As a lot of you know, I LOVE freezer cooking. It has been helpful in so many ways, most recently when we had baby Zachary. Between having friends drop off meals for us & having a fully stocked freezer, I barely had to cook for weeks. It. Was. Awesome. We are still working on our freezer since I have had some time off from work, I've been cooking more & saving the easy prepared meals for when our schedule is busier.
Many of you have asked how I do my freezer cooking, so I'm going to give you some of the resources I use. Really, the best thing I found is when you make something, make double & freeze half. I do this mostly with soups & casseroles. I also overcook at holidays (a bigger turkey or ham) & then use those leftovers to make meals & freeze. This past year from Thanksgiving & Christmas I made 2 turkey soups, turkey pot pie, ham & bean soup, 2 ham & pasta casseroles. Plus we ate for days on the leftovers.
Another huge source of our frozen meals is Dream Dinners. I can't say enough good things about this place. You go in & they have a bunch of stations set up & in about an hour you make 12-13 meals, each either 3 or 6 servings. Then you go home & stick it all in your freezer & you're set for weeks. This can be a little pricey, but when you look at the cost per meal & per serving, it's very close to what you spend in the grocery store & it's already set up! This is a great way to stock a freezer very quickly. And they frequently do Groupons or similar deals so that makes the price even better.
Here are a few other sites I have used for freezer cooking inspiration:
This is a pay site, but well worth the money. I use this site for my weekly menu planning (crucial!) & they also have monthly freezer meals. The cost works out to $5/month if you buy 6 months & again they do discounts through Grouponhttp://www.groupon.com/, etc. Starting last Oct, I picked 3-4 freezer meals each month from this site & Adrian & I would take one day each month & make & freeze them.
The Marathon Mom
This is a parenting site I follow & she was pregnant at the same time I was. She was freezer cooking & gave me some yummy ideas including the already mentioned pot pie. Her chicken spaghetti is also FANTASTIC! It's probably not the most healthy meal, but total comfort food & everyone in my house loved it.
Money Saving Mom
This is a blog I follow on Facebook for couponing help but she is also a huge freezer cooker. She is currently wrapping up a 4 weeks to fill your freezer challenge (she did it through May). I would like to do this one month, but couldn't get it together for May. You can see all her recipes for the whole series or get ideas & pick & choose.
Those are the big ones I can think of right now. A funny side story...As I was working my butt off to fill our freezer, I noticed there was more ice accumulating in the deep freeze than normal. Turns out our seal is broken. Since we got the freezer for $50 off of Craig's List almost 6 years ago, it has more than served it's purpose. We are currently trying to eat all the food that is in there & will then be shopping for a new freezer with our tax refund from earlier this year! I'm SO excited!!
Anyone else have other ideas for freezer cooking? Any suggestions which deep freeze I should get?