Thursday, May 3, 2012

It’s in the Freezer – Part 1

As a busy mom of three boys meal planning is essential.  There are times when I am better at this than others.  Recently my husband suggested I look into freezer meals. Now for those of you not familiar with that, it’s basically cooking and freezing dinners or other meals for future use.  You can do this for one week at a time or if you are really adventurous, you can cook meals to last a month.  The idea is that the time you put into preparing this amount of food saves you time in the long run.

So I borrowed a book from the library and looked through it to get some ideas of meals that will freeze well.  Some of you already do this with your leftovers and then defrost them later, so you already know a few meals that freeze well.  Think of how great you feel when you go to the freezer and grab it and you are able to just relax that evening.  Think about how much money you would save also because you are not going out for fast food that you may regret purchasing later.

Anyway, back to the book; what I have read so far is that you basically set aside a day to just cook.  Now many of you are thinking that you don’t have that kind of time and that is exactly what I thought, but I still want to work towards that goal of cooking once a month.  So instead of jumping right into this new habit I decided to take it slow.  I started off by freezing some leftovers to see how it would work.  I liked some meals better than others when I defrosted them. Next I decided to make and freeze lasagna.  I was really proud of this experiment.  I prepared one medium sized pan of lasagna and three mini ones to freeze.  Each mini one would be enough for one meal.  I used oven ready lasagna, so I didn’t cook them ahead of time.

One evening when I didn’t feel like preparing a meal I realized that I had lasagna in the freezer.  I took it out, popped it in the oven, added some veggies and some toast and dinner was done!  I was sold. Freezer meals are the way to go!  Remembering this feeling and being reminded about preparing meals in advance by my husband, I decided to do a second experiment with freezer meals.  This time I chose breakfast.  I prepared 2 dozen sausage, egg and cheese burritos and froze them.  It took me about an hour from start to finish.  I felt very pleased.  So on any given morning over the next couple of weeks breakfast will already be made, all I have to do is heat and the boys can eat.

Well that’s all I have done so far.  Now I need to start planning to implement this on a routine basis.  My grocery shopping day is coming up and my goal is to start off by preparing enough meals for a week.  My plan is to do the cooking on a Monday since I work the weekends.  If you work weekdays you could maybe choose a Saturday.  The idea is to do what works best for you and your family.  Monday works best for me because I home school, as you know, during the week.  Believe it or not being in the kitchen all day won’t be that big of a deal for me, because I love cooking.  Side note: almost every holiday/birthday gift I receive includes a kitchen item and I LOVE it! 

Happy Cooking!


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