MENU

My Freezer Cooking Plan for February

The Pantry Challenge, though wearisome at times, seems to have renewed my overall interest in cooking and in being more creative in the kitchen. It was certainly a fun ride in January. But, rather than cook everything from scratch every night, I know that preparing a lot of food at one time and storing it in the freezer for later use is a fantastic way to buy me some time. That’s where freezer cooking can save the day. I’m excited to get cooking tomorrow along with Crystal and at least 200 other home cooks.

Even though this week we’ve been still eating from the pantry, I’ve done some prep work for #oamc. I know that life is picking up speed for us here, especially with my trip to Nashville scheduled for next week. So, preparation is necessary. Earlier this week I was able to defrost my empty freezer, wipe it down, and get it running again. I’ve got my freezer alarm ready to go, my plastic containers and freezer bags all lined up, and a low-key day of school work and educational films planned for my kiddos.

I also printed out my freezer cooking worksheet and mapped out a plan. This month I decided that rather than prepare a lot of casseroles that tend to be high fat and high carbs, I would prep proteins that I could later combine with fresh veggies and rice, pasta, or corn tortillas. I stocked up on chicken breast, both bone-in and boneless($1/pound), as well as pork strips ($1/pound) which I will grill, cook and shred, or marinate and freeze.

I also plan to make a bunch of baking mixes. This was so helpful during the pantry challenge. I found that baking from scratch is a really economical option for our family. The more I did it, the easier it became. But, I know that having mixes already in the pantry will make my life go even more smoothly and help us stay under budget.

And since we are trying to step away from processed foods, I’m also throwing in some other snacky type items like granola, applesauce, and breakfast cookies. And, yes, I’m holding myself back. On past freezer cooking days, I’ve gone a tad overboard, so I’m exercising restraint this time. ;)

What’s Cooking at the FishHouse

  • Nutty Granola
  • mixes: biscuit, pancake, muffin, scone, and cornbread
  • crockpot applesauce
  • Trail Mix Cookies (going to healthify this a tad more – stay tuned)
  • shredded chicken
  • marinated chicken
  • marinated pork strips
  • grated cheese (for tacos, chimichangas, pizza, etc.)

Got a plan for February Freezer Cooking Days? Share it over at Money Saving Mom on Friday.

Would you rather subscribe by RSS?
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. Great ideas! Thanks! I will keep coming back.

  2. Looks yummy! I have found that cooking only proteins is a simple way to cook ahead and takes out most of the effort of making dinner.

  3. Can you give any tips on defrosting the freezer? Thank you

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @nanasewn, I just emptied it, left it open, and unplugged it. Since we’re in San Diego, it only took a few hours to melt the ice crystals. I don’t recommend it now if you live in colder climates. When we lived in Kansas, this was a summertime job.

  4. I’m still eating from the freezer :( I can’t wait until it’s empty! I think we’ll be eating from it until March! Then.. maybe I can convince hubby to buy a side of grass fed beef! Maybe? I’m gonna check out your mixes and make up some myself ;o)

  5. You are so right about making your own mixes, I’ve been doing that now for a while, started out with bread mixes for the Breadmaker, now I make all kinds of mixes myself.
    Still need to continue with eating out of the pantry, until I am able to join you all in the fun …..
    thanks for sharing, you doing a great job and it was fun
    http://love4meninuniform.blogspot.com/

  6. I have an AWESOME recipe for Appalachian Trail Cookies from the wonderful chef Michael Pfab. He is a celebrity chef in the cycling world and these cookies came about because he was trying to create something to eat out of hand while riding a bike long distances. My husband is a road cyclist and these are his favorite, hands down:

    1/4 cup shortening

    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    1/2 cup dark brown sugar

    1/2 cup granulated sugar

    1 large egg

    1/2 cup shredded coconut
 (my hubby is allergic so we leave it out)
    3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pastry flour
 (I use whatever I have)
    pinch salt

    pinch baking soda

    pinch ground cinnamon

    2 cups old-fashioned oats 

    1/2 cup raisins

    1/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

    1/3 cup M&M candies



    Blend shortening, butter, brown sugar and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add coconut, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix only until blended. Fold in oats by hand, then mix in raisins, peanuts and M&Ms. Spoon out in equal portions on parchment-lined baking pan. Bake at 360 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes two dozen.

    Source: Michael Pfab

    Calories per serving: 157

    Fat: 7 grams

    Carbs: 21g

    Protein: 3g

  7. What I want to know is…does making your own baking mixes (biscuits, pancakes, etc) really save money? We don’t use that stuff alot and only have 2 kids. I like to buy Hungry Jack Complete for pancakes when its under $2 a box and I in the past I have added milled flax seed /or cinnamon to it (as well as food coloring for fun).

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I started baking from scratch because it tastes better and is better for us since the boxed kinds are full of preservatives, etc. I buy flour when it’s $1.50 for a 5# bag and get the leavening at Costco for pennies, so I know that it’s cheaper than even the boxed kind on sale. (Except for when I got Bisquick for $.25/box. The kids hated it, though, and couldn’t wait to get back to scratch.)

  8. This is my first time participating, thanks for hosting this! I am trying some dinners with ground beef and waffles for my first try. Hope it goes well! I have never tried mixes but maybe that’s one for next time.
    http://www.mommiecheapest.com/2010/01/freezer-cooking-day.html

  9. I’m so proud of my family for sticking to the Pantry Challenge – and the cool thing is that we ate *really* well!! My guys didn’t even know I was doing it until the last week.
    So this weekend, I’ve done some stuff for the freezer, but plan to stock up meats on an amazing sale this week, so I’ll be adding to my stash then.
    Thanks for the inspiration for both months!!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts

*