As part of my goals for 2015, I wanted to tackle freezer meals. I don’t have a house full of kids or anything like that, but I do hate finding yummy recipes on Pinterest and then going shopping for the specific ingredients to make them. Then, I have a bunch of spices and extras that I hardly ever use again. That is no fun. What I wanted to do was plan my meals for the month so I didn’t have to think about it. On the flip side, this would also help with my goal of staying fit and healthy. The thought of organizing a month’s worth of meals seems too overwhelming if I think about it too much. In fact, it gives me a headache because it’s one of those things where you have no idea where to begin. I found an article on Southern Living that really gives a breakdown on what to expect and prepare for when it comes to freezing meals. In addition, I have spent the last few weeks researching as much as possible on foods that are freezable and which ones aren’t, and I think I have a pretty good idea on where to start. I knew what I needed to do first was put a small notebook or binder together to keep me organized. So, with a little extra time on my hands, I created these six worksheets to help me keep everything together. Printable PDF links at the bottom of the post.
I start out with an overall view of the month and write down meals that I want to make. I try to do at least one all-veggie meal a week. The weekend is always a mystery. I figure I’ll eat out at least once, so I’ll plan to eat leftovers on the other day. I try to use pencil just in case for whatever reason I won’t be feeling the meal I had planned for.
Next, I breakdown each week with a list of fresh ingredients that I will need to complete each meal. Say, if I want to have a crescent roll with a meal or I need sour cream for toppings. Those things are freezable and I may not have them on hand.
Some people like to do all of their cooking on one day at the beginning of the month, and now that I have that experience I agree. Getting it over with in one day seems a lot better than pulling it all out every week. The first thing I do is find new recipes online. I found an AMAZING lady’s website who does an incredible job organizing 21 meals for $150 from Aldi. I got all of my inspiration from her. I downloaded one of her e-books based my own printables off of hers. You’ll see the resemblance.
This weekend, with the help of my big sis, we tackled it. It took us at least five hours to get it all done, maybe more. We also had a toddler to entertain and in the middle of prepping, we had to stop and Google things like “al dente” and ounces to pounds measurements.
Here’s all the ingredients, per I Am That Lady’s e-book.
All of the folks at Aldi were giving me “the” looks. I’m sure they thought I was feeding twelve children or something. But the e-book was right, it came out to be right around $150. We didn’t take any pictures of the during process, mostly because our hands stayed filthy the entire time, so we couldn’t have taken pictures if we wanted to. Skinning chicken and chopping vegetables became our expertise.
So, after we were done, I snapped some of my half. Imagine this x2 because my sister took the exact same amount home.
Tons of food. I’m excited to try out all of the recipes and see how I like doing it all on one day. I know for a fact the mac ‘n cheese recipe was to die for.
For those of you who wish to jump on the bang wagon that is freezer meals, you can use my worksheets to help you stay sane. I paid for I Am That Lady’s e-book and it was very helpful, but before long I want to use my own recipes. I’ll update them as the months go and post them for you all. Just a little housekeeping: these are for personal use only and are not to be sold. Thank you.
Follow me on Pinterest to see the meals I’m pinning!