"What's for dinner?"
The dreaded question.
Last year I participated in a freezer meal swap group and I loved it! There were eight of us in the group. We would decide on meals ahead of time, then go home and make one recipe x8 and put them in freezer bags. The next month we would swap meals and go home with 8 different meals for the month. That is two meals a week, and I really enjoyed the freedom of not having to think about what was for dinner. If I knew we were going to have a busy day, I would pull a meal out of the freezer either the night before or in the morning, then bake it and add a side. Voila! Dinner is served!
I won't be in a freezer swap group this year, so for the past few weeks I have been preparing for the school year by stocking my freezer little by little. On days when I have had a little more motivation, I looked around my pantry to see what I could make into a freezer meal. Other days I purposefully made a double batch of dinner in order to freeze one for later.
Some weeks chicken was on sale so I made some for dinner and then made up several different freezer chicken meals, either cooked or raw with a marinade. Other weeks hamburger was on sale so I froze taco meat and meatloaf. One day I didn't have any meat on hand, but I had noodles, cream cheese, and other ingredients, so I made homemade macaroni and cheese to freeze. Another time we had leftover diced ham, so I made a ham casserole to add to the freezer. Of course I've also made lots of rhubarb berry freezer jam, strawberry freezer jam, and strawberry syrup. Yum!
I love the ingredient search option on allrecipes.com. Type in a few ingredients you have on hand, and even a few you don't, and see what options you might have on hand to make into a meal!
Some days are whirlwind-like, but knowing I have a good dinner in the freezer ahead of time can save me from asking Ted to stop for some take-out on the way home. It saves money and is more healthy, too!
What kind of freezer meals do you like to make ahead? I have some recipes here you might like to try, but I am always looking for more ideas. Please share! :-)