5 Steps to Get Started With Freezer Cooking

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I’ve dabbled in freezer cooking on and off, but always struggled to really get into it. I was overwhelmed with the idea of an all-day cooking session, ended up with a bunch of meals I didn’t like, or just couldn’t seem to get my act together to put together the shopping list.

The thing is, I was making it more complicated than it needed to be. Might that be true for you, too? Here are 5 easy steps to get started with freezer cooking!

Making freezer meals doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here are 5 easy steps to get started with freezer cooking

Cook What You Like

The first step might seem like a no-brainer but I had to learn it the hard way. Cook what you and your family like! If you find a recipe that looks like a great frugal freezer cooking recipe but it’s full of onions nobody will eat, don’t cook it! Trust me, you don’t want to be throwing out bags of not-so-great meals or forcing yourself to eat them. *cough… speaking from experience.*

At the very least, find recipes that are easy to adapt to your tastes. Taking mushrooms or onions out of something is an easy fix. Making a fish bake for a family who doesn’t eat fish… not so much. Many times, you can take your own family favorites and modify them for freezer cooking. There are some tricks and tips to keep in mind (like certain foods that don’t freeze well) but it’s worth finding those adaptations so you can pack your freezer with meals your family will love!

Start Small with Freezer Cooking

Yes, I love the idea of big freezer cooking parties, whether solo or with a group of girlfriends. But let’s face it… finding time to shower is a struggle right now. 

I DO have some plans to get together with friends in the fall for a low-key prep party. But most of the time, I just double or triple whatever I’m making and freeze what we don’t use. That IS freezer cooking! Even though it takes longer to stock up your stash, that’s one or two meals you don’t need to prep in the future. Score!

Also consider going for the easy wins, such as making a big vat of soup and freezing the leftovers, or browning all 5 pounds of ground beef at the same time and freezing whatever you don’t use that night in the recipe you’re making. It’s so much easier to pull out a bag of already browned meat for tacos than have to re-do that work every time! 

Package Properly

Also landing squarely in the category of “lessons I’ve learned the hard way,” don’t use cheap packaging to store your freezer meals. Too many leaks and spills and I’ve FINALLY know better! Go for double packaging when needed and at the very least get the nice zip top bags or a food saver for these efforts. You’ll still save money, and it’s better than dealing with a mess! 

In addition, remember to label those bags. You may know exactly what it is as you lovingly place in in the freezer. I guarantee you won’t have any clue what it is three months later and will either be annoyed or toss it out. Label your finished freezer bags with the recipe and a date at least (so you know how long it’s been in there). Adding preparation instructions for dinner is a bonus!

Track Your Stash

Lately I’ve started writing down a simple running list of what I have in our freezer meal stash. I write down the name of the meal, when I packaged it, and any extras I’ll need to have on hand to turn it into dinner (hamburger buns, chips, etc.). I cross things off as I use them and add as I prep new things. Easy peasy! It helps SO much with meal planning each week since I know what I have. Plus it helps me to avoid losing a meal in the freezer only to find it two years later. 

Have a Plan

I’ve tried winging it with freezer meals and it just doesn’t work. Even when you’re doubling or tripling a recipe, especially for a large family, you’ll need to plan ahead just a bit! Take the time to collect your recipes, write out a grocery list, and plan a cooking session relatively soon after shopping. The last thing you need is to be missing an ingredient or have food go bad because you didn’t schedule a cooking time. 

If one of your primary goals is to save money, plan those sessions around good grocery sales, or when you can get to a big warehouse store. Many times if I see a good sale on meat or produce I’ll buy a bunch and cook/freeze it in bulk so I have that ingredient on hand in the future. 

Need Help Getting Started? Freezer Meals 101!

FREEZER MEALS 101 DISCOUNT CODE: Use “dinnertimefreedom” to get 25% off through this Sunday 8/14! 

Freezer Meals 101 is a fantastic tool to get you started in making delicious and frugal meals for your family!

Recently I discovered a fantastic new eCourse called Freezer Meals 101! I have been using this in our home and learning so much. I love the videos and being able to watch the prep work in action. Not only am I learning a ton of tips and tricks, but with the great meal plans that come with it, I’ve already started stocking up my freezer with fantastic meals my family loves! 

Here are some highlights of Freezer Meals 101: 

    • 10 video sessions 
    • 2 printable meal plans with recipes
    • Printable shopping lists and labels
    • Membership in a private FB group
    • And more!

In addition, you can upgrade your membership to additional plans that include MORE meal plans and recipes! These are really good recipes that are either already home runs or can easily be tweaked to fit your family’s needs. We went for the Freezer Meals Masters plan that includes one new meal plan a month for a year!

Some of the ones in the works for future months include:
– Paleo
– Vegetarian
– Cooking for 2
– Real food
– Lunches
– Breakfasts
– Around the world
– Gluten free

Ready to stock your freezer with healthy, delicious, and frugal freezer cooking? Get started today! 

FREEZER MEALS 101 DISCOUNT CODE: Use “dinnertimefreedom” to get 25% off through this Sunday 8/14! 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. With another homeschool year starting soon, I’ve got to get back to freezer cooking. It makes life so much easier when our schedules begin to fill up.

  2. Freezer cooking is a lifesaver during busy weeknights. I’d love to collect some new recipes and tips! Thanks for sharing this resource.

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