Rissa here with another great tip!
Today's tip is about freezer cooking and meal planning. What exactly is freezer cooking and meal planning you ask? Well they kind of go hand in hand with each other and as I mentioned in a previous post on organizing recipes, these things were a must in our household while I was in Cosmetology school.
Freezer cooking is when you prepare 4-10 meals at one time and freeze them for use throughout the week/month. This method helps with planning your meals as well as saves you money. I have found that I spend less money in the grocery store because I shop from the grocery store sales ad along with clipping coupons for those on-sale items (if you live in the southeast region of the U.S. check out www.southernsavers.com). Freezer cooking also saves time because you don't have to cook on a day to day basis. I try to do my cooking twice a month so, I choose a day every 2 weeks and block out 2-4 hours to cook and freeze my meals. This makes dinner time a breeze! Just pull the meal out of the freezer, reheat, cook a side dish or two and Voila!
Meal planning is when you make a menu for a week/month based on your freezer cooking or based on your grocery list. Even if you don't freezer cook, meal planning is also a great way to save some cash at the grocery store and it also helps you more efficiently use the food you buy. There is nothing worse than spending time doing all of that shopping and spending all of that money on food just for it to go to waste.
So here are the steps to freezer cooking:
- Make a list of items you have at home
- Make a grocery list of items needed (I base my list on the sales)
- Go grocery shopping
- Plan meals you want to cook
- Make a "master plan" to breakdown what needs to be done
- Items to prep (i.e. how many onions to chop)
- What order to cook each meal (i.e. ground beef, bake chicken, etc.)
Some of my favorite things to freezer cook are:
- Crockpot meals
- Ground beef (I brown the beef with onions so it's ready for any recipe that calls for ground beef)
- Hamburger patties (I just season and roll the patties and freeze them uncooked)
- Any type of baked chicken recipe
- Breakfast burritos
- French toast
- Biscuits (I make the dough, cut the biscuits out and freeze uncooked)
Do you freezer cook or plan your meals? What is your method?