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As moms, there is always something to do: from nurturing to instruction, from correcting to cheering. Added onto what can be a rat race of task-to-task days, moms are typically the ones who keep meals prepared on the table. Can you imagine what it would be like to scale your monthly cooking times down to 3 or 4 hours? Freezer cooking could be your answer for making all of your monthly dinner meals in 4 hours.
Trying to combine the tasks of a busy mom (working, cleaning, keeping order, etc.) with the cycle of keeping meals on the table can be a daunting cycle–especially if you have meals to prepare several times per day!
I have experienced the cycle of constantly feeling behind the “power curve”. I felt like I was good at being a working-outside-of-the-home mom because I performed in that capacity for 9-years. Then, when I saw working from home and homeschooling as being a better option for my family, it has been an adjustment with performing tasks of a stay-at-home mom while balancing the tasks of a working stay-at-home mom. However, my first freezer cooking session made me feel like I am on the right path.
I was going from working to meal prepping, from meal prepping to serving, from serving to cleaning (or sometimes not), then to homeschooling, working, and the cycle seems to go on. I was spending so much time on meal prep that I would feel overwhelmed with the cleaning–or, even instructing my kids so they could do it. My schedule was busting at the seams until my first freezer cooking session.
Consistent with my January goals to save more money, make more money, and cut expenses, I had been looking for options to make my meal planning process more efficient and lower my meal prep times when I stumbled across Erin Chase’s programs: 5 Dollar Meal Plans, MyFreezeasy, Grocery Budget Makeover, and My Efficient Kitchen!
She even has a Free Freezer Cooking Success guide with her customers’ favorite recipes, grocery shopping lists, advice, and tips. Did I mention it is FREE?!!! She will mail you a copy if you fill out your information here (and pay for shipping).
Thanks to her program, I was motivated to try my first session freezer cooking, and I am beyond glad I did!
I have read article after article and watched video after video of women freezer cooking, so I could see how they are making 10, 20, 30, and some even 40 meals in less than 2 hours by using the freezer cooking method! It’s amazing! Rather than spending one hour per meal prep session, in my first freezer cooking session, I spent exactly 1 hour and 55 minutes (according to the TimeIO app on my phone).
–One Gallon Food Saver Bags (each bag is perfect for two meals for my family of 4)
-Nice big bowls
-A Cutting Board
-A Good Knife
–Crockpot – The freezer meals I prepared are freezer to Crockpot meals
**Sidenote: I should have also used markers like this, or a label-marker set for the Foodsaver bags like this because after I put the meals in the freezer, it is very difficult to tell what each meal is. I forgot to buy markers or labels, so I have been simply guessing and throwing one of the meals into the Crockpot daily without knowing the contents.
For my first freezer cooking session, I used recipes from a blog post called 10 Crockpot Freezer Meals in Under An Hour. I wasn’t sure if I would be using the freezer cooking method regularly, and I didn’t know about the free freezer cooking success guide, so I decided to try a free recipe and shopping list from online, then evaluate whether I wanted the $12/mo concierge service provided by Erin Chase at MyFreezeasy.
I suggest you do the same: try out the success guide, then if you really love it, check out MyFreezeasy so you can have quick and easy access to loads of freezer meal recipes and shopping lists. With MyFreezeasy, all you have to do is log on, choose which meals look appealing, then it will compile the instructions for prep and the shopping list–making it super easy to meal plan and prep.
In keeping with the blog post, I made:
I chose not to make all of the recipes in the blog post because my family would not like all of them. However, the recipes we did try turned out amazing.
Added onto the recipes disclosed in the blog post, I also made roast beef english muffin sandwiches that I froze for breakfast and strawberry and blueberry Greek yogurt parfaits. The recipes I made turned out great too, but they are a little less fancy than the others.
