Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Freezer meals and meal planning

One of our family New Years resolutions was to save up for a fence.
During a family night we all discussed ways we could cost spending and thus add money to our savings, and reduce our occasional over spending.
The kids decided they would be energy police. They would be better at turning lights off, open the drapes during the day to let in natural light and close them at night to keep the cold out. They would shut the door (a big problem). Get in and then get out of the fridge, no dilly dallying! And we would knock the heater down a notch.

My soldier boy decided to forgo coming home between PT and work in the morning. He would shower at work and take cereal and milk with him for breakfast. Thus saving us on gas money.
I decided since groceries are the biggest part of our budget I would try to cut wastefulness here.
During a my in-laws last visit my MIL told me about her freezer meals. I fell in love with the idea of not cooking EVERYDAY!! I scoured her cookbooks she brought and copied a few recipes and then went thru what we normally eat and came up with a few that would work.
I then took it one step further. I started a meal plan. I plan for my whole paychecks worth of meals. I write down every ingredient I need, and then I go shopping, I only by what is on the list. Over the course of the next few days I make my meals. I make enough of one dinner for 2-3meals and freeze the extras. I portion it out so we don't have a ton of leftovers no one eats. I love it!! The first paycheck we had $70 left over in our grocery envelope! with plenty of meals to spare in the freezer.
I cleaned out my freezer and used all the random bags of this and that to help fill my meal bags.
I place my meals in ziplock bags and write on each one what it is and how to prepare it.
I even have a shelf for my bread. (I don't bother wrapping them because we go thru them so fast!) I filled the bottom draw half with my cookies, muffins, and other lunch snacks and the other half with my fruits that I use regularly for smoothies
The top shelf houses individual portions for the picky eater or for lunches.
I also started to make freezer mixes for my bread. I put everything I need except the wet ingredients in yogurt containers and freeze them for the next time I make bread or incase of emergencies when I need a fresh loaf for someone. It reduces the mess of taking everything out.
Not only have I saving myself money but time! not to mention my freezer looks organized! I know exactly what is in it now!
One step closer to having a fence!!


  1. Your freezer looks amazing! Hoping you'll do some tutorials on those meals & share recipes! (Hint, hint...) ;-)

  2. Oh, I so much love the freezer meal idea. Since I live at my bfs flat I am the one who cooks. Always. So a day off would be fine.
    Sadly bfs freezer is so small, I hardly can have all the frosted veggies I need for cooking in it. I mean, two bags and this thing is full!
    So I really love your ziplock idea!
    Really great!