That said, what works best for me, may not be the best for you.
There are absolutely no rules, so find what works for you and roll with it!
1.Decide on your approach
•Are you going to cook a full months worth of meals?
•Are you sticking with one meat?
•Do you just plan to have a mini cooking spree?
2.Survey what you have on hand
•Look through your stockpile, pantry, and refrigerator and make a quick list of items that could possibly be used. You will be surprised at how many ideas you will come up with just by looking around.
•Save yourself some bucks! I try to be as creative as I can with what is on hand….this makes the grocery list shorter and consequently cheaper.
•Example: Let’s say I am planning for a chicken cooking day. With a quick survey of the stockpile and fridge, I will see that I have spaghetti noodles, cheese, and cream of celery soup. With just one or two items I can put together Tetrazzini…one of my favorite freezer meals!
3.Check the sale ads
•Write down anything that is a great deal that you could possibly use
•This is often how I decide what meat I am going to use. When chicken hits a rock bottom price I stock up and make time for some cooking. Remember, a sale runs all week. If you are busy the week of the sale, buy the meat toward the back end of the sale (Sat or Sun) and cook up the following week.
4.Gather helpful resources
•Print off recipes from your favorite blogs (ie. The Cutting Back Kitchen)
•Invest in a few freezer cooking cookbooks. If you are having trouble thinking of things to make, this will help you immeasurably. I would highly recommend getting the Don’t Panic cookbooks…they are some of my favorites.
5.Finalize your recipes and make a list
•Narrow your list down…you don’t want to kill yourself
•Make a detailed shopping list
•Make a list of everything that can be done ahead of time and DO IT.
•Meat- many freezer cooking meals call for precooked meat. If you need cooked chicken, bake up all of your chicken in the oven, shred it, and store in the refrigerator for your cooking day.
•Veggies and Cheese- chop and shred anything you can ahead of time.
•The idea is that on your freezer cooking day, all you are doing is assembling your meals. It will go so much smoother, believe me…it is worth it!
What is your #1 tip when it comes to planning a freezer cooking day?
Please share, we can all learn from each other!
If you are new to this series, here are the links to the previous posts...
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday @ www.wearethatfamily.com