One of the ways I save money and time is to prepare meals ahead and freeze them.
My Mom used to do this. When she’d make lasagna, she’d always make an extra pan for the freezer.
I guess Mom was ahead of her time…if “time” meant today’s freezer cooking “fad”. Or maybe she was with her “time”…if time meant that most Moms were stay at home Moms and planned things out for their families.
Either way, I learned so much of what I do today in my own kitchen from my Mom… 😉
I do the same as Mom. If I’m making macaroni and cheese, I make 2 or 3 pans extra for the freezer. I use the disposable aluminum pans for these foods and wrap them well with heavy duty foil. These are labeled to avoid any “unknown” foods in the recesses of the freezer. 😉 If I’m making beef stew, I make a double batch and freeze one portion. To freeze beef stew, or any other liquid type food such as chicken soup, broth, spaghetti sauce, etc, I let the food cool, then pour it into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Express all of the air and lay the bag onto a rimmed cookie sheet for the freezer. Don’t forget to label this bag before filling. Leave the bag on the cookie sheet until frozen solid. Freezing this way allows the bag to stand upright or be stacked, saving on freezer space.
Currently, I have two large batches of muffins in the freezer for when company is here for Thanksgiving next week. I also have two large bags of my friend’s, Crystal, McMom sandwiches in the freezer. Breakfast is not my favorite meal of the day, so having some easy meals to put out for our company will be a huge help!
When I bake bread, I bake multiple loaves, putting the extras in bags in the freezer. If you don’t bake your own, but find a sale on bread, go ahead and stock up and put them in the freezer. Sometimes, I’ll run across bread products that are marked down. If I do, I’ll buy those ahead and yep, into the freezer they go!
When pumpkins were plentiful, I cooked down several and have the puree in the freezer. I’m looking forward to making pies with that puree!
Meals in the freezer is a great idea, a timeless one really. One that will save you not only time, but money as well. Those nights when you are short on time, you will have a nutritious meal awaiting you in your freezer, instead of hitting the drive-thru or going to a restaurant. Make a list of the foods you make the most and see if you can’t double them, putting the extra in the freezer. Even with a small freezer, there’s space to store a few items.
Give it a try! See if meals in your freezer doesn’t make your life just a tad bit easier…. 😉
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