Make Your Own Freezer Meals

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Make Your Own Freezer Meals

Bulk cooking has been a periodic practice of mine for about twelve years now. I was pregnant with my first born when I first heard about the book, Once a Month Cooking. My friend Jessika and I spent two-three days shopping and cooking and had a freezer full of food. I have great memories of our time spent together. (I also remember my sore, swollen, pregnant feet!)

Since then, I’ve held a big cooking bash every so often to give myself a few nights off cooking. Last week I had planned to double and triple all my dinners instead of doing all the cooking in one day. However, God intervened, and I got the inspiration to just cook it all on Monday. This proved to be a very good thing as the Stomach Flu crossed my threshold the very next day.

Thankfully, I have a freezer full of meals so that the next few days and weeks don’t need to be spent in the kitchen.

Here’s what in stor(age):
2 lasagnas
2 meatloaves
3 batches meatballs (can be used in Boules de Picolat, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Swedish Meatballs)
6 pints of pasta sauce
1 batch of chicken and veggies for Paella
2 pans of mashed potatoes
2 batches of taco meat

Obviously, we won’t eat these 14 meals all in a row; it would get a little redundant. But, these mostly beef-filled meals will spread out through the weeks and save me time, money, and dishpan hands.

It’s my hope to spend a handful of posts on the basics of bulk cooking. There is no shortage of good resources out there to help you do this. And I’ll be posting about those as well later this month.

An easy way to stock your freezer is to double or triple what’s already in your meal plan. But, if you’re up for the challenge, cooking a bunch at one time will pay off bigger and longer.

Here is the basic premise:

1. Choose 5-10 meals. Make sure that several contain like ingredients. In this instance, I chose ground beef as the center of my cooking. But, you could use another protein to make the basis of your meals. If I were cooking for a whole month, I would have several ground beef recipes, several chicken recipes, and several “other” recipes.

2. You’re going to double or triple each recipe so go through each recipe and make those adjustments to the recipe ingredients list.

3. Create a grocery list by going through each recipe selected and adding those ingredients to your list.

4. Next, reread each recipe and find out what needs to be sliced, diced, or chopped. Make a list of all the preprep tasks to do. In my case, I had cheese to grate, onions to chop, potatoes to peel, and chicken to cut.

5. Plan out the order in which you will cook and assemble the dishes. For me, I needed to make the pasta sauce before I could make the lasagna.

6. Purchase the items at least a day ahead of cooking. You don’t want to shop and cook all on the same day.

7. The day before cooking, you can prep many of the items. Do your slicing, dicing, and chopping. Precook meats for casseroles or enchiladas.

8. On the Big Day, pick some music you like, supply yourself with drinks and snacks for munching, and go to it.

Stay tuned for more Bulk Cooking ideas. Got a question or great tip? Share it in the comments.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Amanda says

    I would be very interested in posts on bulk cooking. I have done small batches and made an extra two or three items at a time, but would love to get into the habit on cooking bunches of meals every few months or so to help take some of the stress away from meal prep!

  2. HeatherC says

    I would love to get on board with this too. Its such a good feeeling. It does help to do it with a girlfriend too- makes the time pass and splits up the tasks. 🙂

  3. Michele says

    I do bulk cooking a lot and it has made my life so much easier. One cookbook that I LOVE is Fix, Freeze, Feast. I’ve made probably 50% of the recipes in there are there have been only a couple that I decided I wouldn’t make again. A great way to use those Costco sized packages of meat and the flavours are delicious.

  4. do you cook items before freezing them? ie did you cook the lasagna? How long do you thaw things? What kind of containers do you put food in before going in the freezer? I suppose you’ll probably answer this in future posts, but those are my typical hang-ups in freezer cooking.

  5. Marie says

    I would be really interested in learning more about bulk cooking. I have always wanted to try it, but honestly thought you needed more than one person to accomplish it!

  6. Michele says

    I have never tried bulk cooking but I can see where it would help. Some days the easiest meal seems like a chore. I would love to know what type of containers you use?

    Xanga MSheriff

  7. Carrie says

    Very useful post. I linked to it in my 30 Quick, Green and Frugal Meal Planning Resources list.

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