A Beginner's Guide to Freezer Cooking
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A Beginner’s Guide to Freezer Cooking

Posted on Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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Freezer cooking is a great way to save money and eat healthy when you don't have time to cook a homemade meal every night. Learn how to start!If you don’t have time to cook every night, then freezer cooking may be just the thing for you. Freezer cooking is a great way to save money and eat healthy. You can do your cooking when you have time, then package and freeze your meals. When you get home you will have healthy, homemade meals without any hidden ingredients or preservatives. Just open up the freezer and voila! Dinner is served within minutes.

How to Start Freezer Cooking

How Often Should You Cook Meals to Freeze?

When freezer cooking, you can cook as often as once a week or as little as once a month. If you are just starting out, you may want to work your way up to once a month cooking. Mass meal preparation can take some practice. There are two ways to prepare your freezer cooking:

1) Prepare, cook, and freeze or…

2) … prepare and freeze. That is, don’t cook your meals ahead of time. When you are ready to eat the meal, pull it out of the freezer and put it in the oven. This method gives you fresher meals and still saves you a lot of time.

 

What Are the Benefits of Freezer Cooking?

What’s not to like about coming home to ready-to-heat and eat healthy, homemade meals? The benefits are endless!

  • Eat healthy: Store-bought frozen food contains hidden ingredients, high sodium, and lots of preservatives. Homemade frozen food contains only the ingredients you choose to include. Overall, cooking at home promotes a healthier diet and lifestyle.
  • Save money: When you are cooking a week to a months supply of food, you will want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is less expensive. You’ll also have to make fewer trips to the grocery store, which will give you more time to gather and organize your coupons. And of course, cooking at home is much less expensive than eating out.
  • More free time: You will have more time to spend with your family at dinnertime if you aren’t stuck in the kitchen cooking. Freezer cooking will also ensure that everyone can sit down to eat dinner at the end of each day. Even if you are freezer cooking for one, you will have more free time to yourself and less time spent in the kitchen.

 

How Do You Plan Freezer Meals?

  • Use a calendar to plan your meals for a week to a month. Decide what meal to cook for each day. For example, plan Chicken Parmesan for Monday, tuna casserole for Tuesday, and so on.
  • Make a list of ingredients you will need for each meal. This can double as your grocery shopping list.
  • Go to the grocery store to buy the items you don’t already have. I always go to the same store, so I write my grocery list in the order of the store aisles. Doing this makes grocery shopping quick and easy.
  • Make labels so you know what’s in your freezer.

 

Freezer cooking is a great method of cooking for busy individuals, or anyone looking to simplify their life. Once you get in the habit of mass meal preparation, it will fit right into your monthly routine – you’ll never want to go back!


 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.