I’ve decided to write this Freezer Meals for beginners post because I’ve been so inspired lately to save money, and stay on top of my meal planning, and meal prep whenever I can that I’ve decided to revisit the idea of creating freezer meals. I’ve tried freezer meals in the past, and I found it both effective, and convenient for my family. As a busy mom, I’m game for anything that saves me a bit of time and headache, plus it gave me some of the most flavorful meat I’ve ever cooked. I meal plan, I meal prep, but sometimes I just want to sit pack and tap in to my inner crockpot mom.
The weather is changing, Fall is here, so it’s definitely a good time to break out the crockpot to add that bit of extra convenience, to some already easy cooking. Some of my favorite type of freezer meals to make are things like soups, or chicken and veggies that can easily just be thrown into the crock pot to either warm up, or cook. It’s even more convenient to be able to just fill it up, set it, and forget it.
If you’re interested in the freezer meal life, there are a few things you’re going to need to know to get you started. Freezer meal prepping is definitely what you make it. You can freeze 101 crockpot meals, 25 different kinds of marinated meats, 10 different lasagnas and casseroles, or 5 different types of pancakes and breakfast burritos. The possibilities are endless!
1. Create a menu
Do this 2-3 days in advance. You need to already have in mind what you’ll be preparing so you can get your shopping done, prep, cook, freeze, and relax. Keep your menu simple, or at least simple to you. I like to do mostly meals that are family favorites, easy things that I’ve made a dozen times and could probably cook in my sleep. I do one or two new meals, sometimes more depending on how many meals I plan to freeze.
2. Create a grocery list
Creating a grocery list is always one of the most important things to do before walking into any grocery store. I can’t stress this enough. Make sure you walk in with a game plan on tackling the store. Look over your planned menu and write down everything you’ll need. Since you’ll be prepping large amounts of food all at once, when you come across duplicate ingredients, make sure to make note that you need multiples. Also, make sure to add what you’ll be needing for storage. Ziplock bags, labels, permanent markers etc.
3. Schedule your time
As a busy mom, my time is very precious. I like to bust out all of my freezer meals in a day, because that simply works for me. If you have only a few blocks of time spread out over the course of a few days, that’s fine too. It just means that you’ll be prepping differently. Instead of prepping full meals all at once, you might have to increase the amount of food that you’re already cooking and save and freeze your leftovers to build up a stash over time. There’s nothing wrong with starting small.
4. Organize ingredients for prep
Now it’s time for the fun part. Prep all of your ingredients that you’ll be using. This means trimming, chopping, and slicing your meat, chopping all of your veggies, shredding cheese, whatever you can think of that you’ll be needing for prepping and cooking.
5. Separate your ingredients for meals
Separate all of your ingredients needed for your freezer meals. I like to bag any meat first to get all of the messy business over with to make sure I’m not touching other things in my kitchen. Depending on how you plan to go about freezing your meals, (cooking or just prepping) will determine what comes next. You’ll either separating your ingredients, cooking and freezing, or separating your raw ingredients and preparing them to freeze. For more detailed help on how to store freezer meals like a BOSS, click here.
If you’re interested in some new ideas for your freezer meals, get some inspiration here on my Pinterest page (Be sure to follow me!). The possibilities are endless. Marinated meats, shredded chicken or beef for tacos, turkey meatballs, buffalo chicken, fajitas, soups and stews etc. As I’ve said before, you can make freezer meals whatever you need it to be to fit your household. Once you start and realize how convenient it is, you might not ever stop!