With school/work starting back up, my amazing husband headed up these freezer meals! It took over 8 hours to put it all together, we had extra meat and were able to double up on some recipes, add extra meat in bags that had space because my family LOVES TO EAT and my children have a very healthy appetite! Cost, upfront to buy items we didn’t have (the meat, sauces and some seasonings) was around $400.00, we used two of the freezer meals plans from blogger, Who Needs A Cape, Thank You for posting and sharing these.
we my husband did:
- PRINT everything out. Every recipe for all the meals and the shopping list.
- Cross off everything you have (but make sure you have enough of it, like honey, we all have honey, but you may need more).
- Freezer Space! You need freezer space. We did 2 of the 40 meal plans, so make sure you have room for what you make.
- Clear off ALL counter space and any chairs that will get in your way as you move about the kitchen!
- Go Shopping (without little children, unless yours listen and don’t distract you, good for you, but let’s be real my 4, 5 & 6 year old aren’t going to let us get what we need and leave). I took my children out for the day and the hubby went to the store & set up shop! ***TIP We learned that Wegmans has cheaper FRESH Chicken (family pack) over BJ’s, but the frozen meats are cheaper at BJ’s. We had to get fresh so we could freeze them all.
- Organize your “stations” in the kitchen, all dry spices in one area, all canned items in another, chicken here, pork there, beef over there and veggies everywhere (haha, just kidding, but make sure you cheat here and buy the pre-cut veggies, saves time, you NEED time!).
- Peel, Prep and Chop any Veggies. Some recipes call for sliced peppers, some chopped, some in chunks. We just cut the veggies as we read the recipes. The original blogger had put all the meal in the bags first, then she added the veggies. We just did one recipe at a time to get them done with. Both ways will work, check the blog post out as well!
- BAGS, LOTS AND LOTS of Gallon bags!
WeMy husband (Jeff), wrote all of the recipe names on every single bag, YUP, it was awesome. That way, the sharpie will write on the bag when it’s dry and you can just grab the bag and start filling with the ingredients. Plus you won’t forget what you are working on. Place the PRINTED recipe with the bag, so you don’t have to go hunting through 80 papers to find it! To make it even easier, you can have them in piles by type of meat!!!
- GET TO WORK
- Grab a bag with the recipe and filler’ up!
- Repeat, when you see extra meat or sauces laying around, you can double some of the recipes! Or just toss in extra meat/veggies into the bags until they are all packed!
- Make sure the bags have a good seal, we doubled some of them.
- FREEZE!!!! We laid them flat for more efficient storing.
- Post pictures
Now that the Freezer Meals have been prepped and are ready to go, we just grab one the night before, let it defrost and put in the crock pot the day of! You don’t have to use a crock pot, you can bake in the oven as well.
TRIED AND TESTED
We have only had 5 of these meals and I will post and update as we continue our freezer meal journey here and on my facebook page.
1.Orange Beer Chicken:The only dislike was this one. Maybe it was the orange juice concentrate, it was edible, but not enjoyable. Maybe use fresh OJ or fresh orange zest for an orange flavor.
2. Crock Pot Honey Chicken: was DELICIOUS, we doubled this one up, thank goodness! The kids loved it and we had left overs as well! This recipe will be saved!
3. Crock Pot Orange Chicken: was Good. I loved it. My husband liked it and the kids had a hard time with the sriracha. I will make this again but with less spice so the kids will enjoy it! You will also need to double up on the meat, there was plenty of sauce. If the kids ate like they normally do, we would have been hurting for meat. One pound was not enough to feed my family of 5.
We Jeff, made this with stir-fry veggies and rice.
4. Island Chicken: was great and well liked by all! Very light in flavor. As the blogger posted, I agree that I’m not sure why it’s called Island Chicken, maybe a Mediterranean Island. I would suggest using fresh herbs for a more bold flavor. You can probably get rid of the oil and add more vegetable stock for a healthier dish! This is great with quinoa and veggies!
5. Chunky Beef Stew: Had that “yummm, what’s for dinner smell?” when you walked in the house! The flavors are mild and tasty! Make sure you defrost this or it can take a little longer to cook (whoops, the kids were hungry while waiting).