PDA

View Full Version : Freezing meals



buttrfli
12-26-2009, 07:51 AM
I am reading 'The World's Cheapest Family' and I read that they spend 2 days cooking 30 days worth of meals. I understand how it saves time and money in the long run, but does anyone actually do this? Is this woman just a supermom?

We are getting ready to do two weeks worth of dinners, but I am just going to double 7 meals, so I am really only gonna cook 7 and split them up. And we are only doing it out of necessity right now and I have no clue what I am doing LOL Truthfully, those meals may get cut down to 4 or 5 and the kids can eat ravioli a few times.

SLance68
12-26-2009, 09:21 AM
I guess if you purchase items in bulk and then prepare the meals at one time it might save money and time savings by doing multiple servings at one time. I think she is just supermom and must have a HUGE freezer. I have a large upright freezer but I wouldn't have room for 30 meals for a family of 4.

buttrfli
12-26-2009, 09:38 AM
Well we have a really big deep freeze and two refrigerators with freezers. Her concept is that they shop once a month and only buy stuff on their list (which we all know saves money) and she plans her meals around monthly coupons. She says she feeds a family of of 6 for $350 a month... we spend twice that for 5 of us.

Taterbo
12-26-2009, 01:51 PM
I think one thing you can do is the idea of cook once and get a couple of meals out of that one cooking...Such as: Make a extra large pot of spaghetti meat sauce...One night have the fresh sauce over pasta.. cook extra pasta add the sauce and portion it out and freeze for future meals in the month...Same as with chicken..cook extra and debone and make up casserole dishes..Such as first meal have chix, rice with say broccoli..Take the extras and make up casseroles you can freeze...Then also save the chix scrapes and make a batch of soup from bones you have cooked down, add in some of the rice or pasta and some leftover veggies...

I personally would have a hard time cooking that many meals at once..but could and do see making meals ahead for later in the month from what is for dinner tonight...

jeleben
12-29-2009, 06:32 PM
I shop around coupons and store sales and average 48% to 50% saving on all groceries(as long as I leave hubby at home). I plan for a week at a time. I buy meat when it is on sale and devide it up and freeze. Pork Chops @.98/lb. I buy about 20 lbs and have about 12 meals when I just add veggies' I don't like meals made and frozen as the remind me of TV dinners. This works for my family and if I know what I am going to fix I can have dinner ready in about 45 mins.

buttrfli
12-31-2009, 12:19 PM
We are going to start cooking our two weeks worth of meals tomorrow.

My dinners are (all X2)

Chicken Noodle Soup
Ham n Beans
BBQ Chicken
Burritos (just freezing the meat)
Chicken Enchiladas

The rest of the nights we will have sandwiches or something easy to fix (ravolies) and I will be home on the weekends to cook.

Wish me luck! I have NO clue what I am doing! LOL

jasmine
01-02-2010, 08:58 AM
lasagna is expensive to make (for me anyway) but I would think that it would be easy to make and freeze, just like you would buy it in the big package at the store, just use one of your own aluminum pans at home and put it in that then freeze pull out and cook?

Let us know how the beans and ham turn out, for some reason that doesn't sound like it would be too good frozen, then re-heated.
Chilli would also be easy to do, especially since it's the cold season.

buttrfli
01-02-2010, 10:44 AM
We always cook ham and beans and freeze half. There is no difference in the taste at all.

I cooked everything but the beans yesterday. I will cook those monday so we can have them for dinner that night. I ended up double bagging everything because I don't want it to get freezer burn. I hope I did everything right!

I don't like lasagna. I really don't like anything with a tomato based sauce (pizza, spaghetti etc). DH likes it, but he only makes it on nights that I work late and won't be eating at home lol.

cabby92
01-03-2010, 05:33 PM
Before I had my kidney removed in May I spent a weekend making six weeks worth of meals. I wasn't trying to save money but I wasn't about to depend on DH to feed us. Oddly enough we ate better than ever and I cut my grocery bill in half. I've been trying to talk myself into doing it again but haven't quite made it.

buttrfli
01-03-2010, 06:24 PM
I don't think that I could do 6 weeks worth at one time, but maybe the more I do it the easier it will get (I hope). Cutting my grocery bill is a huge plus.

cabby92
01-03-2010, 07:12 PM
In six weeks you can do a lot of duplicates. I made three meatloaves, three batches of barbequed chicken, three meals of stuffed pepper soup, stuff like that. I really want to do it again but when I am ready I'm broke and when I have money I'm lazy. I'd like to do a month at a time, not six weeks again.

queenangie
01-03-2010, 08:20 PM
Have done the month of meals before.
What I found was easier was the night I made meatloaf for dinner, I made 3 extras.
Same for the BBQ chicken.
So Cabby92 and I did the same thing.

