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?