October 23, 2013 by The Perfectly Imperfect One
Yesterday, I spent my day doing another round of freezer meals. We moved pretty quickly through the first batch. We still have quite a few left from the last time, like 2 chicken fajitas, the whole chicken (which we will eat tonight) the pulled pork, the stroganoff, and the pot roast.
You can check out my first post about freezer meals HERE
I was much more prepared and organized this time around. I didn’t even need any helpers, though they came again to help, but I was almost done, so they just chatted with me while I stuffed ziplock bags.
This time, I didn’t follow what everyone has said about taking one day to plan, one day to shop, and one day to cook/prepare. I did it all in one day this time. I already had the recipes I wanted, so I just started making my shopping list.
Once I had my shopping list, I went shopping in my own pantry. A couple weeks ago, I knew I was going to do another freezer meal mission, so when we were at the grocery store I picked up a few things I knew I was going to need, like kidney beans, and tomatoes in a can. I didn’t spend more than $6 on that trip.
I had bought too many freezer bags on my last freezer meal mission (well not too many, I bought 2 boxes, so it worked out I didn’t need them this time around). We had about half the chicken breasts I would need already from a Costco trip a while ago ( I found them last freeze meal mission when cleaning out the freezer to put food in there). They were still good and useful….saved me at least $12 this time around.
I didn’t need a lot of seasonings this time, I only used salt, pepper, and dried basil, which are all things I always have and still have plenty of. I did need some seasoning packets like dried ranch, dried italian seasoning, chili mix, and onion soup mix.
For my shopping trip this time for my menus I needed some meat. I got 7 pounds of cubed beef steak (for chili and beef stew) I already had the 3 pounds of hamburger meat (since I buy it in bulk at Costco, although now I am down to 2 pounds left in the freezer so I will have to get some next Costco trip) this saved me maybe $4 this trip.I also needed 11 more chicken breasts, I got two packages of 7 breasts for $11 each.
For my shopping I needed veggies. This list included 4 red peppers, 4 onions, 14 celery stalks, and two bags of baby carrots. The red peppers were $1 a piece, the onions were $1.28 a pound, the celery was $2.78 a bag, and the baby carrots were somewhere around $3 or so.
I had to get some BBQ sauce, dressing, Teriyaki sauce, and lots of cans of tomato stuff like 6 cans diced canned tomatoes .68 a can, 6 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles .68 a can, 6 cans tomato sauce .68 a can, 1 can of cream of chicken soup $1, and a few other things. My total amount spent at the grocery store was $107 (that included a pumpkin carving kit). Including the stuff I already had in my pantry, I calculated I spend about $130 on this freezer meal event. It may be a bit more, I am not sure.
I made 9 recipes this time around and ended up with 18 freezer meals. Recipes to follow after I cook them.
The first three recipes have already been made and tried. The family loved them, so this time I doubled the original recipe and since we only ate half the recipe for the 3 of us last time. So this time, doubling the recipe made 4 freezer meals of each for us.
Slow Cooker Chili-doubled recipe split into 4 bags
Zest Hamburger Soup-doubled recipe split into 4 bags ****My nieces favorite so far***
Beef Stew-doubled recipe split into 4 bags
After making these recipes and ending up with 12 freezer meals, I also made some new recipes I haven’t made before, so I made one of each except for the Teriyaki chicken because the meal was too big for the three of us. **I will upload the recipes to these at a later date after I have made them and have the family reviews.
Creamy Chicken-feeds 4
BBQ Pineapple Chicken-feeds 4
French Chicken-feeds 4
Crock Pot Honey Chicken-feeds 4
Teriyaki Chicken-feeds 6 or makes 2 freezer meals that feed 3
So as you can see, I ended up with 18 recipes. I started my planning about noon (this included writing on my freezer bags, spent 20 minutes grocery shopping (apparently Wal-mart is super dead at 1:00 PM on a Tuesday afternoon), and I began cooking at 2:00 PM on the dot. With a few breaks, I was done by about 4:30 PM.
I started by browning my hamburger meat because it needed to cool before putting it in the freezer. Then I chopped the onions, cried for about 20 minutes, had to take a break. Chopped the red peppers, celery, and the carrots. I drained the red kidney beans.
While I was chopping, each chopped item had its own bowl i.e. one onion one bowl, one pepper one bowl, and 4 celery stalks per bowl. This made it easy when it came to bagging the items.
When bagging, I grabbed the bags for one recipe, put the meat in the bags, then the veggies, then the seasonings. This made the bagging process so much faster. Once the bags for one recipe was done, I laid it flat in the freezer and moved on to the next recipe. This was super easy because the first three recipes made 12 meals.
I chose the chicken recipes because they were easy to assemble. Place chicken in the bag, add the toppings, lay flat in the freezer, and DONE!
Not only does this process not take as long to make. It saves money and time. It also helps when I can’t think of anything to make. I love having food options in the pantry, ready to go 🙂
I didn’t take pictures this time around because I was in the zone. The only picture I took was once all the food was in the freezer.
**I got three chicken recipes from Over the Big Moon at http://www.overthebigmoon.com/super-fast-chicken-freezer-meals/