Did you know it's National Frozen Food Month? Well, it is and I made freezer meals to celebrate! Jk, I'd already planned to make my freezer meals. I coincidentally found out it was a holiday and decided to pretend I was celebrating.
In December, I set a goal to plan and make dinners more often, and I failed miserably because of finals and the craziness of the holiday. I've gotten really good at putting meal plans together lately, but not so awesome about following through. On Saturday, I decided to prepare freezer meals to help myself out. Because my parents have a lot of counter space, my mom agreed to let me take over her kitchen for the day and even offered to help me prep meals. I spent some time on Pinterest, finding meals that would be good to freeze, made a grocery list and printed off a list of the meals I wanted to make. I went shopping for food and supplies Saturday morning and we spent four hours that afternoon cooking, prepping, organizing, bagging and freezing meals.
My little deep freeze and our normal kitchen freezer are both stuffed full of food that is healthy and will be easy to prepare. I am so excited to get back into the groove of homemade dinners and leftovers for lunch the next day. I think Joe is excited too, because I don't have any excuse to not make dinner any more.
- More quality time with your spouse: If I don't have to spend time in the kitchen preparing a meal every day, I can spend that time chatting and catching up with Joe when he gets home from work or when I get home from class. Bonus: Less dishes to do because of minimal meal prep, giving us even more time to spend together.
- More time to work on your to do list: Most of the meals are for the crock pot. I just have to dump the contents of the bag in before work and I'm good to go. When I get home from work I can clean, put my clothes away, take the puppy on a walk, work on homework, etc. Those are all reasons I don't end up cooking dinner, I get too caught up in my to do list and I don't want to take an hour break to put together and clean up a meal.
- Better for your finances: When I'm too lazy to make a meal, we end up going to Wendy's, Arby's or somewhere else that sounds yummy. It only feels like a few dollars, but that adds up, and it doesn't give us leftovers for lunch so we usually end up going out for that meal as well. We won't be eating out as much and our envelope won't deplete quite as quickly so we'll have more saved up for when we want to go on a dinner date somewhere nice.
- Healthy: I've been trying to lose weight for well, a few years and I'm obviously failing. A lot of my problem is all of the eating out I do and all of the quick, high calorie, high carb things I eat because they're quick and easy. The freezer meals I've prepped give me more motivation to eat healthy and hopefully start to feel healthy again.
- You'll feel like an awesome wife: I felt like a great wife that first year of our marriage. I always made meals, my husband had awesome leftovers to take to work, and we spent a lot of time eating dinners together. My newlywed self would be so ashamed of how lazy I've gotten. I am my own role model and because I know I can do it, it makes me that much more determined to get back on track.
Update: I've had a lot of you request the recipes that I used for freezer meals. This is my list, but you might find others that your family would like when you search Pinterest. I tried to clean up the formatting as best I could on Google Drive and I've included the link to most of my sources but some of them came from my own recipe file and I didn't have the source written down. I realize a lot of them are simple, combine ingredients and cook in the crock pot but having them prepared ahead of time eliminates chopping time or easy for my husband to throw in the crock pot before he walks out the door to work.
What are your favorite freezer meal recipes and how have they helped you?