Getting Started in Freezer Cooking

The following is a guest post from Jessica Fisher, aka FishMama  Jessica regularly shares her freezer cooking adventures at Life as MOM and catalogs her recipes on her food blog, GoodCheapEats.

Meatballs 3
Mealtimes are crunch time. And even though I love to cook, sometimes I just don’t want to have to cook. Having a stash of homemade convenience foods in my freezer has helped me over the years not only to get a break from the kitchen, but also to save time and money.

If you’ve never utilized your freezer to store a week to a month’s worth of meals, you may be wondering how in the world to do it. It’s not hard, and you can definitely ease your way into it.

Here are some ideas to get started:

1. Make a double batch of tonight’s dinner. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Stews, soups, chilis, even seasoned taco meat all freeze well. You’d be amazed at all the things that you can freeze. Wrap it well in a plastic container or in a freezer ziptop bag. Cool and freeze. A week or two down the line, take a night off cooking and enjoy work you’ve already done.

2. If you want to step it up a bit, make four batches of one of your favorite dishes. Obviously, this supply will last you about a month since most people don’t eat a certain dish more often than once a week. But making four casseroles generally doesn’t take much longer than one, and you can take advantage of bulk shopping to save some money.

3. Try your hand at several weeks’ worth of meals. Think about it in terms of protein groups. What are meals that your family enjoys that contain ground beef? Buy ten pounds of ground beef and make multiple batches of several dishes that use similar ingredients, such as taco meat, chili, hamburgers, and meatballs. Instead of going through the same motions over the course of a month, do them all at one time and reap the rewards later. You can do the same with chicken or any other protein your family enjoys.

As you experiment with different recipes, you’ll discover which ones freeze well and which ones take the least amount of work to get them ready to serve. With a little creativity, you’ll have some delicious meals at the ready in no time.

Have you ever tried freezer cooking? Has it helped you? Why or why not?




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Comments

  1. WendyGK says:

    I used to do this before we went gluten free. Now that I'm feeling better and working more, I really need to go back to it.

  2. I love my freezer and freezer cooking. I've found it especially helpful after the birth of my daughters. Being gf there are few friends who can bring over meals or cook for me. Having a freezer stocked with easy to finish meals has kept us from blowing the budget eating out.

  3. Thanks for these useful tips, Linda!

  4. Heidi Kelly says:

    I love freezer cooking, especially when we're busy or I get in a cooking funk for a week or two on end. It's nice to have "freezer clean out week."

  5. suzypeg says:

    Freezer cooking is one of my favorites. It is how I get through the school year. Great ideas.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I freezer cook OFTEN! All winter, I make big pots of soup and freeze half right away. We also bake six or seven chicken breasts at once… eat two for dinner, and dice the rest … I freeze it spread out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper and then throw the lot into a gallon sized storage freezer bag. It comes out for chicken rice stir fry, or Thai curry chicken, or taco soup, or whatever.

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