Freezer Meal Planning

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Menu Planning

The 2015 baseball season has begun and life at our house has gone into “baseball season mode”. On school days when a game is scheduled evenings usually consist of us racing home, getting homework started, and if we’re lucky dinner before the game.

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Now, I don’t know about you, but as for me, trying to get a delicious and healthy dinner on the table, check homework, and make certain we have everything we need for the game makes for a hectic and overwhelming evening (we are not even at the game yet and the stress level is through the roof).

Luckily, last season I ran across a great menu planning post on Pinterest (my addiction).  In all honesty, the first time I cooked a months worth of frozen dinners in just one day I was a bit overwhelmed. As I looked across my kitchen and saw piles and piles of pasta, pots of marinara sauce, and enough chicken breasts to feed a small army, I thought to myself “what was I thinking?”. But let me tell you, I am so glad I ran across this Pin and stuck it out.

Dinner on game nights went by so much more smoothly and were a lot less stressful. It was wonderful coming home, getting my son situated with the homework, and instead of immediately starting to cook I merely turned on the oven and threw in one of the frozen dinners I had prepared. I enjoyed the ease and time saved by having prepared dinners, so much so, that I have prepared frozen dinners several times since last baseball season.

I highly recommend preparing frozen dinners for parents of kids who play organized sports especially those such as travel sports, that is so demanding of our time. This is also great for working moms, or just anyone looking to save a little time and trouble cooking dinner on a nightly basis, and still serve healthy delicious, budget friendly meals.

Feel free to substitute any meals or ingredients to suit yours and your family’s personal taste. For instance, I replaced the honey lime chicken and fried rice with Cuban black beans and cilantro rice, and since I’m not a barley fan I replaced the beef barley soup with chicken and vegetable soup.

The following are handy tips in no particular order.

Cooking Freezer Meal Tips

  1. Go through what you already have, use food you have on hand to save yourself money. 
  2. Go shopping, get all your food supplies, aluminum pans and Ziplock bags. 
  3. Make certain to have Sharpies on hand (label all meals with food item name and date).
  4. Clean your kitchen, prepare your freezer (make room), make sure you have enough dishes & pots, bowls, measuring cups and spoons. 
  5. Determine the order you will prep/cook. This will keep you focused and save lots of time. 
  6. Schedule a day to cook (make certain to clear your schedule for the entire day).
  7. If more than one recipe calls for the same food item prep/cook it all in one batch. For instance, two different recipes require tomatoes, cut it all up at one time. Need chicken for several dishes, poach it all at once.
  8. Clean your kitchen, again.  
  9. Enjoy the delicious home-cooked “frozen dinners”.

Here is the link for the recipes and instructions at Happily Lesser After: 

http://happymoneysaver.com/making-50-freezer-meals-in-one-day/ 

Enjoy the meals!

Share your experience, I would love to hear how it went.

The Author

Hi I'm Mercedes! Born in Cuba, raised in Chicago, and eventually migrated to the suburbs. I've been married to Marc for 15 years and currently enjoying being a stay home mom to our 14 year old son Marc. I enjoy reading, blogging, dancing, singing in the shower, cooking, a good glass of wine, attempting to be crafty, photography, traveling and spending time with my family and friends.

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