Freezer Cooking February: Methods and Resources


As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’m doing a month-long series on Freezer Cooking. It’s just one of the ways I am trying to achieve my Goals of 2010 to get healthier. I’m doing this by not only choosing a few healthier recipes but also, by having food on hand, ready to cook, I’m avoid the evil takeout food that’s loaded with so many calories!

Once-a-Month vs. Doubling Recipes
Freezer cooking can seem daunting to some because they have only heard of the weekend long sessions and just don’t have that much time to spend on cooking. Once-a-Month Cooking, as it’s often called, is not the only way to “freezer cook,” though. In fact, I rarely do big sessions anymore since I have the two little kids and a blog to keep me busy.

One way to get in some freezer cooking is to just simply double your meals whenever you can throughout the week. This is how I normally get in my “spare” meals. When you think about it, it’s actually quite easy to double a recipe. The time-consuming part of meal prep is the chopping of the veggies and or meats, such as ground hamburger or turkey. It only takes a few extras minute to chop up an additional carrot or cook up two pounds of hamburger instead of one.

Often, I’ve even cooked up double the hamburger recipe and put the extra half in the fridge after it’s cooled. Even just having that part done is a huge time-saver for the next night. I can quickly just throw that in a casserole or heat it up for Tacos, etc.

I usually recommend that those new to freezer cooking start off with just doubling recipes. Once you get the hang of what freezes and doesn’t and which meals you do like, then try the Once-a-Month method. While the Once-a-Month method can be exhausting, it’s also great not to have to spend much time in your kitchen for the several weeks that follow.

Resources
Now, when I first discovered Freezer Cooking about 3 years ago, the first book I read was 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy. It’s still one of my favorites. Not only is it a book full of recipes, but you also get access to their online recipes after you buy it. What I like about the book is that it has the recipes in a grid so you can easily make them according to how many servings you need. There’s no messing with fractions or scratching your head to figure out if you doubled or tripled the recipe right.

Here are a few other books that I’ve either enjoyed myself or have had recommended to me:

Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving – More than 125 Recipes

Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead

The Everything Meals For A Month Cookbook: Smart Recipes To Help You Plan Ahead, Save Time, And Stay On Budget (Everything: Cooking)

Once-A-Month Cooking

Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites

Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month

How to Freeze: Everything You Need to Know About Freezing

Make-A-Mix

Now, while I am a self-proclaimed book junkie, I highly recommend that for recipe books, you try to flip through them first at a book store or library. I’m a simple recipe person and I often find that some books are too gourmet for my taste. While you could be the opposite and want more of a gourmet meal on most nights. Recipe books are by far the books I end up buying the most so I can easily reference them later.

I want to keep these segments reasonably short so that’s all I’ll share so far. This should give you an idea of the two ways most people freezer cook and also some recommendations on books to check out for more ideas and recipes. Next time, I’ll go into how to get started and I also have recipes from some Guest Posters that I’ll share throughout the series.

Thank you for stopping by Coupon Geek! I value my readers and their advice, tips and comments. Please remember that Coupon Geek is a positive, family-friendly and upbeat site when leaving your comments.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m just learning how to freeze food. I’ve seen some bloggers write about how to prepare a month’s worth of food, but it sounds like too much work to take on over the weekend. Now that I know the basics of freezing, I think I’ll do as you suggest and start with doubling my recipes. Before, I was letting too much food spoil in the fridge.

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I just conducted a quick search and found that Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer is available at my local library.

  2. Ashley says

    Do any of the books you recommend have nutritional info with the recipes? I, like you, try to eat healthier and only cook recipes with that info.

  3. coupongeek says

    Yes, the server is just being hit so many times right now, that’s why you are getting the error. I have heard of several getting their freebie requests through. Sorry for the frustration.

    Jaycie

  4. coupongeek says

    Ashley, I was thinking one of them did. Let me flip through the ones I have and see if I can find which one.

    ~Jaycie

  5. says

    Another great way is to cook in the crockpot and double your recipe. I have a chicken tortilla soup that makes way too much for us. The extra always ends up in the freezer for another meal!

  6. Brandi says

    I am wondering how much it typically costs to make a large amount of the freezer meals. I have been going to a business near me for three years now, once a month to make our family’s meals. Since it really is just my husband and I eating the food (I have a 4 and 1 year old) we end up getting 2-3 meals out of each meal I make. I make the 6 meals (ends up actually giving us at least 12 meals) for $129.

  7. coupongeek says

    I just use what I have on hand and what’s on a good deal. So the amount varies. If you coupon a lot and watch sales, you can keep your costs way down. Also, you have to figure in time. So if that place is only $129 and you get 12 meals from it and more time with your children, make sure you factor that in, as well. I did go to one of those businesses many years ago but ours cost a lot more. Their meals were real good but a little more gourmet than our tastes. And I actually did find that I saved money doing it myself. If you find you can make cheap meals yourself, just double a few recipes each week and then the next month, you’ll have your 12 meals ready to go and it won’t take you much time at all. You’ll probably find that you are spending less than the $129.

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