Wow, you all had some great suggestions in response to the question, “What are your favorite freezer meals?”
I finalized my plan for stocking my freezer with 6 weeks+ of meals for after the baby’s born, and I’m excited to get started. I thought I’d share my list with you in case anyone else is looking for ideas:
- Muffins (batches of 10): apple, banana, pumpkin, blueberry, morning glory
- Pancakes (batches of 12)
- French toast (batches of 10)
- Waffles (batches of 10)
- Apples (chopped up, to be added to oatmeal)
- Cereal (in the pantry)
- Chicken noodle soup (in individual portions)
- Corndog muffins (batches of 8 )
- Spaghetti pizza (frozen in half pizza portions)
- Chili (in individual portions)
- Ham & cheese pockets
- Chicken fingers
- Pizza roll-ups
- Macaroni and cheese*
- Tomato noodles*
*Thanks to Sati for sharing this great tip, which I think will be very useful on days that balancing 4 little ones under 5 years old doesn’t leave any time for lunch prep: “My favorite thing to freeze for a variety of meals is cooked plain spaghetti noodles. Freeze them in individual portions. You can put the bag in boiling water for 30 seconds to thaw and heat then add sauce of your choice, or butter and garlic, etc.”
- Chicken for tacos/quesadillas
- Meatballs for spaghetti and/or subs
- Spaghetti meat sauce*
- Chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing (thanks, Allegra!)
- Sausage patties and/or sausage balls (thanks, Whitney!)
- Baked ziti
*I can’t wait to try Bekki’s tip for cooking large batches of ground beef: “I also cook all of my ground beef at once in a big stock pot. Just add a 1/2 cup or cup of water to the pot and I have done 15 pounds at once.”
Making it Happen
I know that a lot of people stock their freezers by simply doubling each recipe they make and freezing half of it. Usually I’m too busy during the week to even want to think about making extra, and I much prefer to just set aside cooking days. The exception to that is usually breakfast foods, which I don’t mind doubling nearly as much.
My plan is to make all of the breakfast foods over the next 3 months, doubling or tripling the batches to get a few extra meals out of each. My mom is going to come one Monday a month to help me prepare most of the meals, and I’ll take one weekend near the end to prepare all of the no-cook things, such as the marinated chicken breasts and cheeseburgers.
I’m looking forward to having six weeks off from cooking (I’m not a great cook, and while I do enjoy baking, that’s about it) without forcing my family to eat plain rice or frozen dinners the entire time.
Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) Resources
- Once a Month Mom (with new recipes, shopping lists and cooking plans each month!)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Freezing Meals and the Basics of Food Storage, from Shaina at Food for My Family
- Don’t Panic: Dinner’s in the Freezer and Don’t Panic: More Dinner’s in the Freezer (thanks, Karen!)
- Vacuum Sealers, a must have for OAMC!
Thanks again for all of your tips and recipes!