freezer meals
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    I really want to start making freezer meals to help save time and possibly money in the long run.. does anyone have good recipes, ideas and/or tips?
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    Also looking for a tomato sauce recipe using canned tomatos.. im the only ine here that likes canned tomatos but the food bank has given me 8 cans... any help
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • eappleeapple
    Posts: 1,997Member
    I'll be keeping my eye on this thread! I was just saying I want to start making 8 freezer meals at the beginning of each month, 2 per week :)
    And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~Nietzsche
  • Dragonbabyx3Dragonbabyx3
    Posts: 1,467Member
    hmm, this is a good idea for a thread.  A Word of advice: When you make a freezer meal in a 9x13 or other dish, make sure you use some tin foil, wax paper, etc in the bottom and around the sides. This way once you freeze it, you can just pull it out of the dish, wrap it up in freezer paper and saran wrap, and stack it on the shelf. Then you will have your dish to make more!  
    I love @eapple's idea on 8 freezer meals at the beginning of each month. It's not too time consuming, and to have 2 times a week where I dont even need to think, to just pull it out of the freezer... ah yes... bliss!
  • katz_meowkatz_meow
    Posts: 6,380Member
    Not really meals, more like helpers, but when making sloppy joes and tacos I always at least double the amount of meat mixture and freeze what we don't use right away to pull out and use on a day when I'm in a jam.
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  • Ashdawn684Ashdawn684
    Posts: 979Member
    I would love to do this I need a bigger freezer!
    ~Live life to the fullest, or die trying~
  • SchweddyBallsSchweddyBalls
    Posts: 4,891Member
    There are several really good break down plans on pinterest.......one I have re-pinned is for an entire months worth of complete crock pot meals frozen in bags.......easy to do and stacked up ready to go.
    I'm the nicest person you will ever meet, UNTIL you fuck with me or the betches I love.......
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    I make spaghetti sauce from canned tomatoes.

    I fry up some garlic and onion in butter (and ground meat if I want it), then add the canned tomatoes, some tomato puree, some water if needed. sometimes I throw in chopped jalopeno. Spice with red pepper flakes, cayenne, italian seasoning and achiote. salt if needed, but the canned stuff is salty. cook to taste. can be frozen.

    you can also use the canned tomatoes in chili.
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
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  • dasnax
    Posts: 114Member
    Moneysavingmom has some great posts about freezer cooking on her blog. I always want to try it but haven't yet. Maybe this thread can be my inspiration.
  • 456Imamom
    Posts: 550Member
    I'm so need some more freezer meal ideas. I'm trying to restock our freezer before baby comes. Right now, it's all spaghetti/pasta sauce. 

    @meandmy243 I use canned tomatoes in my chill. I fry up a diced onion, garlic and add ground beef (or any ground meet). Once browned, I add canned tomatoes. Just make sure to cut them up a bit so they aren't big chunks. Then I add any veggies and spice and let it simmer. Chilli freezes well too!
     And like shate98 said, us can use them in pasta sauce too. 

    Oh, in the past I've made big batches of curry (if you like that), baked penne and lasagne to freeze. When it's lasagne I use a foil roasting pan and freeze it in there. We used to make beef stew and chicken stew to freeze... but DS won't eat them after he got the stomach flu from daycare last year (honestly, I can't stomach the sight yet either...)
  • madismumma
    Posts: 6Member

    I do both - components and meals. Lots of bags of browned ground beef, plain and taco seasoned; cooked chicken/turkey. Great for throwing something together when we get home late from dance or swim classes. Pre-cook hamburgers and freeze them.


    Meatloaf/Meatballs


    Enchiladas/Burritos - just add the sauce when you cook it


    Spagetti, Lasagna, Chili, Sloppy Joes, Roast beef - with gravy for beef & noodles or hot roast beef sandwiches.


    Pizza - make sauce with your canned tomatoes.


    Create your own casserole - pork chops, rice, cream of whatever soup, a bag of frozen veggies and some extra water. Or use chicken, season however you like.

