If you’re like most moms, you want to serve your family healthy home cooked meals on a regular basis. But with busy schedules, kids’ activities, work, and all the chaos of family life it’s easy to find yourself falling back on quick unhealthy convenience meals to save time. Few of us have time to cook a complete healthy meal every night. But with freezer cooking, you can! Freezer cooking allows you to cook your family healthy delicious meals every night. And to save yourself time and money while you do it.
What is Freezer Cooking?
Freezer cooking is preparing meals ahead of time that you can freeze for later use. Freezer cooking was first introduced to me by a co-worker who planned out all of her meals for a month then prepared and froze all of them for thawing and eating later. But you don’t have to have freezer space for an entire month of meals. It can also be as simple as doubling a recipe and freezing half for later use.
Why Start Freezer Cooking?
Freezer cooking is a great way to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals for your family. By batching the work of meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking you will save time and money.
Buying groceries in bulk can help you save big on your groceries. And having an easy to heat and serve meal to come home to on busy nights will allow you to fit healthy meals into your family’s jam-packed schedule. These are meals you can prepare quickly without resorting to fast food or unhealthy convenience foods.
How to Get Started Freezer Cooking
Freezer cooking is not difficult but it does involve some advance planning and preparation to get started. Rather than start cooking a month of freezer meals your first time out, it’s a good idea to start slow. Consider trying freezer cooking with a few of your family’s favorite recipes. Each time you cook a casserole or soup that would freeze well, double it and save the second portion for a later meal.
If you’re unsure if a meal will freeze well, try an internet search to see if Google has an answer. You can also search for recipes specifically designed for freezer cooking.
Once you’ve tried a few freezer meals and had success, you’ll want to plan ahead for any bulk cooking. Planning ahead will make your freezer cooking and meal planning go much smoother.
A Few Things You’ll Need to Get Started
Space in Your Freezer
You’ll want to do a thorough freezer clean out before you start bulk cooking. There is no sense in making a month or even a week’s worth of meals if you don’t have space to store them.
Freezer Storage Bags, Foil Baking Pans, and Plastic Storage Containers
Plan ahead by getting all your supplies ready for storing your freezer meals.
A Permanent Marker
Make sure to label and date all freezer meals.
Bulk freezer cooking takes time. In the long run, it will save you time on busy nights when you have a pre-prepared meal that only needs to be thawed and heated. But on the day you do all the cooking you’ll need a large chunk of time to invest up front.
The good news is that with meal planning and buying in bulk you will spend less money on groceries overall. However, when you’re preparing to cook a month of meals, or even just a few extras for later use, you’ll end up spending a larger amount of money initially to buy supplies in bulk.
In order to set yourself up for success, do a search ahead of time for recipes designed for freezer cooking.
Invite Your Friends!
Once you get started freezer cooking, you’ll love the convenience of pre-prepared meals on busy nights. And a great way to make it even easier and more fun is to invite your friends to help you and each other with freezer meals. Consider starting a freezer meal club or even just having a freezer meal party! Interested participants can prepare and freeze several portions of one meal before the party. Members of the freezer club or party participants then exchange pre-prepared meals. This way everyone saves time and gets a variety of meals for their family.