How Freezer Cooking Saves Me Money: Frugal Friday

Freezer cooking has been a way to save me time and energy over the last 13 years. Not only do I spend less time in the kitchen each night, but I also don’t have to think too hard to find something for dinner. Usually.

(That’s my disclaimer because there are plenty of nights when I’ve forgotten to thaw anything and then I have to get very creative.)

Consistency Proves It.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been as consistent in keeping a full freezer as I have over the last year. Since I was 8 months pregnant with our first child, I’ve done freezer cooking in fits and spurts. A few months at a time and then a rest for a few months.

However, over the last year, I’ve regularly cooked like a crazy woman at the beginning of each month and reaped the reward later.

Since I’ve been consistent over a longer period, I’ve been able to see a more consistent savings in our grocery budget. This year’s average hovers between $550 and $600 per month to feed a family of 8. While I’ve certainly fed our family for less during some months over the last ten years, never has our family been as big as it is now, especially with four boys, ages 6-12, nor have we eaten as much whole foods as we have. It’s quite rare nowadays that I buy packaged or processed stuff.

Freezer Cooking Can Save You Money

There is a whole host of good reasons to give freezer cooking a try. One of the most tangible reasons is that it can save you money. Here’s how:

1. You can buy in bulk – Some families, like ours, can quickly go through a bulk pack of chicken breasts or a 5 pound bag of grated cheese, items that can often be a terrific bargain. But smaller families may have a harder time using up bulk packages. With freezer cooking, you can easily use that bulk package and  reap the cost savings. Just read pricing carefully as not all bulk packages are the better deal.

2. You can avoid processed foods – While processed foods are often inexpensive to buy with coupons and sales, their regular prices are actually quite high. And they aren’t always the best tasting or the healthiest. By putting a few hours of work into cooking and freezing foods prepared from scratch, you can avoid processed foods.

3. You can limit your takeout – I love to have someone else do the cooking. But, too much takeout eventually makes us sick – to the stomach or the pocketbook. Keep a stash of freezer meals on hand and avoid the drive thru.

4. You go grocery shopping less often – Since I do big shopping trips to do big cooking, I go grocery shopping less frequently. Staying out of the store helps me avoid those impulsive purchases that we don’t really need.

Freezer cooking is one way that I can keep our grocery budget lean and trim. If you’re looking to see how it’s done, don’t forget to come back through the weekend as I make up a mess of breakfasts to freeze and enjoy later in the month.You can also be inspired by this great round up of freezer friendly recipes, too.

And be sure to visit Money Saving Mom on Friday and read what others are doing to keep dinners in the freezer. If you’ve got a freezer cooking plan to share, you can link it there, too.

Curious about freezer cooking? Consider purchasing my cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. It’s chock full with over 200 freezer-friendly recipes, planning pages, shopping lists, cooking plans, and basic and advanced how-to’s to making freezer cooking work for any home, family, and lifestyle.

What do YOU do to save money?

Share your favorite money-saving ideas today. Leave a link to a post that shares some frugal wisdom. (Please no giveaways or deals posts. Teach us how to fish!)

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Comments

  1. I am so thankful to you and Money Saving Mom for introducing me to freezer cooking!! So sad that I haven’t been able to participate in recent months though! I am hoping to get back in the swing of things next month!

  2. Freezer cooking is something I rarely do – I must get better at it. I linked a pizza dough that can be frozen for a couple months.

  3. Hi! Great to discover you. I’ve linked up for the first time. Off to read the other links now & gets some ideas!

  4. I have been saying I want to do this for months! Thank you for sharing, you’ve inspired me to jump on the bandwagon. I can’t wait to read more, as I don’t even know where to start, but anxious to learn. :)

  5. We have 5 children, three of them teens. We go through so incredibly much food that we barely can make enough for left overs with our stove and huge pans. (My sister in law has a 6-burner stove; that would work!)

    I’d love to do some freezer cooking, but at this stage in our life we have a different approach: The older ones each are responsible for one supper a week. They plan, prepare, and cook, sharing the load with me. It’s great.

