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Group Freezer Meals

freezer-meals-makingI’ve been a part of a freezer meal group for almost two years and while I won’t go as far to say that it’s changed my life, I will say it makes it a whole heck of a lot easier. Me and three other wonderful ladies get together once a month and make meals that we can use all month long.
A Typical Month:
  • Each family gets 7-12 recipes that easily makes left overs to create many meals.
  • Cost $65 – $120 a month
  • We strive to eat as organically and shop as locally as possible.
  • Non-cooking prep work (meal planning, ingredients, shopping, etc.) takes everyone a few hours.
  • Cooking day takes anywhere from four to six hours
Benefits of Freezer Meal Cooking: 
  • TIME SAVER! At the beginning of the week,  I put a few meals from the freezer into the fridge and don’t worry about dinner until 4 or 5:00pm each day. I’m spending very little time cooking!
  • Easy clean up!  Because the majority of the work has already been done, you’re basically cleaning up the dishes you ate on.
  • Money Saver – when you buy and cook in bulk, it makes things much cheaper.
  • I love my girl time. As twisted as it sounds, we consider cooking nights as girl nights, because we have so much fun doing it! I don’t like the actual cooking part, because I just don’t like to cook, but when you are in a kitchen for four hours with someone else you’re bound to laugh a lot. For us, it’s a time to get encouraged by one another, share the ups and downs of parenting and build better relationships.
  • Because it’s becoming more and more common, there are lots of new recipes to try. Pinterest literally has four million crockpot posts.
Cons of Freezer Meal Cooking: 
  • It is one exhausting day of cooking and I always smell like onions and garlic for like three days after.
  • We have made some DISGUSTING meals. We once tried a sausage and sweet potato soup that I can still taste in the back of my throat. So gross.
  • If you do it with a group, you have to work around other families likes and dislikes, which can at times be a challenge.
  • There is a learning curve to cooking. There are some things that just don’t freeze well and you have to over season when making big batches of food so that it doesn’t taste bland.
Where We Get Our Food: 

Individual Responsibilities:
1. Meal Planning – we have a binder that has every recipe we’ve tried for the last two years. We have a lot of staples (lasagna, baked ziti, taco soup) but every month we need a variety, so one person starts the menu and sends it to everyone for approval.

2. Ingredient break downs – this person should be super detail-oriented, because they take each recipe and quadruple it, then break it apart to make a master grocery list.

3. Co-Op buyer – from that master grocery list, we decide what should be bought locally and what needs to be bought from a grocery store. Then someone will go to the co-ops and farmers market to buy the ingredients. We plan our cooking date around co-op days.

4. Grocery buyer – this person is in charge of buying anything left of the list.

5. Meat cookers and Food Prepper: Most of the chicken is cooked before cooking day because we make our own chicken stock to use in our meals, and because some meals call for cooked chicken. It’s also easier if your veggies are already chopped to fit each recipe.

6. Cooking Day – We usually cook at our church kitchen, but we’ve all cooked at each other’s kitchens too. But before you start cooking, figure out what kitchen appliances and gadgets you’ll need (food processors, big pots, good knives, etc.)

prepared-freezer-meals

What we made in March: 
Chicken pot pie
Honey mustard chicken
Taco meat
Shepherd’s pie
Baked ziti
Chicken spaghetti
Spaghetti with garlic gravy
Breakfast burritos
Banana flax seed pancakes
Total Cost $82 per person
Regardless if you’re a working mom or stay at home mom, freezer meals are worth trying. There are so many thing that take over your time and this is one way to take back your evenings with your family. Before I started this, if I didn’t have time to cook we inevitably got fast food or take out, which can be expensive or horribly bad for you. Now, I don’t have to think about it, because I know there is always something already made in my freezer.

Have you tried freezer meals? What are your thoughts or tips?

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5 Responses to Group Freezer Meals

  1. Avatar
    Katie April 30, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    I love doing freezer meals….especially AFTER all the planning and cooking is done 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Jennifer May 1, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    I LOVE freezer meals … need to get back into them! They are money saver and time saver and mess saver (only have to make the mess once!)

  3. Avatar
    Danielle May 29, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    This sounds awesome! I’ve been trying to find people that do this. It sounds like a super efficient meal plan! Would you be willing to accept a new person to join your group?

  4. Avatar
    Chelsea Watkins January 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Whitney,

    Do you have a specific site you have used to look for recipes? I have heard several people say a lot of the “freezer meals” on Pinterest haven’t been good.

  5. Avatar
    Jan Mazzolini July 12, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    I am 59 and looking for a group of women to do this with. Any suggestions?

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