Save Money With Freezer Cooking

Save Money With Freezer Cooking.

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.

Get Cooking

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.

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Comments
  1. Tiffany says:

    for some more awesome tips check out http://www.freshfromthefreezer.com/
    warning: This site is addicting! lol I haven’t done enough of this yet but i hope to try coz my freezer is packed with meat. I just need to actually do some pre made meals!

  2. Eeyah says:

    Great post :) Just an FYI, in regards to your link to the older post about foods you can and cannot freeze – you can indeed freeze apples. Core them, slice them (or dice) and fill a container, bag etc. I grew up with 3 apple trees that produced copious amounts of apples, so many a summer day was spent peeling/coring/cutting. My job was making an apple crisp, and you can use them frozen.

  3. teachermum says:

    Last weekend I just processed about 25 pounds of hamburger that was on sale for $1.99/lb! I now have regular meatballs, porcupine meatballs, others to be cooked in bbq sauce, 4 meatloafs, 8 pounds of taco meat and 4 pounds of plain cooked burger all packaged up and ready to go in the future. So easy to grab for supper.

    I also don’t follow the freezer storage rules-call me a rebel… but last night we had chicken breasts in bbq sauce in the crockpot that I shredded and served in dinner rolls….they were dated Dec 2008 (cleaned out the freezer and they were hiding at the bottom), but they were double wrapped, no freezer burn and solid as a rock–absolutely no reason to not use them! but then I ignore most expiry dates, especially on dry foods!!!

    • admin says:

      Woo hoo, sounds like a party at your house! Hehehe just kidding, but good job on all the processing. That will save you lots of time come dinner time!

  4. melissa says:

    Does anyone have any freezer recipes.

    • Dominique says:

      The best batch cooking cook book is called The Big Cook (1 & 2). I got mine at a book store. It’s great because it goes through how-to’s, time and money saving, how to batch cook with friends, sample shopping lists , etc. All the recipes we have had are delish and each recipe has columns with the amounts for one, two, four or eight meals so you aren’t multiplying ingredients in your head (no errors). It’s chapters are divided by beef, chicken, pork, vegetarian, and Seafood so you can cook like with like, as Cassie suggested. This book has been awesome for our family, I definitely recommend it!

  5. BonBon says:

    I like to freeze cooked ground beef to use for chili, pasta sauce, sloppy joes, lasagne, etc. It has been on sale lately for $1.99 so I buy it in bulk, cook it up in a huge pan (with or without onions) drain and cool, then freeze in margarine dishes or medium freezer bags. 2 cups of cooked ground beef equals 1 lb hamburger.
    Melissa, if you go on allrecipes.com, there are videos and lots of recipes for freezing for free. Another tip, I save all leftover veggies, meat, etc in a tupperware container in the freezer. When it is full, I make home-made soup by adding beef or chicken base, tomatoes, pasta or whatever you have on hand. Celery can also be frozen in stalks and then chopped frozen for soups, casseroles, etc. Waste not, want not, right?

    • shirley says:

      This is an awesome idea. I have been doing this for a few years. There are times that I want to prepare something in a hurry but I have to cook up the ground beef. I then decide against making that recipe and do something else. It is awesome to be able to pull out cooked ground beef, turkey out of the freezer and it is ready to make whatever you have in mind. No mess, less time and everyone is happy. Hope people will try this when ground beef is on sale. You will be happy you did.

  6. BonBone says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot something. I also freeze whole tomatoes, stem removed, on a cookie sheet, then when frozen I put them in large freezer bags. In the winter, take out a few “red rocks” run under hot water and the skin can be peeled off. Great for fresh sauce or stewed tomatoes in the winter!

    • shirley says:

      I froze tomatoes for the first time last summer. It worked out great. I felt good about using the over abundance of tomatoes I had and they tasted GREAT during the COLD weather. I froze more this summer.

  7. Susan Stone says:

    Do you have any suggestions as to what type of food sealer to buy?

    • A M says:

      I bought the foodsaver – I think it is the exact one in the post before. I find it to be really good. I got it on sale at Canadian Tire a couple of months ago for $69. When I was researching, a lot of people said to get the manual type rather than automated one as the automated one uses sensors that don’t work well if there is any liquid in the bag – this is why I chose the manual one and I’ve been very happy with it. I also read a lot if reviews that said the foodsaver is better and those that chose seal a meal tend to end up using foodsaver bags.

  8. Christa says:

    I am going between the Food Saver and Seal a Meal food sealers (seeing how readily the bags are available) I have one shelf in my upright freezer dedicated for just prepared foods like cabbage rolls, stews, soups, stuffed peppers, banana bread. Tomato sauce is in the other freezer cause me and my cousin just cooked up 14 cases of tomatoes then blended and strained so no seeds.

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