Freezer Meals

Yesterday we had to say no to a possible adoptive placement.
A HEARTBREAKING, STOMACH CHURNING Experience.

we would have said yes, but we don’t’ know how long 15&16 will be with us.
it could be a few weeks or a few months. we probably could handle one more, but it’d most likely be even more of a zoo around here! 4 kids 2 & under…um. WOW!
& we’re kind of fond of routine & simplicity. (to which you might be saying HAHA!)
the little one they called us about is the gender & race that I’ve been
wanting for so very long. since the parents rights are already terminated, this 99% will end in an adoption. SIGH. Yesterday they looked at home studies & today they hoped to move the little one to a permanent foster/adopt family. It sure would be nice to have said yes to this little one. To know that we wouldn’t have to go through up to a year (or more) of visits & wondering what was going to happen sure would have been nice.I hope & pray they found a family out there much better for the little one than us, & vice versa.Even though I’ve said no to more placements than I’ve said yes to (I think, I’d have to re-count)
it’s still hard to say no.

every single time.

seriously, every time.

SO…..onto the main topic: freezer meals.
I’ve been doing them for about a year & a half now. the first 9 or so months
there were 4 of us. we had 5 categories of food & we’d rotate between them. so
it’d look something like this:

Mexican-ML
American-JW
Italian-HW
Soups-MS
Breakfast or Ethnic

Each week we’d move down a category. if someone wanted to take the empty category you’d justtell everyone else, then go back into your spot in order the following week. Every week you’d make 4 of the same dish in your category. then we’d meet once a week & swap meals. It was a pretty good way of doing it. more often than not I’d be doing my meal that morning, or even right before we swapped. we had several different girls join& leave the group for various reasons.

When it got down to just my friend Jerri (we started
doing it together when she went back to work full time) & I , we completely re-organized. we each picked 5 recipes, made one mega shopping list, shopped together & split the cost. we then spent a whole Sunday afternoon & evening cooking all those recipes. A few other friends saw our FB posts about it & asked to join. Now there are 6 of us!! we meet about once a month. sometimes there’s just 4 of us, & other times all 6 of us make it. each person emails out their
2 or 3 recipes (depends on how many total people we have). I create a mega shopping list. Then Jerri & I go shopping the Sat night before. we generally try to have 14 or so meals each round. enough that we don’t have to do it again for awhile, but not so many that we’re cooking very late.

4 of us just did a round this past Sunday. here’s a list of the things we made it ended up being$156.85 per family for all these meals. This is the most expensive round we’ve done. BUT, the last few had been short on portions, so we beefed up portions this time. so double the cost, but double the amount of food as well.

  1. Home made pizza rolls
  2. Mexican Chicken Casserole – we had this a few times back & it is so good! & only 7 WW points plus a serving (at 6 servings per pan) we try to get all low or fat free ingredients.
  3. Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
  4. Broccoli Supreme – we’ve had this a few times. it is one of my favorites!
  5. Tomato Basil Soup & Ham/Cheese Rolls
  6. French Toast Casserole
  7. Chicken Enchiladas
  8. Sausage Egg Breakfast Casserole
  9. Lawnmower Taco (a taco meat/chips casserole)
  10. Shish-K-Bobs
  11. Chicken Pot Pie
  12. Easy Ranch Pork
  13. Shredded Beef Tacos
  14. Crockpot Ravioli Casserole – this was good. but it made a TON. & I like my pasta with LOTS of sauce. this one the sauce all got absorbed so it was kind of like pasta & meat. but it was good & had enough for several leftover lunches.

For more ideas to get you going here’s what we did last time:

  1. Southwest chicken wraps – these were one of everyone’s favorites.
  2. Breakfast Burrito – These are great!! the kids can just pop them in the microwave in the mornings before school. we made an assembly line & you could make yours however you wanted. w or w/o onions/peppers/hashbrowns. etc.
  3. Meatloaf Minis – baked in muffin tins, then just thaw & reheat! I also have a recipe where we don’t bake them until the night you want to eat them. i’ll put that on here sometime as well.
  4. Skinny Sloppy Joes – from skinnytaste.com, which is one of my favorite healthy cooking sites. she has all her recipes w/ WW points & Pnts plus listed.
  5. Bourbon Chicken  & rice – um, this was WAY not enough for each family. sad. the recipe said it served 4, try like 2, maybe. but it was pretty good. we measured out uncooked rice & put in a baggie to go with it. yep, you can freeze uncooked rice, or you can just leave it in your pantry. but I like mine all together so when I pull it out it’s all there.
  6. Cheese and Chicken Shells
  7. Chicken Chili
  8. Pizza Casserole – YUM!!
  9. Cranberry Catalina Chicken-
  10. 3-2-1 soup
  11. Meatballs-pre-cooked. so you can do whatever you want with them
  12. Chicken Noodle Casserole – good!
  13. Taco Calzone-taco meat, cheeses, salsa, etc…in a dough. ready to bake (here’s my fav pizza dough recipe. it makes 2 doughs.- yet again, we didn’t do enough for each family. 1 calzone is not enough for a family of 4-6. we’ll do 2 next time. completely assemble, then wrap in saran wrap & freeze. you can thaw in fridge then cook, or cook from frozen.

this is my freezer & fridge the night after we cooked. there are 3 shelves in the freezer PACKED with meals, & 3 of the meals are in those big baggies on my second from top shelf of the fridge.

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