Today we had our latest installment of freezer cooking. This time, my friend Samantha (and her adorably perfect baby Silas) joined me and we zoomed through putting together 8 meals (plus another we didn’t get to finish). This month we made chicken broccoli casserole, chicken crescent roll-ups, cheesy beef-a-roni, taco chili, steak and mushrooms in gravy, black bean chicken, vegetarian enchiladas, chicken fajitas, and herb marinated chicken (for the grill).
This month we spent $91 for nine meals. I should add the meals are BIG likely serving my family two full nights. Thankfully Samantha found a sale on chicken to offset our splurge on some Triple S Farm steak for one of the dishes 🙂 Each month I learn more and more about what drives the total price and how to make it more efficient! It took about 2.5 hours, but we both took breaks to take care of our babies in there. Planning to do it again next month and with a few more people, too!
I’ve had a couple people ask me how I’ve organized it. Here’s a basic rundown. Thanks to the gal at Prep Freeze Cook for inspiring me to make it my own with a couple friends on a monthly basis!
- Determine how many sets of meals you’re making/who is participating.
- Select meals and make collective grocery list. Multiply the ingredients by the number of meal sets you’re making. Make sure you have gallon freezer bags and foil pans and lids, where needed!
- Divide up grocery list by store. For us, that’s Aldi, Meijer and GFS Marketplace (bulk store). Figure out who is shopping where.
- Assign each person a prep task or two – cooking/shredding chicken, chopping veggies, rinsing beans, etc. This will save us a ton of time when we get together to cook!
- Set aside at least 2-3 hours and gather at one location. Bring your receipts and all your purchases!
- Assemble meals one or two at a time. Planning to print out the recipes next month to expedite this so we can do multiple things at once instead of working off one computer. Write the name of the dish and the cooking instructions on the bag/foil pan. Just know your kitchen is going to be a disaster and there will be tons of garbage/recycling!
- Split up meals so each person has one of each.
- Gather receipts, get the grand total and divide among the number of people. Then just figure out who owes whom money 🙂
As for meal selection, I’ve got a long list of meals on my Pinterest boards that are freezer friendly (or can easily be made freezer friendly). I’ve found nearly anything can be made freezer friendly with just few exceptions. A lot of these are crock pot meals, but you can also thaw them and heat them otherwise. If you have a list of recipes and want to get a second opinion on how they’ll freeze or cook, feel free to send me a message 🙂
I definitely enjoy this quite a bit! Would love to talk to you about it anytime so you can do it too 🙂 Its a ridiculously incredible time saver and so nice to have so many meals ready to go at a moment’s notice.