Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Freezer Cooking Part 1

My friend, Katy, and I are very similar in the ways we “freezer cook.”  Katy is a wife of a future pastor and stay-at-home mom of two energetic little boys.  She loves coffee, crafts, organizing, and finding new ways to use old things.  She blogs over at Kate’s Great CraftsHere’s what Katy has to say about freezer cooking…

There are two main ways to do freezer cooking. The first is to prepare an entire meal and freeze it, either in one larger dish or separated into portions. The second is to do ingredient freezer cooking, where you prep some or all of the ingredients for the meals, and freeze those. I personally do the second method.

Whichever method you choose, here are a few tips for effectively using your freezer.

1) Know which method works for you. We tried preparing extras of meals, freezing individual portions to grab when we needed quick meals. And they sat there. And sat there. Until we threw them out.
2) Know what you eat. If you find a great sale on cauliflower, and stock up your freezer, but everyone in your family hates the taste, it doesn’t make much sense. After awhile you’ll figure out which ingredients you like to have ready to pull out of the freezer, and which ones you probably don’t need up there.  You’ll also discover how quickly you go through certain ingredients, and you can stock up when they’re on sale, and save money.  Bonus!
3) Know how you organize things. Whether you use containers or ziploc bags, you need to know what’s up there. You could group items by which meal they’ll be used for. You could put all the chopped veggies on one side, all the meats in the middle, and the breads/baked goods on the top. You could put a list on the fridge, or go take a peek before you make your grocery list. Whatever works for you.

Benefits of Freezer Cooking:

1) Waste Less.  I no longer find half an onion rotting in the back of the fridge, or wilted celery, or moldy peppers.  It’s all preserved in the freezer.
2) Save Time.  Yes, getting home from the store and chopping up bags of veggies takes a chunk of time.  But then it’s all done.  It’s pretty nice going to make soup, and simply having to dump a few containers in a pot and let it simmer for awhile, knowing that the ingredients are fresh and simple.
3) Save Money.  By ingredient freezer cooking, you can stock up on meat and produce when it’s at it’s lowest price, and not when you remember that you need or want it.  And, a full freezer uses less energy than an empty one.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!

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