Monday, June 18, 2012

Food Glorious Food! Freezer Meals Part 1

Just a picture of food to tantalize your senses!
For a couple of months I have been reading about this thing called: freezer meals. It was all over Pinterest. The idea is that you spend one day cooking/ assembling meals for a month, then you put them in your freezer. When you need it, all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator the night before (or the morning of depending on the meal) and cook it or heat it up. All of the instructions for what the meal needs to be finished are written on the packaging so you don't have to think at all. I loved this idea. Mostly because when it comes down to making dinner, I am either tired, lazy, or just don't have any creative ideas. We have been eating a lot of pasta and hamburger helper the past month or so. Plus the women that have done this all say that they save a lot of money doing meals this way. We live on a fairly tight budget, so I am all about saving some money in the grocery department.

Finally, I decided it was time to try it for myself. So on June 5, I went through my pinterest board and found all of the pins on freezer meals and followed them to the blogs of those that had written about this process. I read the pros and cons and the different variations on how to do these. Some did a lot of actually cooking on the prep day. They cooked all the meat and assembled everything. A couple of other bloggers said that they tried doing it that way but it was so exhausting and took all day. Instead, they just did all of the prep work and chose to do all meals that can be cooked in the crockpot. This meant almost no cooking during prep and all you have to do is thaw and then dump.

Now, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE my crockpot. It is probably my favorite appliance that is in my kitchen. I love being able to throw stuff in there in the morning and by the end of the day we have a delicious dinner. So I decided that the crockpot freezer meals were the way I needed to go.

So I went through my recipe box and through all of the recipes that those who had done freezer meals before me had assembled and pulled together seven recipes that I wanted to try for my first go around. (I will post all the recipes in the next post). I figured out what I had in my pantry and what I needed to buy. I made my grocery list and went shopping.

I spent $170 at the grocery store, but we had been out of a lot of staples. I went through my receipt and figured out that for everything that I bought for the freezer meals I only spent $95! Less than $100 for a months worth of food (which is what I ended up with...)?? I'll take it! Other than buying milk, I don't anticipate needing much else for the rest of the month! I organized everything so it was ready to go for prep day, which I was going to do the next day (June 6). I was a little tired from planning and shopping, plus I still had a lot to do around the house since we had just gotten back from a trip.

Next post I will:
1) Post the recipes I used (giving credit where credit is due of course)
2) Post pictures of my finished product

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