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Make Ahead Freezer Meals for Busy Days

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Make Ahead Freezer Meals for Busy Days

Meal Prep to the Rescue

As a busy work-at-home mom of four, I’ve had my fair share of those chaotic evenings where the “what’s for dinner” question sends me into a tailspin. But you know what’s been my saving grace over the years? Make-ahead freezer meals!

Freezer meals have been an absolute lifesaver for my family. After a few years of marriage and the arrival of my twin babies, my life transformed into a whirlwind of diaper changes, constant feedings, and chasing little ones around. Too often, when I was feeling exhausted, I’d resort to fast food or quick-fix meals like boxed mac and cheese. It wasn’t the nutritious home-cooked food I wanted for my family, but the alternative of spending an hour or two in the kitchen after a long day just seemed unbearable.

That’s when I discovered the magic of make-ahead freezer meals. I dedicated a full day in the kitchen, whipping up 30 different meals that I could simply pull from the freezer and reheat on busy evenings. Let me tell you, that first month was a game-changer! My husband was thrilled to have homemade dinners again, and I no longer dreaded the dinner hour. It was the start of my serious love affair with freezer cooking.

The Joys of Freezer Meal Prep

Years later, I’m still a die-hard freezer meal enthusiast. In fact, I loved it so much that I even wrote my first cookbook all about Seriously Good Freezer Meals. Between the 150 mouthwatering recipes and the helpful menu plans, it’s become a lifesaver for busy families just like mine.

You see, freezer meals don’t just save time – they can also save you a ton of money. Instead of relying on pricey takeout or convenience foods, you can stock your freezer with homemade meals that provide way more nutritional value for a fraction of the cost. And the best part? They actually taste delicious!

Whether you’re a new parent, a college student, or an empty nester, freezer meals can be a total game-changer. They’re perfect for people with hectic schedules who want to avoid the dreaded “what’s for dinner” panic. And let’s be honest, that describes pretty much everyone these days!

The Freezer Meal Essentials

Of course, before you can start whipping up your own freezer meals, you’ll need to gather a few essential supplies. The good news is, most of these items are super affordable and easy to find.

First up, you’ll need some airtight containers or bags to store your meals. I prefer using gallon or quart-sized plastic freezer bags – just be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them tight. You can also find reusable freezer-safe bags if you want to be more eco-friendly.

For larger meals, aluminum foil pans or your own baking dishes work great. I tend to use the 9×13 size for my family of six, but you can go smaller if you’re cooking for just a few people. And if you want to use your Instant Pot for easy reheating, those 64-ounce freezable plastic containers with lids are a total lifesaver.

Don’t forget to grab some permanent markers too, so you can clearly label each meal with the contents and the date. Trust me, keeping your freezer organized is key to making the most of your prep work.

Stocking Your Freezer

Now that you’ve got your supplies ready to go, it’s time to start planning out your freezer meal menu. One of the best things about this method is the sheer variety of options – you can literally freeze just about anything!

For breakfast, I love having homemade waffles, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches on hand. Lunch and dinner options are endless, from hearty soups and casseroles to tasty tacos and enchiladas. And let’s not forget about dessert – things like cookie dough, brownies, and fruit crisps freeze beautifully too.

Happy Money Saver has a fantastic collection of freezer-friendly recipes to get you started, covering everything from protein-packed main dishes to sweet treats. And of course, I’ve got plenty of my own favorite freezer meals in my Seriously Good Freezer Meals cookbook.

The key is to focus on recipes that freeze well – things without a lot of dairy, eggs, or raw vegetables that tend to get mushy or watery when thawed. And remember, most meals will last anywhere from 3 to 9 months in the freezer, so you can really stock up!

Turning Chaos into Calm

These days, my freezer is always stocked and ready to rescue me from those hectic evenings. No more last-minute takeout runs or boring boxed dinners – just delicious, nutritious meals at the ready. And you know what that means? More quality time with my family, instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my trusty collection of make-ahead freezer meals. They’ve been a total lifesaver for my family, and I’m confident they can do the same for yours. So what are you waiting for? Head to Home Cooking Rocks and start stocking your freezer today!

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