    Annie Kate

  6. Love the post! Having another baby soon and need to start working on my freezer meals. Very helpful!

  7. I need to do more freezer cooking. As my kids are getting older, dinner time is becoming more hectic with activities.

  8. My mom used to do freezer cooking – I think I’m a little bit scarred from it. But as my family’s life gets busier, it’s sounding more and more appealing and I’ve started putting my own spin on it

    A few months ago I started making bread and then turning Monday’s into my baking day. I try to make 3 or 4 things along with the bread – crackers, cookies, biscuits, etc. I freeze a lot of the dough for use during the week. It really cuts down on my food prep time and my family can still eat really good, homemade, whole foods.

  9. That is a great budget for a family of 8 – I am impressed! We spend about $400 for a family of 5.

  10. You’ve totally convinced me of the wisdom of freezer cooking. I can’t quite do a big day like you do yet, but I do triple or quadruple recipes when I make them, so at least I’ve got 4 or 5 of something in the freezer at any given time. The days when I can pull something out of the freezer go so much more smoothly!

  11. I made a few dinners last week, and I’m planning on baking this week. I couldn’t face the freezer during the first trimester of this pregnancy, so I’m trying to step it up these next few weeks until things start going down hill again!

    I’m excited to try your chocolate butterhorns!

  12. I’m obsessed with freezer cooking (and baking). I love how much time and money it saves me each month.

    I think I’ll be making about 10 loaves of zucchini bread tomorrow!

  13. Thanks for inspiring me as the kids’ fall activities approach….this may the key to survival!

  14. I love the idea of freezer cooking, but it doesn’t often happen. Thanks for the reminder!
    You are invited to Of Such is the Kingdom’s first birthday party! We’re looking back at old posts and giving away daily prizes. Come on over for some fun!
    suchakingdom.blogspot.com

  15. Yep, my recipe definitely counts as a freezer recipe. This awesome and healthy Mark Bittman Meat Sauce Bolognese tastes EVEN better after spending some time in the fridge or freezer! Thanks so much for hosting this great frugal carnival! Have an awesome weekend. Alex@amoderatelife

  16. It’s been months since I’ve done what I call batch cooking but I’m doing it today. School starts for our teenage girls on the 16th. The youngest is on the dance team which means we’re committed to Tuesday and Friday night games to watch her perform. Knowing that my time after work will be limited, here’s what I’m putting in my freezer today:
    ~ 3.5# taco meat
    ~3.5# ground beef, browned & seasoned for Italian dishes
    10 c. of cooked brown rice
    2.5# of cooked chicken breasts – diced & sliced for planned meals

    I’d still like to get 2 batches of cookie dough in the freezer but I’m not going to get that done today. Maybe tomorrow evening.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jessica G Fisher, Jessica G Fisher. Jessica G Fisher said: On LifeasMOM – How Freezer Cooking Saves Me Money: Frugal Friday – http://clicky.me/11NA [...]

  2. [...] at Frugal Friday // August 5th, 2010 in Frugality, Health and Fitness, [...]

  3. [...] post is submitted to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom Share and [...]

  4. [...] Life as Mom for more Frugal Friday [...]

  5. [...] and Mom Tried It and Life as a Mom [...]

  6. [...] Have you had any luck with this in the past? Let me know…so I don’t feel like the only crazy one! This post is linked to Frugal Friday’s over at Life As Mom. [...]

  7. [...] Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday, I’m Lovin It Fridays, Wholesome Whole Foods Friday and Frugal Friday, so please check out these other excellent blogs for more great recipes and real food [...]

  8. [...] How Freezer Cooking Saves Me Money: Cook in batches and save them in your freezer to save time, money, and energy. [...]

  9. [...] Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday, I’m Lovin It Fridays, Wholesome Whole Foods Friday and Frugal Friday, so please check out these other excellent blogs for more great recipes and real food [...]

  10. [...] How Freezer Cooking Saves Me Money [...]

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