Before I had each of my children, I knew that my life was going to change dramatically. I also knew I wanted to make sure we had healthy meals to eat but wouldn’t always have the time to prepare them. I checked out Pinterest to get some ideas of how I could maximize my time and came across freezer cooking and fell in love.
Freezer cooking met all of my needs and sounded perfect for a new mom to maintain some sanity. I decided to take a few hours over the weekend about 4 weeks before my due date when I had some energy and stock my fridge with as many meals as would fit. Those meals lasted us until the baby was about 3 months old and made me feel so much less stressed!
My kids are 2 and 5 months right now, and once a quarter, I use freezer cooking to re-stock my fridge and get organized once again.
What is freezer cooking and why is it the best thing since sliced bread?
Freezer cooking is the practice of assembling partially or fully prepared meals to freeze for later. Some meals only need to be reheated while others will need final preparations such as slow cooking or baking. So whether you’re cooking for 2 or 20, you are sitting down at the dinner table in a matter of minutes after you plop things in the slow cooker in the AM!
Why should you freezer cook?
Let’s talk all about these benefits in detail
When your freezer cook, you spend time to make meals to use in the future. There are two ways you can freezer cook; you can make the meals to be dinners for the next week OR you can use them to be back up meals for those times when you are like “ummmm what should we eat today?”
I like to, once a quarter, spend about an hour making these meals because it does require a little bit extra of my grocery budget (since I am planning in advance), and keep them in my freezer. This way, I can either tie them into my meal plan for next week since I know they are there OR I can use them the day of.
When people first hear about freezer cooking, they often think it costs them more money because they do have to put money out in advance (and in a chunk) to buy things. BUT long term, the meals are SO much cheaper! I like to make sure that each meal I make costs LESS THAN $5 TOTAL! That’s right… TOTAL! I know so many people who eat out and can drop $50+ for their family and that’s just crazy to me! Cooking at home can save you THOUSANDS each year if you make the choice to do it.
If you know you are planning to do a month freezer cooking to add some food to your freezer and backup meals, you can budget for it! I would recommend saving $50-100 for these meals, (these specific meals cost around $50-60 TOTAL for all 7 meals!) but the costs can vary based on ingredients and what you already have! When you go through the shopping list in the EBOOK I’ll show you how to save money on stuff too!
Anyone else NOT loves meal prepping and planning? How about coming home from work and being SO tired and not knowing what to make? OR trying to cook dinner with your kiddos running around your feet or needing homework help? All of these freezer cooking meals are for the crockpot so you can SET and FORGET! You can plop them in in the morning (I love my crockpot that has a timer in case I have to leave the house early!)
Check out my FAV tools to make freezer cooking even easier
More Resources to Make Meal Prep and Meal Planning Easier
5 Steps to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less
One of the problems I had when I started freezer cooking or using my crockpot was that almost all of the meals I found had ingredients that I just didn’t love. Aka cream of crap soup ? Food that has ingredients you can’t pronounce, a super long list of nonsense, or is super processed is NOT what I want to feed my family, and hopefully neither do you! All of these recipes come from whole foods and ingredients (which is also a ton cheaper!)
Because when you freezer cook, you don’t want to take up a ton of space, each meal only had about 3-6 servings which means… not so many leftovers! Why is that awesome? Because, if you are like me, then you struggle with going back for seconds, and this way you won’t find yourself binging! BUT, if you and your family love the meal, you can easily make them again and duplicate!