A year ago I discovered something wonderful. FREEZER COOKING! Why is it wonderful? Well, I’ll tell ya. It saves money, time, and stress. I can also control what we eat. That, my friends, is good enough for me! Allot of people will not embark on this daunting task because they don’t know where to start. I am in no way an expert on this subject but my system works for me. If you would like to know more then read on!
The first step is to gather your recipes all in one place. Then decide which ones you would like to cook for the month. Pinterest of course is my go to site for finding great recipes to try. I try to throw in some new recipes each time along with the tried and true ones. I like to use the free app Pepperplate for organizing my recipes and shopping lists. But there are several good apps. I like to discuss recipes with my husband. I call them out and closely watch his face for signs of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This part can be a challenge as he is not very expressive. This is his least favorite part of the whole thing! Ha.
Then it is time to make your shopping list. With pepperplate all you do is click a recipe and add to shopping list. Sometimes I will double a recipe. Pepperplate also gives you this option. Be sure to go shopping in your own cupboard first! You would be amazed at the stuff you already have. Then check out your local grocery store for sales and coupons for the stuff on your list. This can save a ton! You may want to add throw away bake ware to your list as well as gallon sized Ziplock bags. Don’t forget Saran wrap and foil! Don’t go cheap on your bake ware or on your gallon sized bags. Just trust me mmmk?
Go shopping! I take my husband with me. With two of us shopping it is done in less than an hour usually. If you have children I suggest a babysitter. Or if they are older, turn it into a game and have them help.
Keep it organized! I print out the recipes on my list and divide them between my hubs and I. I know that it can be a waste to do it that way but I just function better with paper. Call me old fashioned! As we finish with a recipe, we either throw away the paper or keep it in a binder for next time. The next thing to do is to clean your kitchen. Get all of those dirty dishes clean! I usually do this the night before right before bed. This helps for real! Clear your house. Once again a babysitter lined up for cooking day will help out allot unless they are older and would be a help.
Label your bags before you fill them!! Very important step! I keep a sharpie handy. Put the date, title, and instructions. This makes it easier for your loved ones and for you. An easy way to fill your bags is to put them down in an empty blender. It holds your bags in place making it a breeze.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. I also wear an apron. It can get dirty up in that kitchen honey!
Next it’s time to cook. I usually go shopping one day and cook the next. It’s easier that way. As far as cooking goes my husband helps allot. I usually have things that just need to be assembled and things that actually need cooking. I do the cooking he does the assembling. We get it done in half the time! By myself it can take up to 8 hours. That’s a work day folks! Ain’t no body got time foe dat! Find you a buddy. You will be glad you did. There are allot of women that actually do everything together. They have cooking groups. The sky is the limit.
As far where to start in the cooking process, that is solely up to you. I like to cook my spaghetti sauce and the filling for my Chicken Pot Pies first thing. Cook any meat that needs cooking as well. For example, if you have allot of recipes that require browned ground beef, cook it all at the same time then divide it among your recipes. Same goes for chicken. If you have allot of chicken that needs precooking, cook it all at once and set it aside to cool. While it is cooling, chop your veggies. There are lots of ways to do this and as long as it gets done you are doing it right! You will also learn techniques that work better for you.
I will be posting some of my recipes and my most recent freezer cooking adventure soon. If you have any questions please feel free to fill out the form below! I would love to answer them if I can!