Freezer cooking is a great way to save money and time, especially if you’re cooking for a big family and want to make sure everyone’s eating healthy! By preparing meals ahead of time, you’re avoiding the temptation of ordering pizza or takeout. Here are 10 tips for easy freezer meals to help you dip your feet into the wonderful world of freezer cooking:
- Choose recipes you love. This might be common sense, but if you choose family favorites to freeze, you won’t have to sit through any protests come mealtime. Plus, your favorites are likely to be the simplest and easiest meals, which is always a bonus.
- Double or triple your favorite recipe to start. Don’t try to make a whole week’s worth of meals at once if you’re just starting out! If you start with one familiar recipe, it’ll be easier to double or triple it successfully and troubleshoot any problems with the process.
- Choose one day per week as your prep day. Keep it simple and save more time by prepping all your meals for the week at once. Not only will this be a relief to have done and organized, but now you don’t have to rush during the week to get meals ready!
- Make sure you have an hour to cook and prep. You might want to cook aromatics, sauces, or meats before freezing. You also need time to chop up all your ingredients, so be sure you have ample time to cook, prep, and store the meals you’re making.
- Think breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Who says freezer meals are only for dinner? You might want to save the Crockpot meals for the evening but you can make all kinds of delicious breakfasts and lunches that freeze well for quick or on-the-go eating!
- Give the kids something to do. If you have babies or toddlers who are too young to help, make sure they’re set up with an activity or have someone to watch them. Otherwise, get them in on the prep! Kids can wash veggies and fruits, and older kids can peel and chop produce and help package up meals.
- You don’t have to freeze the entire meal. Freezing staples of your cooking, like pre-cooked rice, chicken, or beef, is a great way to make meals more quickly and combine fresh and frozen ingredients to preserve flavor. You can also freeze your sauces flat in Ziploc bags to save space and time.
- Let it cool! Don’t make the mistake of trying to store your food when it’s still warm. You could ruin your food that way! Let all cooked food cool completely, then mix everything together (if necessary) and freeze flat, making sure there’s no air left in the bag. Then you can stand your bags up to save even more space in your freezer!
- Write all cooking info and dates on your freezer bag. Grab a permanent marker for this one and write cooking instructions and the date on your bags BEFORE you put the food in. You could also use a piece of sturdy tape to write on so you can reuse your bags without confusion.
- Cook what’s on sale. Part of freezer cooking is saving money, so you’ll want to have a weekly meal plan that’s flexible to accommodate sales at your local grocery store, and/or items you can buy in bulk, like rice, pasta, beans, cheeses, and meats.
Do you make freezer meals? What’s your favorite recipe? Share your tips and tricks with us on Facebook and Pinterest!