  • SchweddyBallsSchweddyBalls
    Posts: 4,891Member
    Here's some with chicken.....
    http://pinterest.com/pin/31314159881063246/
    I'm the nicest person you will ever meet, UNTIL you fuck with me or the betches I love.......
  • SchweddyBallsSchweddyBalls
    Posts: 4,891Member
    I'm the nicest person you will ever meet, UNTIL you fuck with me or the betches I love.......
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    Awesome guys thanks.. a local store is having a 3 day meat sale that starts the same day i get my food stamps. im taking $50 and buying meat and spending saturday cooking and freezing. hoping my parents make a costco run cause i need freezer bags. cause we hunt and fish we have 2 freezers so i have plenty of room.. only one deer this year so it took up one shelf... and then i get bread items from the food bank so i have tons of rolls and stuff ive been making bread crumbs out of them..
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • BeachyBeachy
    Posts: 4,697Member
    @meandmy243 bread stuffs freeze extremely well. Baked goods I should say.
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt.
  • LLBLLB
    Posts: 5,622Member
    I too do mostly parts of meals rather than full meals for the freezer.

    Right now I have

    chili
    chicken with taco seasoning for quesadillas, tacos or enchiladas
    Plain cubed and shredded cooked chicken
    Cooked ground beef with taco seasoning for tacos or enchiladas
    Plain cooked ground beef
    Taco soup
    Spaghetti sauce
    Chicken empanadas
    Pulled pork

    I have to get to the store for more ground beef and then I'll be adding a couple meatloafs and some other stuff to my stash.


  • LLBLLB
    Posts: 5,622Member
    Anyone have a good foolproof way to freeze potatoes without them getting all black and slimy?
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    Seal a meal @llb if you have one available or can afford one.. we borrow dfs parents..
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    Or pre cook them
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • LLBLLB
    Posts: 5,622Member
    I have a food saver.

    I'd like to make up a bunch of mashed potatoes to freeze and chop up some up raw ones for stews and such but I've heard they get gross in the freezer.

    I figured there has to be some way to do it since they are in the freezer section like that.

    So they should be fine if I just vacuum seal them?

    (I despise peeling potatoes and would hate to waste all that time doing it just to have them be gross)
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    I havent tried freezing raw potatoes... so id say vaccum seal a small amount and try it..
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • GrainneGrainne
    Posts: 1,028Member
    I do once a month cooking and its totally saved money (a lot cut grocery bill by approx $600 a month and it makes life so much less stressful!!! I could never go back now. One important tip I learned is to keep a freezer inventory of the meals you have and use it to meal plan. I meal plan for dinners by the month. Here are some sites I have found really helpful. Also I have lots of recipes but on my itouch eight now so can't post
    http://www.momsbudget.com/

    http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/06/freezer-meals-on-cheap.html

    http://organizedhome.com/freezer-cooking/guide-once-a-month-cooking

    http://www.favoritefreezerfoods.com/

    http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/oamc/oamcprep.html

    http://busycooks.about.com/od/makeaheadrecipes/a/cookOAMC.htm

    http://onceamonthmom.com/menus
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    I posted a recipe here for marinara that uses 3 28oz cans of tomatoes. I'll look for it.
    i'm nekkid.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    Soups are good for the freezer, many casseroles, what I do is still cook big meals, and freeze the leftovers in quart bags. Make massive pots of soups and freeze those, too. I also have a tomato soup recipe that uses canned tomatoes. Do you have a blender or food processor?
    i'm nekkid.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member

    do you want me to just post all the tomato based recipes? if it looks weird, forgive me. it's from the list of recipes i made for the kids.


    Enchilada sauce (makes several batches. Freeze it in quart bags. When you make enchiladas, use a little over ½-3/4 of the sauce to cook the meat in, save the rest to top off your enchiladas)


    3 lg (28 oz) cans of  diced tomatoes


    1 lg (28 oz) box of chicken broth (or 28 oz. of bullion)


    1 lg onion, roughly chopped


    2 lg (or 3 or 4 small) lg cloves of garlic, roughly chopped


    ½-3/4 cup pickled jalapenos, roughly chopped


    1and ½  TABLESPOONS each: , cumin, and cocoa


    1tsp each black pepper, salt, and sugar


    (optional, a couple big tablespoons of hot sauce)


    Throw it all in a big pot and let it come to a boil, while you stir gently. When it comes to a boil, turn it off, let it cool, and puree it in a blender. Freeze in quart bags, ¾ full.  Always leave room And squish out the air!


