homemaking

My First Crack at Freezer Meals

I’ve been reading about the benefits of freezer meals for a couple years now, but haven’t given it an honest chance until this week. Today I’m defrosting & cooking for the first time, so I’ll be updating this post over time to let you know how they all taste!

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First of all, there are a TON of freezer meal plans & shopping lists out there on the internet. It took some time to read through a lot of them before I found a list where the majority of the recipes sounded like ones my family would eat and/or try. I ended up on this website, and chose “6 Healthy Freezer Crock Pot Meals in 45 Minutes.”

How I adapted the process

For starters the author does clarify that if its your first time doing a freezer meal prep session, give yourself 60-90 minutes. I ended up doing my shopping two places: I purchased all the meat at Safeway, and everything else at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately our Wal-Mart Super Center has a not-so-great meat selection. Between the two stores I still only spent about $50.00. I did have some things on hand already; like some of the frozen vegetables, sides like rice, etc.

How I adapted some recipes

I also “adapted” a few of the recipes to fit our family. For example, each chicken recipe called for about 2 lbs of chicken breast. But we have only one child, who’s 3 and only decides to eat dinner about 50% of the time, so I reduced the servings by 1/3 or 1/2 depending on the recipe. This included buying a smaller chuck roast than originally called for in one recipe as well.  One of the recipes was a meatball soup (Italian) but we had just purchased some chicken teriyaki pineapple meatballs from Costco, along with a large bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, so changed the soup to a Thai-style soup and plan to add rice noodles I have on-hand already.

How it went

Once I began it took me about an hour & fifteen minutes from start to finish, including clean up. I went through each recipe slowly to make sure I didn’t miss anything, especially since I’ve never made any of them before. This set of recipes came with instructions for each recipe that I followed carefully. I have to say, it feels pretty good to know I’ve got 6 meals in the freezer, with instructions right on the bag, that anyone (even my husband) can throw in the slow cooker. Every bag can be defrosted over night in the fridge, or the morning of.

I will note that most of these cook for 4 hours on low, which works for us since I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I’m home mid day to put them in. But if your and your spouse both work full-time, I would suggest finding freezer meals you can put in the slow cooker for 8 hrs, and invest in a slow cooker with a timer if you don’t own one already. The one I’ve used for a few years now can be found here.

Plan ahead with freezer meals, using my Free Printables

I used 4 of the freezer meals to fill in my Two Week Meal Plan, using my own meal planning printable kit, which you can get for FREE by clicking HERE.

My family and I are looking forward to trying them, starting tonight! Stay tuned for taste testing.;)

 

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