Yes, it is cheaper because we eat out too often and it is not healthy as home cooking.

queenangie
01-03-2010, 08:36 PM
My other tip is to save all those leftovers from the serving bowls or platters from dinner.

Put a big plastic ice cream container w/ lid in the freezer.

After every meal, place the leftovers in the bucket. By the end of a week, defrost, simmer on the stove, add some onions, salt & pepper. Free soup!

I'd place beef in one bucket,
chicken in another one.

Think about it - carrots, peas, broccoli, mixed veggies, potatoes can all go into soup.
I have even added spaghettios - tomatoes and pasta go in any soup.

(No discussions about scrapping off somebody's plates, please. That is not healthy.)

DrGrin
01-05-2010, 04:18 PM
I really wish people would share more ideas in this thread. I'm trying to do better with the grocery budget here, and any ideas would be great.

Last night I made a big batch of veggie soup, which we had for dinner last night and lunch today. I put the rest in the freezer for later.

Today I made chili, and we will have it for dinner tonight and freeze at least half of it.

Even if I do stuff like this on a daily basis for a while and freeze half, it would be great for those nights that I just don't feel like cooking.

cabby92
01-07-2010, 02:21 PM
Grabbing that soup from the freezer is a lot cheaper than eating out or grabbing a take-n-bake when you are tired. Basically free vs. what, 20 bucks or so?

chyna123
01-07-2010, 06:02 PM
another good tip to do and I do it alot....when I find hamburger meat on sale...... Buy about 6 big packs of it...take it home and cook it all up except for maybe 2 packs...seperate it after you have cooked it and freeze some for lasagna,spahgetti,sloppy joes,vegetable beef soup...it makes life so much easier.... the other 2 packs I always pat out hamburger patties and wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place them in a freezer bag....

cabby92
01-08-2010, 11:30 AM
another good tip to do and I do it alot....when I find hamburger meat on sale...... Buy about 6 big packs of it...take it home and cook it all up except for maybe 2 packs...seperate it after you have cooked it and freeze some for lasagna,spahgetti,sloppy joes,vegetable beef soup...it makes life so much easier.... the other 2 packs I always pat out hamburger patties and wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place them in a freezer bag....


I do that too. I freeze it in 1 pound bags so I can always just grab a bag of precooked ground beef.

I know me, I'm lazy. I have to make it easy so when I'm tired I don't cheat and blow the budget. It's way to easy to stop for Chinese take out on the way home. Terrible for us and $30.00+ down the drain.

madie
01-08-2010, 03:48 PM
I shop around coupons and store sales and average 48% to 50% saving on all groceries(as long as I leave hubby at home). I plan for a week at a time. I buy meat when it is on sale and devide it up and freeze. Pork Chops @.98/lb. I buy about 20 lbs and have about 12 meals when I just add veggies' I don't like meals made and frozen as the remind me of TV dinners. This works for my family and if I know what I am going to fix I can have dinner ready in about 45 mins.

That's what I do too. I am a stocker (stock up on what we use) and I usually only buy things when they are on sale. I don't drive so it is not an option to just drive to the store for this or that, if we don't have it, we don't use it.

I usually spend about $300 a month for a family of 4 with very healthy appetites.

I also don't like freezing the meals first - no matter how I've ever done it, it is not as good as fresh.

DrGrin
01-10-2010, 11:33 AM
After doing some grocery shopping Friday, I spent part of the day yesterday getting some quick fix things done for the freezer.

