Freeze It! Budget Bootcamp #8

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I’m Budget Boot Camp Challenger!

First, before I get into this week’s challenge, I have to tell you about my great shopping trip on Monday. And, yes, I do feel like I’ve graduated to some level of couponing madness since I took a picture of all of my groceries after getting home from the store. What can I say? I was proud. I saved 47%, using over $30 worth of coupons and over $60 worth of sale savings. Plus, I went home with a $10 certificate for a free giftcard from the Safeway giftcard mall, which technically pushes my savings over the 50% mark. In other words, I saved more than I spent on a shopping cart full of food. Not only that, but the milk and the bananas were the only 2 items not on sale.

I am a deal seeker. Always have been. But yesterday, I worked for these deals. I did my research, I did my planning, and it payed off! This couponing thing is getting to be easier for me!

Look what I got at Safeway!

And now on to this week’s challenge…..

The Challenge:

Make an extra meal and freeze it to use when you don’t feel like cooking or are short on time.

This is actually a concept that I have used before (I’ve even taught a class about this before!) so I do know a thing or two about freezer meals.

There are several ways to tackle freezer meals, but the concept is the same: Prepare your food when you have the time so that you will have the food ready when you don’t have the time. Brilliant, isn’t it?

Here are a few of the methods that I have used:

Spend an entire day cooking a bunch of meals. Years ago, a friend of mine gave me the book Dinner is Ready – 30 Meals in One Day and I took the challenge. It takes a lot of preparation and a big chunk of time, but I cannot express the thrill of having a month’s worth of meals made in one day. It’s worth it! I would recommend getting a book, though, since there really is a method that needs to be followed.

Prepare a double recipe when you cook dinner. Eat half, and freeze half for later. This is probably an easier way to build up a stock of freezer meals. You just won’t have all the meals ready at once. Sometimes this is a good thing if your freezer space is limited. I’m lucky and have a full size deep freezer (the old kind that has to be defrosted

Get together with a group of friends and have a mega cooking day swap! Clair actually wrote a guest post on my blog about Meals Swaps a while back. Go check it out!

Buy meat in bulk, cook it as soon as you bring it into the kitchen, and freeze it, cooked, for use in future meals. This is a mini-step, but can be a real time-saver. You can also do this with things like onions, peppers, fruits, and other things that are only available seasonally.

In fact, yesterday, I cooked up a family pack of ground beef, added some taco seasoning and onions and froze the meat for use in tacos later. And then, last night before going to bed, I stuck a whole chicken in my crock pot so that it would cook over night. Today, I am going to use that chicken in a few recipes (much cheaper and yummier than cooking single boneless, skinless breasts for a recipe).

Chicken in the Crock Pot

Have  you ever tried cooking ahead and freezing meals? What methods work best for you?

Be prepared - Buy in Bulk!
Psst–click above for some great bulk buying!

© 2010, Lolli. All rights reserved.

About Lolli

Lolli has written 3126 posts on this blog.

I became a mom in 1996, and in 2005 I had my fifth. Yes, 5 kids. In 2007, this blog was born (my 6th baby that will never grow up) and I've been sharing recipes, photography tricks, parenting tips, and everything in between.

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  1. Do you mind sharing some freezer friendly meal ideas? Whenever I freezze meals they NEVER seem to work out and heat well! I think that having frozen meals would save me so much $$ and time each month.
    Chrissy MacCEO´s last blog post ..List-a-palooza


    Lolli Reply:

    I would love to share some of my freezer meal sucesses! Maybe after we get back into the school routine. :)
    Lolli´s last blog post ..Wish Me Luck


  2. I’m a big fan of having an emergency meal in the freezer for those times the day just gets away from you and there isn’t time to cook. I have broken up family packs of meat into smaller portions, but I never thought about cooking it and freezing it. That’s a great idea! I think I’ll do that the next time I go shopping.
    Michele – The Professional Family Manager´s last blog post ..Six Ways Business Cards Can Make Mom’s Life Easier


  3. I LOVE the slow cooker for making freezer meals. So effortless.
    Allison´s last blog post ..One Day I’ll Laugh


  4. Is there anything you aren’t an expert at? Just kidding!! I am loving the freezer thing. I am going to a meeting tonight with a group of women in my neighborhood we are going to do a freezer meal group. I am very excited!!
    Brandie´s last blog post ..Budget Boot Camp Challenge 8Freezer Meals


  5. I like making double the meal and saving one. I use it for giving meals to people that have had a baby. I don’t have to buy food and cook it on short notice I just open the freezer and pick a frozen meal and let it sit and then cook it and drop it off. I love the quick easiness of it. Great job on the shopping savings!
    Bridget´s last blog post ..Owie!



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  3. […] in coupons this week and got back a $10 certificate for a FREE gift card!  She feels couponing is getting easier for her.  She taught a class on freezer cooking, so for her, this week’s challenge was a […]

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