    Spaghetti/lasagna sauce—fresh tomatoes are nice, but you don’t need them. Start with 1 small onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1 rib of celery, ½ a bell pepper (if you want) and some mushrooms all chopped finely in a food processor, and sautee it all in a big pot with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until the mushrooms and celery are soft, and the onions are translucent. Add a ½ cup of red wine (if you have it), and cook until the wine is half gone. Add a handful of fresh oregano and 5-6 big leaves of basil you have chopped up. Add 3 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes (you can puree a couple in a blender, first, if you want, but leave at least one can chunky), add more olive oil (couple more tablespoons), some salt and black pepper, and cook for 1-3 hours on medium low. (it doesn’t have to cook for a long time, but gets better the longer you cook it). If you want meat in the sauce, cook that separately, and add it after it’s been completely cooked, and after the sauce has had at least 30 minutes to cook by itself.   This will make several batches for you. Freeze it in freezer quart bags. Don’t fill them all the way. It expands as it freezes. (you can also double up on the veggies, if you use the food processor. Makes the sauce nice and thick and chunky.) Reilley THINKS he doesn’t like mushrooms, but he does. Just chop them super fine in a food processor. (if you are using dried herbs, use about 1/2 of what i posted, and add more if you need to)



    Tomato basil soup-( Reilley’s favorite)—three 28 oz. cans of  diced tomatoes, all pureed in the blender and dumped in a big pot. (if you have any fresh tomatoes, throw a couple in there.) Add one 28 oz. box of chicken broth or 28 oz. of bullion, a tablespoon of sugar, 1 tsp. each salt, white pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Let it cook an hour or so on medium heat, uncovered, until it’s reduced a couple inches. Turn off the heat, add 6-7 large fresh basil leaves, chopped. When slightly cooled, add whole milk or heavy cream until it turns pink (about ½ cup of cream, or ¾-1 cup of milk). Serve immediately, or keep hot on low heat. Don’t skip the sugar. It keeps the tomatoes from being too acidic and upsetting sensitive stomachs. Super yummy with grilled cheese sandwiches. Especially mozzarella, fresh basil, and freshed thinly sliced tomato grilled cheese sandwiches. For little kids, probably just mozzarella on garlic bread.

    i'm nekkid.
  • RuralRebellionRuralRebellion
    Posts: 2,817Member
    Be careful with some of the Pinterest posts about crock pot freezer meals.  I did one that made 4 dishes, but 2 meals each.  I ended up spending way more on groceries just to make those because I was buying a bunch of shit I wouldn't normally buy.   And it turned out only maybe 1 of the 4 dishes were actually good.  Blech, I'll never do that again.

    EDIT:  Turns out they have since updated the blog I used and admitted they ended up bland.  They've made adjustments to the recipes, and even made 2 or 3 other updated posts with new recipes.  Could possibly be worth a try now.  The blog I used is here.  And @meandmy243 this post about sauces might be worth a look, she has both a spaghetti and marinara sauce, that make about 6 bags (one for each meal use) each.  Here.

    But it certainly looked good when it was in my freezer:

    image
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Most everyone's mad here. You may notice that I'm not all there myself.
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    you can use canned tomatoes for chili, too. and it freezes well. i don't have a particular recipe for it, it's not something i make often, but i bet somebody here has a good chili recipe.
    i'm nekkid.
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    Looks so yummy
  • undercoverbanana
    Posts: 12,609Member
    I just saw the chili recipe.....duh....
    i'm nekkid.
  • 456Imamom
    Posts: 550Member
    Does anyone have a good recipe for Chicken pot pie? I've tried a few, but nothing turned out very good. I was thinking about making the filling and freezing it in bags, then baking it in a pie shell later.