May Freezer Cooking

Two months in a row, I’ve been at or hosted a Prep Freeze Cook freezer meal party. Basically, the woman that runs it brings all the food prepped and ready to go, and we spend two hours assembling ten meals (that, for us, feed us for two nights). $120 later, my freezer is stocked for the better part of the month (I use them on all weekdays, so I just cook on weekends) with no mess or fuss.

I got to wondering how it would be to do it myself one go around. How much money would I save? How long would it take? Etc. My friend Carrie hopped in with me so I wasn’t completely on my own and we made two sets of meals…

First a Troy and Cass Sunday photo for you 🙂

Last night, I did all the shopping for our two sets of meals. I went to three stores in just under two hours (with Cass in tow, even) and was done. Below, more chicken than I’ve ever bought in my entire life! Thank you, GFS Marketplace!

Most of the canned goods/pantry items, nearly all from Aldi.

Let the games begin! Time to make some meals! Photo credits to Carrie for the pic she snapped below. I was having fun 🙂 As much work as it is, I really enjoy this kind of thing in the kitchen. Even more so when I realized I had a nearly perfect shopping trip with not too much and not too little (with some very minor exceptions).

Below, Carrie’s meals all ready to leave (mine were already jammed in the freezer). She has a two week old baby so these will surely be handy! Meals made were: chicken broccoli rice casserole, pork carnitas, taco chili, white chicken chili, chicken cacciatore, steak fajitas, creamy italian chicken, and black bean chicken. Some were inspired by the prep freeze cook party and some were Cunningham family favs just turned into freezer meals!

Afterwards, the kitchen. Oh, the mess! Troy was told to stay OUT until it was all cleaned up!

Okay, so grand total was $75 for eight meals (that feed us two nights). $9.38 per dish. Considering we pay $12 per dish at the party, it was a decent savings. However, it took me two solid hours to shop last night, two hours to prep (WITH a second set of hands, can’t imagine without) and 45 minutes to clean up. That’s a whole lot of time this mama doesn’t always have, so you see where the slight mark-up in price to buy the prep freeze cook meals comes in 🙂 But…
All that to be said, I LOVE this kind of stuff. My hubby took the kids outside for 90% of the time we slammed through things in the kitchen and like I said, Carrie was a great help. I really, really liked having control over all the recipes and having flexibility to pick what I wanted and substitute ingredients (like subbing shredded chicken breasts in lieu of a recipe calling for canned chicken). I would definitely do it again to stock up for the month and am going to try to do so the first weekend of the month. I will definitely make plans to have a friend or two join me each time though (not only are the extra hands helpful but I enjoy the chatting time too, and you can buy certain things in bulk the more you buy!) Ideas would be to split up the shopping between each person (once i made the list the shopping was really simple) and, if I were able to REALLY pre-plan, make my plan for next month and shop the sales between now and then for the ingredients needed. A good experiment!
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