Freezer Meal Tips/Advice/Random notes

Update from yesterday about the possible adoption placement…

They found the little one a home!
I asked my cw to call & make sure as I couldn’t get it out of my head. It wasn’t a phone call where they were in desperate need right away, they were gathering home studies of families that were interested to pick the best one. My cw texted me back that they did find a home for little one. YAY!

She also texted that she went to court for 15&16 this morning & parents are doing well, so they shouldn’t be with us much longer. no clue what “not much longer” really looks like, but that’s ok. I felt so much better after hearing both of those updates. I even got a strand of excitement over what God has for us next!

Tips/Advice/Random notes about freezer cooking…

you’re gonna get funny looks & comments when you go shopping. we completely fill up 2 shopping carts. this time the cashier said several interesting things to us…the first (after we had put a lot of stuff on the big belt) “Aw man, I saw y’all walking back & forth & hoped you wouldn’t come through my line.” Seriously??!!! how rude is that! oh well, it was W-mart at like 9pm on a Sat night. can’t expect much better. But overall she was nice to us. She seemed so confused about why we were together, why we were buying so much. She asked if we were roommates, then sisters, then finally got it that we are friends. her response “I never see older friends out together” OLDER FRIENDS!! HAHA!! didn’t know we were in the “older” category, but there ya go. then she (& all the other cashiers each time we’ve shopped) asked what we’re making. Then we went to B’shires for cheese since it was on sale. & the teenage guy bagging our food asked if we were having a cheese party. HA!! yes, we did buy THAT much cheese.

some tips, in no particular order:

  • pick people who cook & eat like you do, or close enough.
  • make sure everyone is onboard for the same serving sizes. we had been doing 4-6 portions, but our families seem to be growing & needed to do more like 8 servings each.
  • speak up if there’s something someone is going to make that your family will not eat. you might not be the only one in the group. that person can pick a different recipe. OR-you can trade where they get 2 of that dish & you get 2 of some other dish. there will probably never be a round where your family LOVES every single dish, but if you can get most of them where most
    of your family will eat them, great!
  • make decisions before hand about things your families don’t eat. if we do onions in recipes we puree them, & use a LOT less than called for since several of our families don’t like onions very much. same for peppers. Most of our families don’t like mushrooms, so besides cream of mushroom soup, we don’t cook with them. Or make them big enough they can easily be picked out.
  • most things can be frozen. you don’t have to pick meals just from freezer books/blogs. we have found that there are a few things that do better baking from frozen instead of thawing first. like anything with corn tortillas in it. also most pasta dishes.
  • a lot of pasta dishes can be partially made, but not all put together. measure out the dry pasta & put in a baggie, & measure out all cheeses in other baggies. put the sauce together & put in another baggie. put all those baggies in a large gallon baggie & freeze. then you can thaw it all out & prepare when you’re ready to eat it so it’s fresher than freezing it all together.
  • as for pans/baggies…Glad makes some black pans that are wonderful for freezing & baking in. Wmart carries them in 9×13, but not 8×8 size. we’ve mostly used the 8×8 size. they’re on the isle with the foil & paper goods at B’shires. they also have them on Amazon, so if you get a good size group together buy them that way & divide the cost. it’s much cheaper.
  • we use gallon & Qt freezer baggies for soups & pastas, & really almost everything now. I bring mine home & put them flat in the freezer so they freeze even & can stack. often with things like soups we double bag, just to be safe.
  • we use good ‘ole masking tape & sharpies for labeling everything. If you put it on the baggie before the food goes in it stays on & even doesn’t come off in the freezer. the best is the extra wide masking tape. I found it on the spray paint/duct tape isle at walmart.
  • don’t pre-bake casseroles. put them together & freeze. best thing is usually to bake from frozen, but then it takes a lot longer. BUT it tastes fresher that way.
  • crock pot meals are great! we do several of them each round. it’s more like you prepare the ingredients in baggies, so you can dump together. more like prep work & not as much pre-cooking. If that makes sense.

IF you have any questions let me know & I’ll try to answer as best as I can. we’re still doing a lot oftrial & error in this freezer cooking thing. but overall it has been AMAZING!!

  • it eliminates that “uh-oh, it’s 4:30 & I have no clue what we’re having for dinner!”
  • it helps the budget: our cheapest was about $6.75 per meal, & most expensive was this most recent round, which was around $10 per meal which is still not bad!
  • you can pick healthier ingredients! so you know what you are eating each night.
  • If you make enough it’ll be great to pack for lunch the next day, or serve to the toddlers for lunch (which I do a LOT!)
  • Or you can save your leftovers & have one night a week where you pull out all the leftovers & everyone gets something different. we do that a lot as well.

Have fun!! this has saved me so much time & I LOVE it!

every night my kid’s first question is “who made this?”
so funny. I don’t feel stressed about meals anymore.

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