I talk a lot about having a back up plan in the kitchen, and this is where freezer meals are my best friend. I love the simplicity of knowing I have an entire meal ready to go in a snap. Even better, they usually take little to no effort and always make everyone happy. I love cooking, but some nights you just want a break, and this is where the beauty of the freezer meal comes into play.
Before we get started, it goes without saying that your life will be so much easier if you lay everything flat to freeze. It saves space and makes this whole process much more efficient.
A Beginner’s Guide to Freezer Meals
1. Freezer Staples
The most successful foods to freeze are meat and bread. I don’t trust freezing vegetables after an unintentional lettuce freezing that has put me off the whole thing. I know people do it without thinking twice, so if you want to go for it, do it! The advantage of freezer meals is that you can be creative and stock up on your family’s favorites.
2. Feed an Army
I do batch cooking, so when I make a meal it’s enough to feed hundreds of people. I realized that if I was going to be doing all this work, I may as well parlay it into several dinners! This is another one of those moments where I high five myself for being ultra prepared.
3. Portion Control
I divide all the leftovers from dinner into small, portioned freezer bags, then throw them all into one giant, labeled freezer bag and toss that into the freezer. This keeps all the same meals contained so I am not constantly searching for a specific item.
4. Stay Organized
Each of those small freezer bags get their own piece of tape with the meal name written on it. I stick those on top of my deep freeze. When I’m ready to get dinner going, I can just glance at the top of the freezer door and see what’s inside and how many portions are left. When I cook a meal, I just take the tape off and throw it away. This strategy is for a deep freeze, but I think you can adjust to suit your needs no matter what appliances you have.
5. Bonus Tip
My personal favorite thing in my freezer is my coffee ice cubes. I either do a second pour-over of the same grounds from the day (it’s a little weaker, and that’s okay!) or make a full pot of coffee just to freeze. I love having iced coffee in the afternoons, and this keeps it refreshing without watering down my very-much-needed caffeine!
What do you keep in your freezer? Share all your tricks with me!