I LOVE these tips from Kelley Z. – all about how to manage your Freezer stash! Kelley says:
So before you judge me or tell yourself you can’t do this just breathe. I am not perfect but I am a work in progress praise God!
Yes this is my freezer. Through trial and error (freezer burn, spilled containers and exploded soup containers) I have created a system that works for me. I am not a meal planner per say and I don’t use fancy spread sheets to budget or plan my meals. If you do – great! Any steps to being less stressed at meal time is the goal, right?
Here are my top 5 ways I have built a meal reserve in my freezer (of mainly protein dishes), which makes my life easier!
- If you are making a meal, make double it and freeze the other half for another night. For my little family of 3 it sometimes means that a double meal will make three or four meals. I also do this with pancakes, waffles, quesadillas, cookie dough and even pie!
- Use zip locks, freeze it flat and write the instructions on the bag with a Sharpie. No looking for instructions/recipes when you take it out.
- Keep a list on the freezer door or on the inside of a cupboard door like I do and cross off what you use as you go – no having to dig through the freezer wondering what’s in there!
- Make your own soup. We have soup one night a week. Stop buying heavily sodium/filler laden soups! Soup is SOOOO easy. Freeze any leftover veggies/chicken/potatoes from meals to use to make soup. I could write a whole other post on soup alone!!! Just ask me!
- Try something new! The internet is your friend. Plug in the ingredients you have on hand and look what kinds of recipes are at your fingertips!
And one last thing, remember to do what works for you! For my family the goal was to have healthier, less expensive meals that I could prepare EASILY!! I am already packing a breakfast and lunch for my husband for work as well as my son’s lunch. As my son gets busier I want to spend those few hours after school with him, not stressing in the kitchen. If two or three days a week I can wake up, throw something in the crockpot and then only have to make side dishes right before dinner then I have succeeded in my goal. Don’t have a big or second freezer? Only make a five meals to have on hand for a busier week. Keep it just the protein – add veggies/pasta later. Follow #2 and you will be surprised just how much you can fit! If you make something and it isn’t a hit in your family — so what, you tried! Don’t make it again. But keep trying. You probably already have a few favorites that you know everyone loves and can start there with the double prep!
Do the rest of you have any freezer tips to help those of us out who are hoping to get their stash going?