Stock Your Freezer the Easy Way!
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Getting started with freezer meals can be overwhelming, perhaps you struggle with freezer meals like I struggle with going to the gym. I know that working out is good for me, that it will be helpful in the long run, and that I will most likely enjoy it once I get started, but getting started is…so hard.
Perhaps you’ve made some freezer meals in the past or even got excited and made a month’s worth of meals, but then your family didn’t like them and a lot of them ended up getting tossed out or staying in your freezer for awhile… We won’t mention how long awhile is, but definitely longer than recommended. The method that I’ve developed is going to help overcome several of the common problems people encounter when making freezer meals. From polling my readers, I’ve heard that some of the biggest struggles people have with freezer meals are:
- They don’t like the meals they made.
- They made a lot of different meals, so it took a lot of time (more than they expected) to prepare them.
- It cost a lot to get started because they felt like they had to prep a lot of meals at once.
- They spent too much time researching which meals to make.
- They made so many different meals that they ended up wasting a lot of ingredients.
- They never got started because they felt overwhelmed.
Well I’m here to help you get started and make it an easy and enjoyable experience. If you read this post which highlights why you should make freezer meals you might have seen that I mentioned that I used to stock my freezer once every 3 months! Although this method was awesome because I always had a lot of food prepped, the process of actually doing it was nothing short of exhausting. In particular, now that it’s mainly just me raising my kids and managing my household, it’s hard to find a full day to plan the meals and shop for groceries, and another full day or two to cook everything. Additionally, I started to run into problems with freezer space, I would buy and prep so much food that I’d find I couldn’t fit it all in my freezer! (It was super stressful!) Therefore, after a lot of brainstorming, I’ve come up with a system of making freezer meals that should work for anyone – both beginners and experts!
This new system I’m about to tell you about will allow you to:
- Make 10 meals in 1-2 hours.
- Reduce your trips to the grocery store, saving you time and money (by reducing impulse buys).
- Allow you to evaluate if you have room for new meals (maybe you can have a couple weeks off!)
- Teach you how to make different meals from simple prepared foods, so your family doesn’t get tired of eating the same meals.
Let me start by giving you an overview of my system for freezer meals. My system is going to be based on your family needing 5 meals in a week, leaving one night a week for leftovers and one night for takeout. Feel free to adjust the number of meals accordingly to fit your family.
What makes this system special is that when you cook, you are going to make 5 batches of one type of meal and 5 of another type. Each batch should be enough to feed your family 1 meal. Sounds easy enough, right? So essentially you are making two dishes, for example one week you might make 5 batches of meatloaf and 5 batches of hamburgers. Another week, you might make 5 batches of diced chicken breast and 5 batches of BBQ chicken. The meals you make each week will typically require similar ingredients, similar equipment, and should not take much time.
If you are a beginner at freezer meals, starting with a completely empty freezer, you will start at Step 1. If you already have some freezer meals (around 20 meals worth) in your freezer, start at Step 2.
Step 1: Stocking your Freezer for the First Time
The main goal of this system is to quickly and easily stock your freezer with meals your family will love. Since your freezer is empty (for the most part), this first month, you will have to make a small investment of both time and money. Ideally freezer meals work best when you aren’t eating the same thing everyday, so we want a variety of meals, but we don’t want to have to buy a crazy amount of groceries or require a lot of time in the kitchen.
Therefore, this first month, you are going to cook 10 meals every week. At the end of the month, you will have made 5 batches of 8 different meals, giving you 40 meals in total. Your family will have consumed 20 during the month and you will have 20 left in your freezer, which is not a bad to start to freezer meals! Now you are ready for step 2!
Step 2: Keeping Your Freezer Stocked with Meals!
For those of you who started with step 1, this step is essentially the same, except now you will only grocery shop and cook once every two weeks! If you already have some meals in your freezer, we are simply going to keep stocking it, so you always have 20 meals on hand! For this step, you are going to cook 10 meals (5 batches of one type and 5 of another) every other week! This two-week cycle can be repeated indefinitely!
You now know a QUICK and EASY method you can use to stock your freezer and KEEP it stocked. To start finding freezer meal recipes, you should subscribe to my blog to get the 5 recipes (some are so easy they aren’t even recipes) of the freezer meal staples I ALWAYS keep stocked! Additionally, I have posted some of my faves here. There are several websites that have good recipes, some of my favorites are Make Ahead Meal Mom, Diary of a Fit Mommy, and of course The Pioneer Woman.
This method won’t require you to spend a whole DAY (or two) cooking; you can do it at night after your kids go to sleep, before they wake up, or even during nap time!
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Now get out there and rock your busy mom life!