One of the best ways to save time and money at the grocery store is to purchase in bulk when items are on sale and then prepare them and store them in the freezer for the future.
Freezer Meals can be thought of in different ways. You can:
- Purchase ingredients and put them in the freezer to pull out and thaw, then use to prepare
- Prepare different components in advance, then put them in the freezer to pull out and use in recipes
- Prepare actual meals, freeze them, and pull out when you want to serve them.
To start your plan, decide WHAT meals you want to have on hand. You also need to decide how you want to prepare them. Do you want to make casseroles and put them in casserole dishes in the freezer or do you want to do crock-pot meals in Ziploc bags and then pull them out and throw them in the crock pot?
Here are a few software programs produced by DVO that you can get to start, if you don’t have recipes yet:
Get your tools ready:
- Set aside at least 4 hours to get your meals prepared
- Have disposable aluminum pans on hand to create casseroles in – you can cover with aluminum foil or disposable aluminum lids (which are more stable and makes stacking in the freezer easier). The ones we show here are only $.99 per meal
- Have gallon sized freezer bags (Ziploc brand works best) OR you can double bag the meals
- Sharpie Marker
To make the work load go faster, invite a friend or two over to have more hands to prepare. You can then make double the recipes and you both can reap the rewards.
Helpful Hint: I did have a friend tell me this last week that she does not do a big freezer meal prep day – she just buys double the ingredients when she is making dinner and when making one, she makes two and freezes the other meal for the next month – SMART!