Do you want to practice hospitality and maximize your effort in the kitchen. How about making your your life simpler while saving time and money? Freezer cooking can do this for you.
There are various ways to go about filling your freezer with yummy and nutritious family friendly meals. Preparing freezer meals DOES NOT have to be a full days work or big undertaking. You can prepare one recipe or dozen at a time. I am going to share my philosophy of meal prep and ways to help your efforts and multiply your blessings to others. Be aware, it can be addicting.
Starting this fall I will have 2 big meal swaps to manage, but I will only be cooking for one of the groups. Before our meal planning session I assign food categories each month so we are not eating 12 Italian dishes. Every month we get together to meal plan, go home, shop, make 12 of the same meal, get back together the next month to swap our meals, and meal plan again. The cycle continues on and on. The freedom and flexibility of this way of cooking keeps us hooked.
Things to Remember:
Have others help in your efforts – Your local butcher will tenderize and cut up your meat for you. Often they need don’t need much advance notice, doesn’t hurt to ask. Rarely when buying meat in bulk will they charge for these services.
Use your computer – Organize your recipes, make my shopping list, and price book. A freezer full of dinners and a simple list to remind you what you have is all you need to plan a week’s menu in a few minutes.
Work smart – In twice the time it takes to make one lasagna, you can put together five. A little bit more time in preparation can save you a lot of time later.
Wash only once – Preparing many meals from one use of the pans saves time. Dinners like roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and apple crisp takes numerous pots, pans, and cutting boards to prepare. Getting several similar meal recipes together to prepare and only having to clean up once is a celebrated benefit of freezer cooking. I love maximizing my time this way.
Purchase in bulk – Bulk prices most of the time less per serving than buying in smaller quantities. Purchasing in bulk can cut down shopping time, because you will not have to shop as often.
Barter with your meals – Consider trading meals for services: babysitting, housecleaning, haircuts, lawn services, etc. In the past I made a money by selling my meals as a personal chef. One word of caution: don’t undercharge. Freezer meals are valuable and so is your time.
Multiply Your Blessings to Others:
Break bread with others – Hospitality is made simple when the main dish is in the freezer. In this situation I will pull out a frozen side dish and dessert too. When the meal is made ahead of time, you can focus your efforts on preparing your family, your home, and your table to be welcoming for guests.
Give a meal away – Be the first one to take a meal to a new mom or sick friend. Bring a meal to a new neighbor so you can get to know them better. With freezer meals you are able to care for people in crisis by meeting their tangible need for food.
No more fear of unexpected guests – With quick to thaw, and easy to serve meal options it is a joy to have people in our home, even unexpected ones. My family and faith community has taught me by example that no one should leave your home without being offered something to eat and drink. If your freezer isn’t full don’t forget you can simply offer a cookie to go with a cup of coffee.
I hope you will try out freezer cooking and let it change your life in many ways.