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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I WOH around 45-50 hrs/week and also have a long commute. During the week I am often too stinking tired to cook. Not too mention, when I get home from a long day I want to spend time with DS and not leave him to play while I am in the kitchen cooking/cleaning.<br><br>
That being said, I often rely on frozen meals for him. Now before you sign me up for "the worst Mom of the year" club, they are quality, organic meals like Kashi, Amy's, Peas of Mind, Plum Kids etc. No processed-chemical-food dye-sugar craziness. Because of that, these little frozen time-savers run about $3.50-$5.00 a meal.<br><br>
The ingredients are simple and I am sure I could spend an hour or two on the weekend to make my own "ready meals". Can someone give me an idea of how to package them so they are quickly re-heated? Any cooking tips so that pasta doesn't get mushy when re-heated? Any recipe ideas?
 

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One acronym... IQF.<br><br>
Individually freeze the items, thaw and assemble them when cooking. We do this regularly and it works out well.<br><br>
Good luck! Do some searches if you need recipes. We have plenty here.<br><br>
ETA: For the pasta, make sure you don't over-cook. The thawing process softens it further.
 

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A great investment would also be to get a Foodsaver. Now it may be a bit of money at first, but trust me the quality of food will be sooooo much better. I just recently made small lasagnas for my family(8x8 pans) and froze them. Then I cut appropriate sized bags for my FS and they turned out beautiful and professional looking.<br><br>
I have premade tons of meals and am pregnant, so I will be doing it again for my family. It would be nice to do rice bowls, mac n cheese, burritos etc. I also have been toying with the idea of making my own egg rolls and freezing them because I love Lucky brand egg rolls but the are like 4 bucks for a pack of 4. I could easily make my own for much less.<br><br>
Don't overcook pasta-it will cook in the oven, I leave mine with some crunch to it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Norasmomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13271944"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A great investment would also be to get a Foodsaver. Now it may be a bit of money at first, but trust me the quality of food will be sooooo much better. I just recently made small lasagnas for my family(8x8 pans) and froze them. Then I cut appropriate sized bags for my FS and they turned out beautiful and professional looking.</div>
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Do you find that you can freeze things longer?
 

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Oh yes-there is a way longer shelf life on foods that have been vacuum sealed vs a regular freezer bag or plastic wrap. They are really sealed from the bad elements of freezing foods.<br><br>
I can't remember off the top of my head, but meat like steaks can be frozen up to 3 years vs. about a year with traditional wrapping and food storage methods.<br><br>
I couldn't believe how well it worked for my lasagna, they look great and I can see that there is really no way for them to get freezer burnt because the air is sucked out and sealed out.<br><br>
This summer while I am pregnant I will be making a bunch of food for when our baby is born. Plus I am going to freeze and process a bunch of fruits and veggies for the winter. I also buy a lot of my foods in bulk and break them into smaller packs and use my FS to do that. My local store often has great sales on meat that is very high quality and local, so I buy that in bulk and us the vacuum sealer. For us it helps save us money.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Norasmomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13271944"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A great investment would also be to get a Foodsaver.<br><br>
Don't overcook pasta-it will cook in the oven, I leave mine with some crunch to it.</div>
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I was going to say buy a foodsaver. My problem is I keep forgetting to pick up new bags at the store for it.<br><br>
Good tip about pasta. I didn't think of that.
 

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If you got a Costco card they are super cheap for a giant box of 6 rolls.<br><br>
We got ours as a Christmas gift from my Dad and Step-mom, with a box of the bags. I swear though the bags are like 30-some bucks for that box at Costco.
 

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Moving to meal planning <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=522096" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=522096</a><br><br>
Here is the link to a thread I started almost 2 years ago....great info.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ians_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13271550"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That being said, I often rely on frozen meals for him. Now before you sign me up for "the worst Mom of the year" club, they are quality, organic meals like Kashi, Amy's, Peas of Mind, Plum Kids etc. No processed-chemical-food dye-sugar craziness. Because of that, these little frozen time-savers run about $3.50-$5.00 a meal.</div>
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Anyone who comes here for help and is in the army, a nurse and a mama cannot be voted in the worst mom club! IF anything, the best mom for wanting whats best!<br><br>
Check out the feed the freezer thread and hopefully that will free up some time for the week and give you guys some yummy meals.<br><br>
One other solution, find another person either in your shoes or likes to cook and do a meal swap. You cook up 4 meals to freeze and so does the other person. You swap 2 meals for their 2 meals. Now you have 2 different meals you enjoy twice. Or add another person and you have 6 get it? I have been in on a swap a few times and its fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amys1st</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/13272758"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Anyone who comes here for help and is in the army, a nurse and a mama cannot be voted in the worst mom club! IF anything, the best mom for wanting whats best!</div>
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Thank you for this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great great suggestions- thanks everyone!
 
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