In August my best friend Rebecca & I got together and decided a big freezer meal day Saturday was 100% necessary before school started back. Our goal was multiple meals for a reasonable price. What we learned was super valuable and we think incredibly successful!
Here are the Top Three Tips I would pass on!
- Partner in Crime
Find 1-2 friends that are in the same life stage you are! Don't try to freezer meal with someone who has a family of six, when it's just you plus one. Rebecca & I are both married with no kids. Because our life stage is similar, our budget and number of meals we knew we would get out of it was also similar.
Meet a few week before your planned day and decide on what meals you are wanting to put up. Some incredible resources we found were Pioneer Woman! She has a great cookbook of freezer meals and the majority of her meals can be prepared and frozen for up to six months. We also used this time to make a very detailed list. Don't rely on your own stash of butter or eggs, go ahead and purchase them! Things though like spices & salt just pull from your pantry. Check your ziplock bags and tin foil and think through how you are going to store the prepared meals.
Another part of planning is setting out the schedule for your actual freezer meal day. Becca & I decided to pre-cook the whole chickens we would need before the day of, which saved us a ton of time. We also looked at cook times, what pans would be necessary and listed the meals out in order of how we would prepare them. For example, we made our pizza dough for calzones first in order to give it time to rise. While the chicken pot pie was simmering we made our breakfast sammies. It's all about efficiency,
- Shop Together
If you think splitting the list down the middle is the way to go....you're wrong! We took one morning a few days before our prep day and went to Sam's & HEB together. We each paid at one store and then evened it out when we got back home. Everything was purchased together, we made decisions on brand, pans & substitutions if necessary all right there. Not only did we spend less than $75 each, it is also a fun time. We ate lunch at the Sam's food court and marveled over all the samples.
After our marathon day of cooking [roughly six hours] Becca and I each took home roughly 20 meals. Our breakdown included:
- 6 breakfast sammies
- 1 breakfast casserole
- 2 family sized chicken spaghetti [probably enough for a leftover lunch]
- 4 calzone dinners
- 3 Ritz Cracker dinners
- 1 chicken pot pie
- 3 sets of meatballs
Besides all the food in my freezer I also had a pretty spectacular Saturday with my best. We plan to do another freezer day in either November or December to stock up on soups & other favorites.
If you freezer meal what are your favorites? Any tips?