I just completed my first round of freezer meals, and it was great. Huge time saver. It doesn’t take twice as long to make twice as much food, and definitely not four times as long to make four times as much food. Instead of cooking an hour every day, I cooked all day one day, then enjoyed more than a month of minimal dinner preparation.
If I didn’t have a whole day, I would take a week, then make dinner each day four times. Eat one portion, freeze three. This works well for many reasons: 1.) Once you have all the ingredients and equipment out and dirty, it doesn’t take that much longer to repeat the meal a few more times. 2.) If you ruin a recipe, you won’t be stuck eating it three more times; you’ll learn from your mistakes. 3.) I don’t have the giant pots and bowls to make huge batches. Nor do I know how to make huge batches. (Apparently.)
The freezer meal literature out there stresses the value of quality freezer packaging. Save a few cents on store-brand freezer bags, lose a meal.
I chose recipes that passed through a liquid-like state at some point. Sloppy Joes, German pancake batter, casseroles in a bag, mac and cheese (next time I’ll just freeze the cheese sauce), soup, stew (raw potatoes turn nasty black in the freezer), spaghetti sauce. I also made enchiladas in a disposable pan, froze pancakes in a stack, and individually wrapped (in plastic wrap and foil) burritos (which were the best. Bryan loved to take them to work.)
Then I made a huge shopping list and went shopping ALONE. I wish I had brought my meal plan with me when I shopped; I had questions about what kind of what-what to buy, and if I had known what the what-what was for, I would have made a more informed decision.
I didn’t rock the money saving. I don’t know why. We had guests several times during the month, and I made fresh food for them (didn’t feel like feeding them the black potatoes or mush and cheese). And I got way too much tortillas, cheese and meat. So if you are just smarter about your planning than me, you should be better off.
This is a boring post. I’m sorry.