separate and curdle when thawed. And many dairy products such as cream, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese will sometimes go watery when thawed. However if I am using sour cream or cottage cheese in a dish that will be baked I usually have no issues.
Other than those main items you should be able to freeze most items and have your meal turn out.
What containers are good to use for easy freezer meals?
Gallon or quart sized plastic or re-usable freezer safe bags. Just make sure and get out as much air as possible by squishing the food around and flattening the bag as much as possible. Seal it tightly to avoid any spills or freezer burn as well. I have heard of people using re-usable gallon sized bags as well to save even more money. Ziploc freezer meal recipes are my most used freezer meals for a month.
Aluminum foil pans or your own baking dishes. Look for these at the dollar stores where you can often get a 3 pack for a dollar. For my big family of 6 I use the 9×13 sized containers for our meals. However if you are freezer meal cooking for two you can buy the smaller sized ones. Also check your local restaurant supply stores for multiple containers as well. You could also use your own glass or metal pans, but you want to make sure you have enough of them before you get started.
Plastic Tupperware or other plastic containers with sealed lids. I mainly use these for soups. They can take up a lot of room in the freezer so consider space when using them.
Here are some of my basic posts to get you started on freezer meal cooking.
Buy my brand new freezer meal cookbook — coming soon!!
Best Freezer meals recipes to start with (coming soon!)
Here are my favorite (tried & true) freezer meal recipes.
The Master Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (freezer friendly)
Healthy Freezer Meals
Slow Cooker Freezer Meals
Easy Freezer Meals
Other things you will find in my freezer
Freezer meals can be invaluable to parents as we try to juggle our busy lives. Preparing a freezer full of Freezer Meals is one of the best things I’ve ever done to help my family of six and save me money. I hope you dig in, give freezer meals a try and save yourself time and money.