While I was compiling my freezer meals, I was also supervising my one-year old daughter and my 10-year old son. Accordingly, step #1 was…
Entertaining my son was easy peasy. He loves Roblox, a building game, so all I had to do was give him permission to play his game, and he ran off. My baby girl is another story. She is my “hip baby”, but she cooperated so I could do my first freezer cooking session. I put her in the walker, added water into a bowl, and let her wash her toys. This is her while I was prepping the meals:
After the kids were entertained, I began chopping away. I placed all of my produce on the countertop, and chopped them one by one: celery, carrots, cabbage, onions, and so on. When I finished, I placed them in bowls and it looked like this:
To avoid cross contamination, I cut the meat afterwards. All of my beef recipes required the roast to stay whole, so that was easy. The chicken recipes required me to cut the chicken into pieces. I had almost 7lbs of chicken. When I finished chopping it up, it looked like this:
As you can see in the image above, I opened the cans with ingredients I would use. Opening all of the cans at once can save time.
I followed the directions closely to ensure I was adding the correct quantities of seasoning, soup bases, meat, and produce. Compiling the ingredient may be one of the most essential parts, so when you’re trying this, pay attention on this step!
I added all of my ingredients into one gallon Foodsaver bags, so I could vacuum seal the food for freshness. Freezer burn can ruin the taste of your food, and waste all the time you spend compiling ingredients. For $17.98, I got my handheld Foodsaver. I count it as an investment towards cutting my food waste, which in turn will cut my grocery spending. When the ingredients were compiled, they looked like this:
Unfortunately, this is the step where my daughter started to get cranky. She no longer wanted to play with her toys, and she wanted to be ricked to sleep. I started vacuum sealing some of the bags, but I had not charged my Foodsaver, so the battery did not last, and my daughter was irritable. I decided to vacuum seal the bags of the food we would eat last, and the food we ate first, I just placed into my side-by-side freezer like this:
I tried laying them as flat as possible, but I couldn’t figure out how to organize them into my freezer as I see other women do theirs. Some women will have deep freezers that look like a file cabinet with meals. This is how the freezer was organized on my first freezer cooking session, but I will get there one day.
The clean up from my first freezer cooking session was delightful (even for a person who strongly dislikes cleaning). I had a few bowls, a knife, two cutting boards, and counter tops to wipe down. My clean up was very easy in comparison to my normal pots and pans, plates, silverware, cups, and everything else that piles up in the kitchen when you spend half of your life (or so it seems) in the kitchen.
Added onto the ease of cleaning up from my freezer cooking session, all of my meals were freezer to Crockpot meals, and I bought Crockpot liners, disposable plates, cups, forks, and spoons. The only dishes I had to do all week were ladles and meal stirring spoons! My kitchen stayed clean all week long, it didn’t take me a part-time job to keep it that way, and I felt like Superwoman! This is what meal prep looked like for me this week (plus making rice, noodles, or placing the meat on a bun):
If you’re on the hunt for a Crockpot, this one is amazing and can be found very budget-friendly on Amazon here.
If this process sounds like it would add relief to your schedule, you should definitely check out the free success guide and maybe even go ahead and try MyFreezeasy. Rather than scouring the internet for hours, overbuying ingredients because you found a recipe without a grocery list, or trying to re-invent the wheel, you can quickly and easily download budget-friendly freezer meals and freezer-to-Crockpot meals so you can even make 40 meals in 2 hours if you want to.
You will appreciate the ease, the stress load off, and the smiles at the dinner table as your family sits around and compliments your well prepared meals. It’s definitely been worth the $12 for me and my family!
Share your experiences: Have you cooked freezer meals before? How do you get your recipes? What are you family favorites?
I would love to hear your views on freezer cooking. Hopefully this article was helpful to you. If so, please subscribe and receive my free gift to you!
Hi! I'm Tiffany. I'm a mom, wife, Internet Marketing Consultant, Business Strategist, and the founder of Healthy Living Mom. My passion is to share everything I know about health and welness, so you can have a healthy family! If you want a coach to help as you take your passion to the next level online, let's get started here and now!