I’ve made my fair share of freezer meals in the past few years, and have learned a lot of what not to do along the way. Like don’t forget your shopping list at home, and don’t dump your freshly cooked lasagna noodles down the garbage disposal. But, I’ve also learned a few tips to make freezer cooking as stress free as possible.
Freezer cooking is something I love to do around this time of year. It’s so easy to dedicate a full day to making large batches of recipes that you can freeze and have on hand for busy weeknights. Freezer cooking really comes in handy for busy moms during the first few months of school, while everyone is trying to get used to a brand new schedule. Having a freezer full of already prepared meals can save so much time in the evenings, giving everyone extra time for homework, or relaxation before dinner time.
Tips for a Stress Free Freezer Cooking Day
1) Plan Plan Plan
This may seem like a no brainer, but I can’t stress this one enough. If you don’t have a clear plan of what you are making and how much of it, it will take you so much longer and probably multiple trips to the store to get it right. Start by scheduling a day you will make all of your freezer meals. Next, plan out a detailed list of the meals you want to make and how many of each. If you do this step well, it will make the next step go so much smoother.
2) Make a detailed grocery list
Once you have a clear plan of what you are going to make, you’ll want to sit down and write out what you’ll need for each recipe. Be as detailed as you can. Don’t just add tomato sauce to your list, quantify how much tomato sauce you’ll need. Be sure to include freezer bags, foil pans, foil and saran wrap, and anything else you will need to store meals.
3) Start with a clean kitchen
This is such an important thing! Who wants to get elbow deep into their freezer cooking session and realize that strainer or pan you need is still in the dish rack? Cleaning the counters, sink and emptying the dishwasher really helps save your time and sanity.
4) Clean out your Freezer
There is nothing more frustrating than making a bunch of freezer meals, but having nowhere to put them! We have our regular freezer and a deep freeze, and I’ve still had trouble finding places to fit everything. I recommend planning meals around what you already have in your freezer a few weeks before your freezer cooking day. This would also go back to #1.
5) Make things in batches
Once you have everything planned, bought, and cleaned, one other helpful tip to make sure you have a stress free freezer cooking day is to work in batches. Find recipes that have similar steps or similar ingredients. For instance, if a few of the recipes call for a certain chopped vegetable, make sure you chop enough for all of the recipes instead of doing one at a time. If 3 recipes need shredded chicken, be sure to cook and shred enough at once to cover all 3 meals.
Looking for some freezer meal ideas? Be sure to check out my other posts below!