Freezer Meals 2.0

So far, I’ve tested two freezer recipes.The BBQ chicken recipe was very tasty, but strangely didn’t taste like BBQ to me- I’d still eat it again though. The second was a basic sloppy joe recipe, used to get rid of all the hamburger buns we had. We spiced it up by adding more spices and vegetables, but it was simple and good.

I wanted to share more info on the process and a few photos.

I split the process up into two days, because I didn’t have a whole afternoon to devote to it. In total,I did 3 hours on my own, and 3 hours with my husband. I accomplished way more with him; I think if I’d had his help the whole time, we would’ve been done in 4.5 hours instead of 6. I highly suggest team work for these meals! It’s much simpler to have one person chopping up vegetables and working with those ingredients, while the other person is actually assembling the recipes into bags. It goes by so much faster, and it’s nice to have the company.

We started by choosing the recipes we’d use. We chose a variety of recipes so we had an option for any situation- some that are longer cook times in the crock pot, shorter times, some that have to be thawed a day in advance, some that don’t, some that can be thrown in a frying pan, etc.

We had a big grocery store run.

At home, we started gathering all the ingredients we needed. We have a large kitchen, so we had a lot of room to just spread out.

We tackled the meals by meat– we made all the chicken ones first, then ground beef, then steak, then all else. We prioritized the amount of time needed as well; for example, we stuck the twice-baked potatoes in the oven first because they cook for so long, then moved on to making bean and cheese burritos.

We wrote the name of the meal and cooking instructions on the freezer bag first. We then would move on to making that meal and filling the bag. For several meals that sounded good, we went ahead and made 2 meals of that type. A lot of the recipes are designed anyway for families of four, but since there’s 2 of us, they were often doubled for us already.

We then prepped the food! My husband chopped vegetables and meat up, while I measured out spices, sauces etc. into the bags. Chopping takes a long time when there’s so much of it! Measuring was quick though. So I also prepped other food while he was chopping, like the twice baked potatoes, and other things that required no chopping while being baked etc.

After finishing bags, we made sure they were sealed tightly, and fit them all in our freezer (we’d cleaned out our freezer and made room before hand- important point!).

All that’s left, is to eat! In total, we made 20 meals, enough for 2 people each (so 40 meals in total). Some of those are burrito and chicken finger lunches, but the rest are dinners. The cooking wasn’t too bad, and we’ve enjoyed the convenience even over just 2 days, so we’ll definitely be doing it again. We’re thinking of blocking off 1 weekend a month to do it- get the shopping trip and cooking out of the way and be good for a month. We’re only using the meals on weeknights, so 20 meals lasts a whole month. Weeknights, we have classes and late nights at work. Weekends, we’re free to cook though.

Best of luck to those trying this endeavor! Let me know if you have any questions!

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Bean + cheese burritos were cheap and super fast to make 12 ofIMG_2551

Wrote the instructions on the bag.

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BBQ chicken for the crockpot

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We’re not the most organized freezer packers, but there they are! We actually reorganized after this, into neater stacks, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Here’s a few more links to other recipes we used as well:

Peanut chicken- http://www.creativelydomestic.com/2012/01/spicy-peanut-chicken-freezer-meal.html

Honey sesame chicken- http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/ugc/u-slow-cooker-honey-sesame-chicken-freezer/

Twice-baked potatoes- http://www.food.com/recipe/make-ahead-twice-baked-potatoes-57062

Chili- http://happymoneysaver.com/darn-good-chili-recipe/