Saturday, May 26, 2012

Freezer Cooking

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 Groupon, 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?

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