Moms are busy. Whether you are fortunate enough to get to focus on raising your kids or you have to juggle a job, it’s a lot of work! For me, trying to balance deadlines, laundry, getting the kids to school and finding time to exercise makes me crazy. Toss in the added responsibility of making healthy, home-cooked meals for our family every night and something loses. Usually it’s the dinner.
Freezer meals allow you to set aside a few hours one day to do a little preparation so you can save time the rest of the week. Sundays work great for us because we have church in the morning and then the rest of our day is really low key since we set it aside for family time and relaxation. If you want to save a lot of time and energy during the week and still be able to feed your family something that doesn’t come out of a box, here are a few ways you can make freezer meals manageable:
Have a menu: Before you can even begin to prep freezer meals, you need a plan. Create a menu and hit the grocery store. You can save a little cash by creating your menu based on sales items at your local grocery store. Take this time to hit up any local farmers market before they close up for the season. Don’t’ forget to ask your family what meals sound good for the week. Once you have a menu, you can make a shopping list and head to the store.
Keep it simple: You don’t have to precook everything and then freeze it. Keep it simple by pre-cutting, chopping and dicing items, tossing them in a freezer bag and storing the baggie in the freezer. Not only will this save preparation time, you can just pull the meal out of the freezer the day you need it and dump them directly into your slow cooker. You may need to precook casseroles that have noodles. Otherwise think easy.
For beginners, start with meals that are easy to put together and items that freeze well. For example, dice up some chicken, onions, mushrooms, peppers and potatoes, pile in a freezer bag and freeze. When you pull it out, you can toss it in your slow cooker, add some spices and presto. The easier the meals, the less time you have to spend prepping.
Precook some things: Some things, like noodles, need to be precooked before they can be frozen. If you have time, you may also think about precooking chicken or turkey. You can slice, dice or shred the meat and refreeze it or store it in the fridge for quick sandwiches or salads.
Do you freeze meals ahead of time, if so what kind?
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