Saturday, January 12, 2013

Frugal Living Tip #12 - Freezer Cooking

Freezer Cooking

Meals Ready For The Freezer

I know the name may imply it, but freezer cooking does not mean that you are cooking your dinner in the freezer. What it does mean, if you are not familiar with the idea, is that you spend a little bit of extra time cooking extra and prepping items in advance and then putting them in the freezer for a future meal.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love freezer cooking. It has saved us from take-out or delivery so many times. It has also allowed me to help out others when they are sick, had a new baby, or just to bless them when they have a lot going on. My favorite thing is that I make a big mess all at once and have less to clean-up on the other nights.

There are several different ways to freezer cook. Some people like to take an entire day and make enough meals to last entire month. Personally I like to take advantage of deals when I find them and prep and freeze the items. I always have ground beef and boneless skinless chicken breast frozen in meal sized portions (for us that is about one pound). When I find these items at my stock-up price I buy about 10-15 pounds at one time. I will clean-up the chicken and cut some of it into bite size pieces and strips so that it can easily be added to a soup or stir-fry.

You can make freezer cooking work for you based on what your family eats on a regular basis. I like to put several pounds of chicken in my slow cooker with barbecue sauce then shred it, and place it in several quart sized freezer bags. This allows us to have barbecue chicken sandwiches for a quick meal on a busy night or for a Saturday lunch. You can start off slow by just browning twice as much ground beef one night and freeze half. That is what I love about freezer cooking, it allows me to take advantage of a day when I have extra time and save myself some sanity on a day when I don't have extra time.

Do you utilize freezer cooking? Please feel free to share a favorite recipe or tip.


1 comment:

Alison said...

Great tip. My freezer cooking is just making extra quantities of taco meat, marinated chicken, etc, and occasionally doubling a recipe if I can (like casserole, granola bars, etc) But it's nice to have spares when I don't feel like cooking or haven't been shopping!