Save Money With Freezer Cooking.
Are you looking for ways to save money? Clipping coupons, shopping the clearance racks, cutting out cable. Those are all great ways to get your expenses lower.
Another great way to save money is with freezer cooking.
What is freezer cooking?
Freezer cooking is when you cook up a large amount of food and stick it in the freezer to eat at a later time. Some people spend an entire day cooking up a variety of different meals and snacks, while others will just cook extra of the meal they are making for dinner that night.
Either way, cooking and freezing food for later is a great way to not only save money on your groceries, but also to save time.
It’s been a long day and you really just do not have the energy to cook an entire meal for your family. So what do you do? For me, I would order out. Which is not only an expensive option, but usually it’s a pretty unhealthy option as well… and that’s where freezer cooking comes in.
Do you want to learn how to start freezer cooking? Here are some tips to get you headed in the right direction:
Make a Menu Plan
Write down all of the foods you would like to make in advance. I suggest 5-10 recipes that your family really enjoys. Note all of the ingredients needed for your recipes and write those down on your shopping list. Before adding them, check your pantry to make sure you don’t already have the ingredients you need.
Avoid new recipes. Stick to meals that you already know your family will eat. You don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of frozen meals that everyone dislikes. That will just result in wasted money and wasted time.
Decide How to Package Your Meals
There are many ways that you can package your frozen meals:
- Baking Dishes
- Plastic Storage Containers
- Zippered Bags
The way that works best depends on the type of meal you will be preparing. Experiment with different storage options and figure out what works best for you.
Tackle Prep Work First
Before you begin your cooking, go through all of your recipes and make a list of everything that needs to be grated, chopped and sliced. Get these jobs out of the way first. This will make your actual cooking job much easier and will save you lots of time.
Create Your Plan of Attack
Write down the order of meals you plan to prepare. It’s best to cook chicken meals together, ground beef meals together, pasta dishes together – instead of cooking one chicken dish, then a pasta dish, then another chicken dish. Cook like items with like items.
Your plan is to double or triple these meals and it’s much easier to cook all like meals at the same time, before you move on to a new main ingredient.
If you have kids, make sure that someone can watch them for you while you are cooking. It’s difficult to tend to children when you are trying to cook a huge batch of food in the kitchen.
Turn on some music and get cooking. Be sure to take some breaks to have a bite to eat and stay hydrated.
A Few More Freezer Cooking Tips:
- Avoid meals with cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, as they tend to separate during freezing.
- Avoid freezing fried foods, as they end up getting soggy when thawed and cooked.
- Be sure to label and date each meal as you package it.
- Make sure all meals are cooled before you put them in the freezer.
- Write down your freezer’s inventory so you don’t forget what’s inside. We have a free freezer inventory sheet that you can use.
- Some foods do not freeze well. Check out our list of items you can and can not freeze before you plan your menu.
If you cook for the freezer, please share your tips in the comments.