Friday, August 9, 2013

Make ahead Meals-fill the freezer



Look what I found over at http://lifeasmom.com/2013/08/fill-the-freezer-to-save-money-frugal-friday.html
There are some good recipes over there, check them out and a helpful shopping list, I used to make a few meals ahead when we had 10 people in the house and the kids were little when I had or should I say Made the time.
Now I can still do it for those days I just don't want to cook or can think of what to make, or just don't have ingredients, well thank goodness for my freezer right?

Fill the freezer with premade meals in order to save money on groceries as well as time and effort throughout the month.




If there’s something easy for the kids to prepare, I’ll be less tempted to buy costly convenience food items.

If there’s something quick to prepare, I’ll be less likely to make a run for the border.

If there’s something yummy to eat, I’ll be less likely to want to go out to a restaurant.

When I’ve got easy, quick, healthy, and yummy recipes all prepared in the freezer, well, that’s like striking gold! We eat more healthfully; we spend less on groceries; and we stick to eating at home. WIN win

Freezer Meal Recipes
Meatballs (3 dinners)
Seasoned Taco Meat (4 dinners)
Hamburger Patties (3 dinners)
Pulled Chicken (3 dinners)
Grilled Chicken (2 dinners)
Marinated Chicken (2 dinners)
Seasoned Pinto Beans (4 dinners)
Red Sauce (4 dinners)
Burritos (20 burritos)
Lasagna (2 dinners)
Enchiladas (3 dinners)
Granola (2 batches)

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If you’d like to make the above, print out the recipes that are linked above. Here’s the groceries that you’ll need:


Grocery List

The amounts are approximate. Check each recipe and compare its ingredients list to what you already have at home. You can click the print button at the bottom of this post, if you’d like to print the list. You can make adjustments as to your family size and likes..
15 pounds ground beef
10 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
5 pounds dried pinto beans
10 cups chopped onion
2 heads garlic
3 dozen corn tortillas
5 pounds cheddar cheese
20 flour tortillas
bread crumbs
olive oil
sunflower oil
enchilada sauce
tomato sauce
#10 can crushed tomatoes
6 eggs
milk
cream cheese
chicken broth
ingredients for your favorite chicken marinades
crushed red pepper
cumin
dried parsley
dried basil
kosher salt
oregano
garlic powder
onion flakes
chili powder
black pepper
bay leaf
peppercorns
onion powder
paprika
celery seeds
cayenne pepper

Here’s the method I followed:
Prep List:
shred cheese
chop onions and garlic
Cooking Plan:

1. Sort the beans and rinse. Soak according to package directions. I soaked them in the evening and let them cook overnight. The next day, I divided the mixture into freezer-safe containers. Cooled the beans to room temperature, and chilled in the fridge before freezing.

2. Cook four pounds ground beef. Season with taco seasoning mix. Portion into meal-sized containers. Cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge before freezing.

3. Form four pounds of ground beef into hamburger patties. (We like quarter-pounders.) Wrap, label, and freeze.

4. Start the red sauce on the stovetop. After it cooks for an hour, divide the sauce into meal-sized portions, cool, label, and chill in the fridge before freezing.

5. Make a bulk batch of meatballs (4 pounds) and get them started in the oven. Set the timer. When it rings, pull them out and allow them to cool to room temperature. Divide into meal-sized portions, label, and chill in the fridge before freezing.

6. Poach three pounds chicken. When done, shred, season, and allow the chicken to cool to room temperature. Divide into meal-sized portions, label, and chill in the fridge before freezing.

7. Prepare the marinated chicken in ziptop freezer bags. Freeze.

8. Season the chicken for grilling with a spice rub, like this one. Grill the chicken. Cool to room temperature. Divide into meal-sized portions, label, and chill in the fridge before freezing.

9. Prepare the granola. Set the timer. When it’s done, let the granola cool completely before packaging.

10. Cook the last three pounds of ground beef. Use it for the lasagnas and for burrito filling.

11. Assemble the lasagnas. Chill before freezing.

12. Assemble the burritos. Chill before freezing.

13. Assemble the enchiladas. Chill before freezing.


Costs

Time: two afternoons, so realistically, one FULL day

Money:Cost @ $300 for the ingredients to make about 30 meals to feed 8 people

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