Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freezer Cooking Questions and Misconceptions: Answered

Many misconceptions are out there on the topic of freezer cooking. There also seems to be many questions afloat. While I don’t have all the answers, I want to share all of the knowledge I do have.

Let’s start with the common misconceptions…


1. Freezer cooking is expensive.

While anything can be expensive if you let it, it doesn’t have to be. I do my entire freezer cooking within my $40 weekly budget. I get $80 out bi-weekly, so sometimes when I am freezer cooking I will use a little more one week, and a little less the next. This is something that you have to make work for you and your situation.

While everyone should be on a budget, the amount of that budget will vary from family to family. Some find the rhythm of freezer cooking once a month works best for their budget and yet others find just doubling a few meals fits in their budget more easily.

It is important to remember that while you may spend a large portion of your grocery budget freezer cooking, you will enjoy a lot of meals in the future…so your spending will be less those weeks.

I find that I end up actually saving money by freezer cooking. I have less waste and meals are stretched further, which in turn equals more money in my pocket.

2. You need a big freezer to be successful at freezer cooking.

When I began freezer cooking, I bought into this misconception. We purchased a large stand up freezer (which we had wanted for a long time) so I could begin freezer cooking like crazy. While I have enjoyed it and it makes lilfe easier, it is not a necessity for freezer cooking. Now, if you want to purchase a quarter of a cow...you better get one.

I would recommend saving for one at some point, just because they allow you to store more and stock up on more deals.

Hint: If you don't have a large freezer package all you can in freezer bags to save space.

3. Casseroles, Casseroles, Casseroles!!!

Some people believe that all you can freeze are casseroles. This is entirely false. I do everything from marinating meat, to side dishes, to shredded BBQ chicken, to refried beans, to cookie dough, to muffins. The sky is the limit; it just takes proper planning and some creativity.

I do make some casseroles...sometimes you just crave a good old casserole!


1. Does freezer cooking really save time?


Let’s say that I am making Lasagna for dinner tonight. Let’s assume it is going to take me 45 minutes to put together (not including baking time). I have to brown the meat, make my filling, make my sauce, assemble etc.

If I make Lasagna once a week, I am spending 3 hours a month preparing it. That may not seem so bad, but look at it this way…

If it takes me 15 minutes to brown the pound of meat, how much longer would it take to brown 4 pounds of meat? Maybe an extra 5 minutes? If it takes 15 minutes to make the filling, how much longer would it takes to stir 4 meals worth? Maybe another extra 5 minutes?

So, those 3 hours of making up lasagna can dwindle down to just over an hour pretty quickly!

Combine that with several other meals and you are saving a substantial amount of time. Not to mention the dishes…you will get them all done on the prep day…which leaves you with 3 weeks of lasagna and no dishes!

2. Does the food taste funky?

Freezer cooking…it just sounds weird, doesn’t it?

I can assure you, the food will taste the same (if you are freezing the right kinds of things)! This is coming from one of the pickiest eaters…quality wise. I am not so picky when it comes to what I eat, but the pickiness arises when it comes to how it was prepared.

3. Do you make whole months worth of meals in one day?

There are many approaches to freezer cooking. Just about every person I have talked to has their own approach. I change it up from time to time.

It depends on how much time you have, how much you are planning on cooking, and so on. Sometimes I will just double or triple a meal. Sometimes I will plan a whole days worth…or more.

If you are just beginning, I would suggest starting small!

4. Do you stick with one type of meat each cooking day?

I try to freezer cook in conjunction with sales. I understand that everyone may not have the flexibility to do this, but it saves a lot of money. If I see that boneless chicken breasts are on sale for $1.79, I know that is a stock up price. Instead of enjoying two chicken meals for that low price I may buy enough for 25 meals and store them in the freezer.

Take advantage of the sales.

I do tend to stick with one meat at a time because of this. It is definitely not something you have to do, I just find it usually works best for me.

I will be back with the next freezer cooking post next week.
I hope you are enjoying them so far!

Do you have any freezer cooking questions that didn't get answered?


Misty said...

This is a GREAT post! I am a HUGE fan of freezer cooking and before I started I dealt with each of those misconceptions, but was quickly proven wrong. Though cooking up a storm 1 day or a couple afternoons when chicken/beef are on sale is work, it is worth it when you have prepared meals in the freezer on busy nights! This has been a HUGE savings when it comes to our eating out.

Katie said...


I know, many peope just don't do it because they believe stuff like that.

I think it takes trying it to really understand the full benefit of it! Don't you think?

Mom2fur said...

I'll tell you something it saves besides money and time...your sanity. Seriously, some nights I totally have NO desire to cook. It is such a blessing to pull something from the freezer, like the meat patties I made last week. Even just having meat browned and ready is a helper!
I also recommend a freezer. They don't have to be expensive. Ours was only $150! The only thing I'd do different is that I'd get one that opens like a fridge rather than my chest freezer. Digging in there can be a pain, LOL!

Katie said...


Sanity...I totally agree with you. In fact, how did I leave that out!

I have an upright freezer and I love it. It is easy to find everything and keep it organized.

Thanks for your input!

LivingSoAbundantly said...

Freezer cooking absolutely saves time. It's like a freezer section at a grocery store. Two benefits my husband and I have enjoyed: We get to pick what we want to eat that day. I can come home from work, kick up my feet and relax...ahhh! Great post!

Katie said...

Living So Abundantly,

I have never thought of it like a freezer section at the grocery...I like that.

You can peruse your freezer and grab whatever you want...with no work involved!

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