Post # 1
My husband and I work opposing schedules and I work nights so we’re both often tired so we don’t make meals as often as we should because we’re just too lazy to go through the whole process of getting food ready so we end up eating out or eating processed junk.
We both figured preparing our own freezer meals to just defrost and then put in the crockpot, oven, foreman grill, or stove would help. Does anyone have experience with this? Any tips, tricks, or recipes you can recommend for meals and sides? Thanks!!!! 🙂
Post # 3
Yes and no to your questions. We will make beef stew or chilli and then freeze them into single serving bags (using a Food Saver). We also portion out our chicken, hamburger, and ground turkey. We buy in bulk becuase it is cheaper and then section it into 1lb portions.
As far as actually creating meals and freezing them this is about the extent of it. We really don’t deliberately make meals to freeze. We will just freeze leftovers into individual servings.
Post # 4
@Duckie731: We tried and failed misreably at this. We would spend a lot of time, money and effort making the meal — but then we would never manage to eat them.
The best advice I could give is
– invest in quiality food storage (a lot of our stuff got freezer burn after only being the freezer for 1 week)
– create a schedule. We mainly did not eat it because we never planned ahead enough to have the meals defrosted in time.
– pack the food in small quanities- a lot of it gets wasted if you dont. Once its reheated, you probably wont want to be eating again
Post # 5
Veggie lasagnas, chilis, stews, shepherds pie – all of these are wonderful meals to make and portion out for leftovers. 🙂
Post # 6
@megz06: PLEASE tell me how you seal liquids in food saver bags?? Mine just sucks it out and makes a mess!
Post # 7
I don’t make frozen meals, but what I’ve found helpful is meal planning on the weekend. Then, on sunday I do all the prep work – cutting up veggies, making sauces, etc. for the meals for the week and put them in tupperware. THat way, it’s a lot easier to throw it in the crockpot in the morning (been my lifesaver since I got pregnant and am too tired and hungry to wait to cook anything when I get home!)
The more prep work you can do on your day off for the week, the better!
Post # 8
I purposely make extra of some meals and freeze the leftovers for later. When we lived in Minnesota, I would go to a place where you could assemble a meal (menus changed every month) and then you froze it to cook fully later. It was very convenient, and depending on how many meals you made it was $3-4 per serving. I loved it, but haven’t found anything like that where I live now.
Post # 9
I did this all the time when my children were little.
I filled my freezer with- lots of different sauces eg bolognaise, chilli, chicken curry, marinara and then I only had to cook rice or pasta to go with them.
I also filled it with healthy muffins- blueberry,apple,banana
Post # 10
I never remember to defrost freezer things, unless they’re single-serving.
But I’d like to figure it out!
Post # 11
I cook all my meals for the week on Sundays. I don’t freeze them, I just make enough for the week, refrigerate it and by the following Saturday everything’s all gone. Wash the containers, rinse and repeat. I try not to freeze food because I know once it goes in there, I’ll never eat it again. Each week I make some variation of:
a fish dish
a chicken dish
a beef (or other meat) dish
and various types of vegetables
I take these to work everyday for lunch with a whole fruit and they’re a life (and money) saver. I also eat them for dinner.
Last week, I made chili, meatballs, roast chicken breast, eggplant melange, garlic stringbeans and thai coconut curry tilapia. This weekend I’m definitely making chicken with stir-fried veggies. Not sure what else yet.
Post # 12
@MsJ2theZ: Haha my husband is a PRO at the Food Saver. He makes the bags bigger than what they need to be if he is freezing anything with liquid. it does get messy, I’m not gonna lie. Liquid spills out quite often.
We are going to get a different one soon, a commerical grade because we seal so much meat, that sucks the air out differently. Like I said DH knows all about that stuff, but for the most part he has been successful apart from the occassional mess.
Post # 13
@megz06: I might have to just google it. I know it’s possible, and I’d like to use it for stew and soups as well as crock pot meals that have liquids instead of plastic bags but so far all I’ve succeeded in doing is making a mess. Even if I have a juicy peice of meat it comes out. So annoying!
Post # 14
All the time. In fact we bought a second stand alone freezer for the garage we freeze so much.
I just freeze already made meals that can be popped into the microwave or oven to reheat and eat. You do not need to defrost something before putting it in the oven FYI. it will save you a lot of time if you dont.
The best way to freeze is to make sure there isnt any air. So if its in a tupperware, make sure its filled to the top, then layer saran wrap on it then the top. Make sure its a good quality container and not one of those more disposable ones.
I also like to freeze in glass or disposable aluminum pans so they can go straight into the oven.
Liquids freeze great flat in ziplock bags. Just remove all the air and you can pile them up to save space. Place the bag in a sink of very hot water and then after a few minuts you should be able to slip the contents into a large pot to reheat.
Many, many things freeze more than even the traditional items you tend to think of. You can freeze little baggies of rice and stirfry so its a meal waiting for you. Stuffed/marinated etc chicken, cook, then freeze them on a cookie tray. When they freeze, put them in a ziplock. they will be frozen individually so you can just dump it out of the baggie onto a tray to reheat in the oven or a plate in the microwave.
Same process works for burritos, breakfast sandwiches, etc.
Use the frozen TV dinner section of the grocery store for inspiration.
Post # 15
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I found that cooking up a lot of meat on Sunday and then adding different veggies, starches (pasta, mashed potatoes, etc…), and sauces is quick and easy but tastes different. We also try to put together a menu at the beginning of the week of 5 dinners we plan to cook that take less than 20 minutes to prepare and then we choose one each night to eat.