How to Stock Your Freezer With Freezer Meals
A great way to get through the busy back to school days is to have a good stock of freezer meals on hand for those nights where it seems like there are never enough hours in a day.
Freezer meals are also great for any time you have coming up that will require you to not have enough time to cook or need to take it easy such as the arrival of a new baby, an upcoming surgery or even a staycation.
Getting your freezer stocked with freezer meals is not that hard of a process. You just need to understand the basics and have the supplies. There are so many meals that can be made into freezer meals and they can be cooked any number of ways from crock pots to stove top.
First, gather the supplies:
- Freezer bags or containers. I prefer freezer bags because they can lie flat in the freezer and take up less room.
- Permanent markers for marking contents
- Recipes for freezer meals (link to http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cooking-Style/Freezer-Meal-Recipes or another site that has some)
To get started, go through what you already have. This is the perfect time to use up extra harvest from your garden, and those cans of food just waiting to be used in your pantry.
With what you already have, decide what you are going to make Be sure that what you plan to make is meals your family will absolutely eat so there is no waste. Make a list and go to the store t get the remaining ingredients you will need.
Clean out your freezer so you have room. Don’t feel like you need to have a huge stock of freezer meals, be reasonable in the amount you make so you don’t have any going bad. Foods can go bad in the freezer in as little as a couple weeks.
When you are done making your freezer meals, make a list of what you have in there. As you pull stuff out, cross it off the list so you know what you still have available. If you are feeling extra creative, make a “how to” book on the computer so just about anyone can re-heat the meals and take the pressure off you. This would be great for nights when you will not be home or when you have a babysitter.
More things to keep in mind with freezer meals:
Always mark on the bags what is inside. Some freezer meals will look similar.
Things like chili, soups, sauces and thick cuts of meat are perfect for slow cooker freezer meals.
Along with your list of freezer meals, add what you want to serve with them next to the item. If you are serving chili for instance, put “cornbread” next to it on the list so you know what you should have on hand when you plan to use it.
Freezer meals can make it easy to do a meal plan. Just make ahead the freezer meals you want to use during the week and schedule them out along with other meals on your plan.
Change things up a bit and create new meals along with your old favorites. This will make certain your family will never get bored. There are hundreds of freezer meal recipes available online.
Freezer meals shouldn’t take a ton of your time to make. You can make a lot of them in just an hour’s time.
One way to create easy freezer meals is to make some that compliment plain rice. This is a great way to eat frugally as well because plain brown or white rice is very low cost, especially when bought in bulk. Plus, if you forget to get other sides for a particular meal, it will always work out with the rice you have on hand.
For easier, not to mention faster cooking, pull out the freezer meal you wish to cook the night before.
If you’re ready to get started, then you check out a few ideas in our Freezer Friendly Recipe section!