Save Money with Make and Freeze Meals
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Save Money with Make and Freeze Meals

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Instead of buying expensive frozen dinners, you can make your own!  Using up your groceries before they go bad saves you money.  Try these recipes.Families spend a lot of money on groceries. Unfortunately, some of that money is wasted if the food goes bad before you eat it. One way to prevent this loss is to make meals, freeze them, and reheat them when you don’t have time to cook. These are great additions to your stock pile, really convenient, and can help you avoid resorting to fast food for dinner. Try a few of these recipes!

Easy Freezer Meal Recipes

Broccoli, Beef & Potato Hotdish
This recipe came from Eating Well. It is a simple casserole that has ground beef and broccoli. It is topped with hash browns. The recipe makes 8 servings. Prepare the recipe just like you would if you were planning on making it for dinner that night, and then stop before you get to the baking part. Instead, cover it. You can freeze it for up to 1 month. It needs to defrost in the refrigerator for 2 days before baking.

Chicken Pot Pie
This recipe can be found on the Happy Money Saver blog. You will need a pie crust (with a top and bottom piece). The inside of the pie requires shredded chicken, gravy, frozen hash browns that have been diced, frozen peas and carrots, a little bit of onion, and some salt and pepper. The blog has complete directions for how to make this meal as well as how to freeze it, thaw it out, and bake it. There are photos of it on the blog. It looks really tasty!

Tarragon Turkey and Rice
I found this recipe on the She Knows blog. It comes from Food Network star Sandra Lee. The recipe serves 4. You will need turkey breast tenderloin that has been cut into serving-size portions. It also requires chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, a box of garlic and herb long grain and wild rice mix, and more. Thawing and reheating instructions are on their blog. Once frozen, it needs to stand for about half an hour at room temperature before you bake it.

Here are some quick tips for best results with make and freeze meals:

* Label everything! You don’t want a freezer full of mystery food. Write what the food is, when it was frozen, and the date it will expire.

* Freeze individual portions (when possible). This will make it easier to grab, and thaw, exactly what you need.

* Squeeze the excess air out of the freezer bag before you store the food in your freezer.

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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.