In an effort to make our lives easier and to keep our food budget under control this month, Tyler and I have decided to prepare all of our main meals (lunch and dinners) and keep them in our deep freezer until ready for use. So, over the weekend I cooked and prepped and cooked and prepped…and now we have a month’s worth of tasty meals in our freezer!
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but never got around to it. But on the flight back from Boston, I watched an episode of the Pioneer Woman on Food Network, and it happened to be her freezer cooking episode…and Tyler and I decided to just go for it after we moved. I only made a few meals this month since we’re going to Erie this upcoming weekend and we’ll both be going away for Thanksgiving, so we don’t need food for one week. Some of this food will likely carry over to December.
In regard to the budget, we set aside a certain amount per month for groceries. It was a little shocking to spend so much at one time, but then you remember: it’s for the entire month! There are some items below that we bought for last-minute weekend meals. We also keep a lot of pantry goods on hand, like quinoa, rice, beans, lentils, and canned tomatoes, so those were excluded from our giant shopping trip. We spend roughly half of our total budget for the month of November, which is pretty impressive considering the only things we buy on a weekly basis are veggies for salads, carrots, and fruit. So, we should come out ahead, which is great!
Here are a couple of pictures of what we bought:
So, without further adieu, here are the meals I prepared:
Chicken pot pie, recipe by Ree Drummond. The only change I made to this recipe is that I roasted a whole chicken. Roasted chicken just tastes so much better than boiled (sorry, Ree). I also made individual pot pies, so they can just be taken out of the freezer for a single meal without having to pull a full pie out and having to eat it up in a few days. Leaves room for variety during the week.
The next meal I made was Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (this is my own creation, recipe to be posted the week we eat them) I’m excited about these, packed with black beans, quinoa, and veggies it’s a healthy but hearty lunch option.
Sriracha Glazed Turkey Meatball, recipe by Budget Bytes blog. I love this blog, Beth, the gal behind the blog, breaks down the cost of her recipes and makes it affordable for everyone to eat delicious foods without breaking the bank–and it’s not just the basic recipes like Tuna Noodle Casserole, it’s like food people actually want to eat. We plan on topping salads with these meatballs.
Beef and Bean Enchiladas, recipe by Can You Stay For Dinner? blog. I recently found this blog while looking for healthy but satisfying recipes, and Andie, the blogger behind this blog, doesn’t disappoint. I ended up with a little extra filling, so we had post run quesadillas for lunch yesterday-yum! I’m excited to try these enchiladas…and pretty much everything else on her blog. I made the pumpkin doughnuts over the weekend…and wow! I’m particularly awaiting next month’s freezer cooking, when I plan on making these…because who doesn’t like Buffalo chicken?
Turkey Chili, recipe by Real Simple. And this recipe is exactly that: really simple to make. I doubled this recipe, and it made four quarts of chili..perfect for the upcoming cool weather.
For lunch and dinner this week I made Tyler Florence’s Hunter’s Minestrone, and for dinner we’ll be having salads with the Sriracha glazed meatballs (I’ll make the glaze tonight after work).
I also made a few other things:
-pizza dough–this link is the recipe and how to freeze the dough
-Brioche Hamburger rolls (we already ground beef in the freezer from the farmer’s market, and plan on having burgers at some point this month)
……and I cheated with this one: cornbread muffins from a box mix.
It will be interesting to see how well this method works this month: how much time does it really save and how cost-effective it is. Excited to try everything!
Does anyone have any interesting freezer meal recipes to try?