I’m incredibly excited to introduce you to my guest blogger today as she shares about freezer meals! Elena is a Christ loving, married momma to 3 beautiful blessings. She says she drinks way too much coffee, she has a passion for the color pink, things that sparkle, and laughs way too loudly. She loves learning alongside other women, how to love and care for her family and others.
Guest Blogger: Elena Ramirez
We all know the drill, the kids are getting hungry, you’re getting tired and checking the clock, counting down the time until hubby is home, and wondering why picking out what’s for dinner is such a difficult decision when food is just so yummy! No? No one else? Just me? This scenario was happening way too many times a week for me. Unfortunately, the take out was starting to show on my waistline and in my health. I felt tired more often than I should, bloated, and I knew my budget wasn’t all too pleased with it either. Things needed to change.
One of the things I began to implement was freezer cooking, I have a new love for it! While it does take prep and work, for our family it is SO worth it. It saves us money – instead of just getting takeout or cruising through a drive thru I’m able to get something from the freezer. It also helps my momma heart knowing what I’m putting in my family’s tummies. While we can’t (and don’t) always eat the healthiest it’s nice to know we can save some “cheat meals” for another occasion. It also really helps me to meal plan, but that’s a whole other blog post.
There was a couple of different ways I started freezer cooking. Batch cooking is a simple and easy way to start. I began to look at some of the canned items I used and figured out if it would be beneficial to freeze instead. For example, beans are a great item to cook in a large batch and then freeze. I know what you’re thinking. It’s really not that hard to open up a can of beans and heat them up though. Which is true. But the cost of dried beans vs the cost of canned can save a few pennies in the budget and help your sodium intake! Don’t believe me? Check out the number crunching here: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/dry-beans-or-canned-beans-a-cost-effective-comparison/
Another way I implement batch cooking is breakfast items. Little or no prep in morning meals help the day get off to a much better start instead of when momma is half awake trying to get coffee in her system and littles are whining like they haven’t eaten in 3 days. Again, no one else? Umm…me either. Making a batch of waffles on a Saturday morning? Double the recipe and freeze the extras. Then toss those waffles in your toaster on a hectic morning, and wallah! DIY freezer waffles! Do the same with muffins, breakfast cookies, baked oatmeal…you’ll be surprised how quickly you can create a list of things you can whip up.
Dump meals and my slow cooker – the perfect match in my kitchen (and can be in yours too)! I make a bunch of crockpot “dump” meals, meaning you can just dump them in freezer bag then dump that into the crockpot the day of (or defrost overnight in the fridge first if you were thinking that much ahead). A quick search on Pinterest will link you to a multitude of dump meals, but if eating healthier be wary of the ingredients they call for. Some call for lots of processed foods that are full of sodium and other items you may be trying to avoid.
I like to shop by sales or buy in bulk my main ingredient (usually chicken, but also ground turkey) and plan a giant freezer cooking session around that. It can seem like alot of work at first, but when you have a freezer full of meals all put together it’s so worth it!
If you’d be interested in joining a FREE 5 day Freezer Meal challenge click here!