I put a large pork roast sprinkled with colgin's liquid smoke and let it cook overnight Friday night in the crockpot on the low setting. I got up yesterday, took it out of the crockpot to cool, then pulled the meat. I saved part of it out for last night's supper, wrapped the rest up in 1 lb packages with waxed paper and put into quart size freezer bags.

Boneless chicken breast, I sliced into thin fillets, marinated in Dale's seasoning and grilled on the smokeless indoor grill. Then cut it into strips to use in flour tortilla wraps or salads. Threw a few cups into each quart ziploc bag and put those in the freezer.

I experimented and tried to make my own Buffalo chicken strips- Sliced boneless chicken into strips, mixed buttermilk and hot sauce. Dipped the strips and rolled them with store brand ritz type crackers that had been run through a blender. Froze the strips on waxed paper, then put them into ziploc bags. I'm not sure how this will work, but I guess I'll find out later in the week when I try to bake some of them in the oven for dinner.

I made a meatloaf wrapped in wax paper and froze it in a gallon size ziploc bag. Made up a dozen burger patties with seasonings in the meat, and wrapped them in waxed paper and placed into gallon ziploc bags for later cooking.

I'm going to make sausage casserole later this afternoon and attempt freezing part of one of those to see how it turns out.

ahippiechic
01-10-2010, 12:12 PM
After doing some grocery shopping Friday, I spent part of the day yesterday getting some quick fix things done for the freezer.

I put a large pork roast sprinkled with colgin's liquid smoke and let it cook overnight Friday night in the crockpot on the low setting. I got up yesterday, took it out of the crockpot to cool, then pulled the meat. I saved part of it out for last night's supper, wrapped the rest up in 1 lb packages with waxed paper and put into quart size freezer bags.

Boneless chicken breast, I sliced into thin fillets, marinated in Dale's seasoning and grilled on the smokeless indoor grill. Then cut it into strips to use in flour tortilla wraps or salads. Threw a few cups into each quart ziploc bag and put those in the freezer.

I experimented and tried to make my own Buffalo chicken strips- Sliced boneless chicken into strips, mixed buttermilk and hot sauce. Dipped the strips and rolled them with store brand ritz type crackers that had been run through a blender. Froze the strips on waxed paper, then put them into ziploc bags. I'm not sure how this will work, but I guess I'll find out later in the week when I try to bake some of them in the oven for dinner.

I made a meatloaf wrapped in wax paper and froze it in a gallon size ziploc bag. Made up a dozen burger patties with seasonings in the meat, and wrapped them in waxed paper and placed into gallon ziploc bags for later cooking.

I'm going to make sausage casserole later this afternoon and attempt freezing part of one of those to see how it turns out.

The chicken strips should be good, that's how we do them.

I freeze a lot of extras also. I only have the sm freezer space in my fridge so not a lot of room, but right now I have chili, buffalo chicken strips, and part of pork roast in there. They really come in handy when it's DD's turn to cook. (we don't have hot dogs as much, lol!)

DrGrin
01-11-2010, 03:48 PM
Today's experiment is roasted ranch potatoes to serve with Grilled cheese sandwiches.

I scrubbed some russet potatoes and sliced them up like french fries, with the peelings left on them. Then rolled them lightly in canola oil and dumped a envelope of the Hidden Vallen Ranch dressing mix powder on them and stirred them up a little. I baked them for 30 minutes, then took the ones that were about half cooked and laid them out on waxed paper to freeze. Then I let the rest of them cook for about 20 more minutes.

The website I found the recipe on said I could freeze them half cooked, and either deep fry them or bake them later for 30 minutes to have them ready to serve. Hope it works, although I can't think of any reason that it wouldn't be okay.

The ones that I completely cooked today for our dinner turned out great. Now I just have to make a grilled cheese to go with them and we have dinner!

In fact, these turned out so well I think I will try some with garlic salt and a little parmesan cheese on another day. Maybe I'll even try some with a little red ground pepper seasoning added to give them a little more spice.

ahippiechic
01-12-2010, 01:15 PM
Ok today I froze 'sketti & meatballs, chicken Marsala & lots of waffles, lol!

jasmine
03-22-2010, 08:50 PM
found a neat site on freezing meals

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Freezing-Foods-A-Real-Time-Saver/Detail.aspx