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Has anyone started thinking about freezer meals?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

I know it's early but I've already frozen a few things...  I would like to get a jump start on easy lunches and have started cooking double and freezing half when I make dinner.

 

Just popped these into the freezer for dinners:

a mexican shepherd's pie

1 cooked package of venison for spaghetti

1 cooked package of taco meat

 

for lunches:

burritos that just need to be heated up

post #2 of 40

We don't have a big chest freezer, just the freezer compartment at the top of the fridge so I'm going to hold off for a while. Also my mother is coming in October so I'm thinking we will only need to cover 2-3 weeks worth of food and then we'll have help.

We usually only freeze left overs but I like the idea of freezing only certain ingredients that have been made ahead of time. I'll have to look into that a little more.

And speaking of burritos: we live on Trader Joe's chicken burritos!

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
I wish I had a closer trader joes! Ours is 40 minutes away. I save money that way though lol
post #4 of 40
Costco has some really yummy organic chicken burritos, too.

Since we will likely (hopefully) be moving between now and baby, I haven't don't anything in the way of meal prep.

For some reason, the first few weeks after baby unusually crave sandwiches, so I'll likely be inflicting them on the family as well.
post #5 of 40
This is actually something we're planning to tackle with a baby shower/afternoon tea kind of thing. We're planning to have a bbq/get together for a baby shower (since we didn't really have one with DS as we didn't know anyone out here) but we're going to ask people not to bring us gifts. If they want to give us something, to please bring us a meal for the freezer. That way we will have a bunch of variety and a good stockpile of ready to eat food without having to cook a whole bunch.

My mom will likely be here about a month before baby is due and another few weeks after babe is born, so she will cook for us and stock the freezer. We do a lot of meatloaves, homemade macaroni and cheese, and 'prepared' meals that are ready to dump into the slow cooker and turn it on.

We are also planning to get 1/4 of beef and a 1/2 pig for our other freezer in the next month or so, so there will be lots of meat to just throw on the BBQ. That's my lazy cooking fallback smile.gif
post #6 of 40

We are looking into purchasing an upright freezer mainly for this reason and breastmilk storage.  Our freezer is so full we can't fit anything else in it.  I also like to cook big batches of beans and freeze them but don't have much room to do so currently.  I like to freeze "healthy" cookies, muffins, and plan to do some soups and casserole types of dishes.  Also pancakes and waffles.  Yes i love breakfast food! 

post #7 of 40

Jealous of you ladies with chest freezers. We live in an apartment, so no room for one - and our freezer is currently full.

 

I need to go through my bags of bone and veggie odds and ends and make stock from them and can them. That should free up 1/3 of the space, which I think is as good as it's going to get.

 

So instead of freezing stuff, I'm hoping to can and put up a bunch of food this summer - I'm only hoping I'll still be up to it in September and can get as much tomato sauce as possible, since that and stock can really make a meal from whatever else you have laying around.

post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefreckledmama View Post

Costco has some really yummy organic chicken burritos, too.

Since we will likely (hopefully) be moving between now and baby, I haven't don't anything in the way of meal prep.

For some reason, the first few weeks after baby unusually crave sandwiches, so I'll likely be inflicting them on the family as well.

Good to know! I love Costco so i will need to check these out!

 

Yes I have started THINKING of what I should make. Actively planning and making? No not yet. I know my MOPS group will probably have people bring meals over but I do need to make some freezer stuff for those early weeks. I especially need easy lunches and breakfasts for my DD. I did find today at Costco Veggie Muffins, which are freezable (which all muffins can be), so if she likes them I'll probably get a couple more boxes & save for later. 

post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by chispita View Post

Jealous of you ladies with chest freezers. We live in an apartment, so no room for one - and our freezer is currently full.

 

I need to go through my bags of bone and veggie odds and ends and make stock from them and can them. That should free up 1/3 of the space, which I think is as good as it's going to get.

 

So instead of freezing stuff, I'm hoping to can and put up a bunch of food this summer - I'm only hoping I'll still be up to it in September and can get as much tomato sauce as possible, since that and stock can really make a meal from whatever else you have laying around.

Same here. We have a large garden and I really want to can or freeze things but who knows come this fall how inspired I will be!

post #10 of 40
Haven't started anything yet, but I'm so far behind I have yet to plant my garden! We have enough room for a chest freezer, if we put it in our basement, but the bleeping doorway is so narrow that we would not be able to get it down there. Stupid previous owners. greensad.gif
I bought a dehydrator last summer, and I was planning to do a lot of that this year, though I've been so tired from being pregnant and so stressed with exams that up untill last week I wasnt sure/didn't intend to garden. DH stepped up, did a masterful job of weeding, and now I think maybe I have a shot at having some stuff around that can just be tossed into the crock pot in the mornings for dinners at night. So we will see...
Edited by cmu204 - 5/11/13 at 6:44am
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm worried I won't be up for canning tomatoes this year. I will probably stick them in bags and freeze to can later. That works really well. Maybe I'll run half of them through the vitamix first.
I've made two batches. Of stock this week (one is still in the pot right now) but we go through that like crazy. My kids won't eat soup so I cook beans in it to gt the healthy bone broth in them...
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
And I wish I had people to bring me meals or cook for me! I'm jealous of those who do. And if I relied on dh, we'd mostly be eating takeout for dinners. Yuck.
post #13 of 40

