In the spirit of all things 2016, I vowed to jump (back on!) the freezer meals trend. I used to be really good about making meals and freezing them for an easy go-to lunch or dinner, but hadn’t done it since we moved into the new house. No longer my friends, I’m back on that train in a big way! Time and money are two things we all would like to have more of, so I think EVERYONE needs to try these freezer meals! Four hours of time on a Sunday for enough dinners and lunches to cover 2-3 weeks? I’m in. 🙂 Here’s how I do it:
To save a bit more green, I usually first scan our grocery stores weekly ads to see what is on sale. We shop at Sprouts in the Dallas area and they always have good deals on produce and fresh meats. Generally either pork, chicken or beef will be the featured item on sale. I always base my meal plans off that since I get the most bang for our buck that way!
This last round they had an awesome deal on ground beef. After checking the ad online and seeing that, I started researching meals I could make with ground beef as the main ingredient since usually we do chicken-based dishes. I searched through Pinterest (of course!) until I found two stews that I thought sounded really good. I like having soups for lunch, so I knew these would be my lunches over the next few weeks! (By the way I used this recipe for hamburger soup and this recipe for chili!).
I then make my shopping list with all the ingredients using my planner. I break it up into meat, produce, canned goods, spices, etc, so I can quickly get everything I need. Always remember to add a bottle of wine so you can enjoy a glass while cooking! 😛
Once we were at home, Scott and I split the tasks to make the stews as quickly as possible. He chopped the veggies while I browned a million pounds of ground beef and opened a trillion cans (it felt like!). While we were working we used our InstaPot (love!! definitely will share more in an upcoming post!) to make delicious steamed white rice that we also froze. The great thing about freezer cooking is it’s almost as easy to make a triple batch as it is a single! You’re already using the same amount of pans and pots, so might as well make it count right?
Between the two of us, it took us about 2 hours to make enough soup to last me 3 weeks! I purchased these BPA-free 32 ounce freezer-safe containers as well as these smaller 16-ounce versions. We filled them about 3/4ths full with soup and rice respectively, labeled them with freezer labels and froze. That’s it! It’s been awesome to be able to spend my lunch hours at the gym and know I have a healthy, homemade soup waiting for me when I’m done. Talk about motivation right? 😀
Also, if you give this a try (please do!) I’d suggest thawing your soup in the fridge the night before or the morning of. I forgot to do this and it literally took me 20 minutes to microwave. It tasted great but I was so impatient waiting! 😀
Have you all given freezer meals a try? I’d love to have some of the recipes you use, leave them down below! 🙂
PS My most popular blog post of all time is a freezer burrito post! It went crazy viral on Pinterst and people still email me to tell me they love it. Check it out here!