Here are the results from my attempt at freezer meals last month. I totally forgot to post it sooner. That's life!
I went shopping on a Friday and purchased food for the month. My plan was to clean, season and freeze all the meat as well as cook some to freeze but that didn't happen. Like usual I planned to do more than I had time for. My wise and all knowing husband (who helps me relax) said to just do it on Monday and leave the meat in the fridge. I can't do that, or so I thought; to which he replied it would be on the fridge at the store if you hadn't purchased it. As true as that may be I still had to recheck all the packaging dates just to make sure that waiting until Monday was fine. After checking I was assured and decided to listen to his advice. That brought a wonderful sense of peace and calm. He knows that I am OCD about some things. LOL
But now I have a fridge full of meat and no where to put anything else. Out the window goes my perfect plan and I decided to freeze half of the meat now without cleaning it like I dreamed and just plan to deal with it when it is time to cook it. I must admit that I was a little disappointed because now I couldn't share with you my wonderful example of spending the day getting all my food items together. I will live through it though and share my experience prepping a month of meals with you another time. For now I will just share a few shortcuts.
Based on my meal plan for this week I need to make meat sauce for spaghetti which requires me to use 2 1/2lbs of my 5lb tube. Well later this month I will also have lasagna so I will prepare meat sauce using the entire tube and set half aside for lasagna. I am going to assemble the lasagna and freeze it for later. Using the lasagna that isn't marked, "oven ready" will work better. I am also going to make two loaves of Italian Herb and Cheese bread to go with these dishes. One I will freeze for later.
The other meal for this week is Pork Chops with beans and rice. I will let the rice cook while I clean and season the chops. Once the rice is done I will allow it to cool and then put it in the fridge to cool and then freeze it. I need to freeze at least two bags of rice for meals this month. I will make a 3rd bag but leave that in the fridge to go with the Pork Chops later this week.
There are two more packs of chops in the fridge which I will clean, season, label and then put them in the freezer. I will bread one of the packs of chops before freezing for a later dish. I experimented with this last month using only one Pork Chop and it worked well. I have an additional tube of groundbeef that I need to prepare for Tacos and Burgers. I will fully cook the meat and season it with homemade taco seasoning (so easy to do) and then freeze it. I have done this before and it defrosts fine. I will season the groundbeef and make patties for the burgers then freeze them without cooking them.
The final things I plan to do is make two dozen breakfast muffins, a dozen pancakes and a dozen waffles for future use. They come in handy when I want to serve the boys a cooked breakfast but I am behind on time or when it is my day to rest. I am really looking forward to seeing how this all goes. For now this is my vision. Let's see how execution goes.
As you can see, freezer meals take a lot of planning and prep work. More than what I realized I had at that time. If you have had success in doing it I would love to hear from you.