I haven't really thought about freezing meal yet as our freezer is always full. I'd really like to save up for a second freezer, but I don't know if we'll afford one in time. But I do want to freeze lots of homemade soup, and a mixture of other things like curry and shepherd's pie. The thought of it's making me hungry now!

post #14 of 40
Y'all have got me thinking we might be able to afford a small-ish second freezer - which is probably all we would need, since my mama is going to come for maybe two weeks, and I know she will cook for us while she is here and she'd be happy to help fill it up for me before she leaves. (Mom caters, but she also just loves to cook in general.)

I'm jealous of the freezer meals, too -- but then again, I am so picky right now that it is not a bad thing at all.
post #15 of 40
I am planning to do some freezer meals eventually. Right now I'm still struggling to keep up with weekly groceries, so the thought of cooking double makes nauseous. I do have a nice big block freezer in my basement that right now has a loaf of bread in it...
post #16 of 40

We have a chest freezer, but for the immediate postpartum, I've found myself to be a bigger fan of using the crock pot more than the freezer.  Personal preference.  We have a Costco about 40 minutes away and I buy giant cuts of pork or chicken or beef and marinades and veggies and dump them in a crock pot in the AM.  Usually make rice or naan or some kind of carb-y side to accompany it.  That way we can have mojo pork, Indian or Morrocan curries, Japanese rice bowls, etc.  I like the idea of freezer meals and we primarily freeze things like cookie dough or homemade loaves of bread, you know, the "frivolous" things that I wouldn't have time for in those early postpartum days.

post #17 of 40

I've been thinking about this but have only gotten so far as to start using up what's already in the freezer to make more space.  We had a large chest freezer growing up and that's what i imagine when people talk about having separate freezers - that one was big enough to hold a whole cow!  So it hadn't even occurred to me before now to look into small freezers that can provide additional space but i just did a quick search and there are a full range of options - as small as 1.1 cu/ft counter-top freezer up to huge - and they aren't too pricey it seems.  So now i'm thinking that maybe we could find room somewhere for a 3-5 cu/ft freezer...that would be so helpful!  i'd like to make a lot of soups & stews and it would be great to have room to freeze whole casserole dishes.  i also have a dehydrator so i need to get creative with that this summer and see what i can do with it.  i am also a fan of my slow cooker so i'm thinking about ways to make that even easyier - maybe have ingredients prepped in the freezer that can just be thrown in.  i don't know but i do know that i'm with you, MamaMash, in that it's hard to imagine doing any extra food planning and cooking/prep right now.  i just don't have much energy for it so i'm hoping that changes in the near future.  we are fortunate to have a very generous and supportive community of people who like to cook and do that well and will totally bring us meals postpartum.

post #18 of 40

Since we are traveling to the States to have the baby and staying with my parents while there (Aug-Nov), I'm counting on my parents and especially my mom to be cooking and taking good care of us for the first couple months.  My partner loves to cook, so I'm sure he will also pitch in in that area.  But my mom is often too good of a hostess and likes to spoil her kids when we're home and since I'm the star who has decided to travel to her to have her first grandbaby, I know she will be more than happy to shop and cook for us...maybe even do some laundry.  But like I said, I think my partner will also pitch in a lot so we aren't taking advantage of her too much.
 

post #19 of 40
post #20 of 40

I had to bump this thread!

 

I've always loved having freezer meals for the first couple weeks-- even the 3-4 that I got done w DS2 was such a blessing...

 

but this time we'll finally be moved off grid btt baby comes, so no freezer. Very limited icebox space is all we can manage w the current set up. I've been looking into dehydrated & other ready to eat meals (most of my net hits take me to survivalist forums, lol, yes, I -do- want to survive this time!). My "dehydrator" is lower tech as well-- a series of non-stick fabric in embroidery hoops, all stacked & hung from the porch, lol.

 

There are obvious non perishables that wee usually have on hand like lots of good pasta & canned tomatoes, but we can't live on spaghetti forever!

 

Does anyone have good ideas for non-freezer meals to prep? I suppose I ought to post my tentative list:

 

 tuna/ salmon patties
pancakes/ waffles
lentil soup
instant cobbler
PB balls
bean soup/ dip
pilau
pasta bake
biscuits
stuffing
brocolli potato soup
chowder
beans & greens soup
greeny granola
hummus mix
falafel mix
bread mix
annie's mac & cheese
cornbread mix
spanish rice
fruit salad
pizza/ pockets
potato salad
breakfast pizza
bq pockets
chili potato
creamy casserole
creamy chx dumpl
chili

 

these are all things I can make mostly from dehydrated foods w some canned & options for fresh add-ins.

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