Have you ever done a freezer cooking session?
There you are, furiously chopping vegetables, measuring seasoning, browning ground beef, and portioning out chicken breasts for a couple of hours, and before you know it, dinners for the entire month are done.
It makes you feel like the most amazing woman.
After a feat like this, I imagine tiny roaring fans cheering me on as I pack the last ziploc bag into the freezer.
Yes, my feet may be tired from being in the kitchen working my cooking marathon, but the satisfaction of being done is so worth it.
There is no feeling quite like the burden of two weeks of cooking being lifted from my shoulders.
I have filled my freezer with meals before having a baby, before busy holiday seasons, and before moving (so I can pack everything except the slow cooker). And I do it when I just plain don’t want to cook that week or that month.
It is hands down my favorite way to get meals on the table for my family.
In the past, I would have done it more often, but taking the time to menu plan for it is killer.
I would often find myself spending more hours researching recipes and making a menu and shopping list than actually prepping and cooking.
How to Quickly Plan and Prep Freezer Meals
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Yes, lovely bloggers all over the internet make up menus and shopping lists that they share. But I am always so picky that the shopping list is useless to me because I don’t want to use all of their recipes.
One of the sites I have often gone to for freezer cooking inspiration is Once a Month Meals. They gather tasty freezer meals from all over and make them incredibly easy to search for by season, dietary type, and cooking type. You can even search by allergy and dietary restrictions or limit the results to kid-friendly and many other recipe types.
I am excited to start using freezer meals to not only save me time in the kitchen, but to focus on eating clean, healthy foods to help me meet my weight loss goals this year.
When I recently found out what paying members get on their site, I was all “shut up and take my money.” Members of Once a Month Meals can make customized menus and the site automatically creates a shopping list from that menu, no matter how many times you swap recipes or tweak serving sizes.
I love it! It seriously saves me so much time. Once I try out a menu and don’t like certain recipes, I can swap it out and try something else. If I don’t have time to make an entire month’s worth of meals, I can change it to only do two weeks worth, or one week.
Not only does it generate the recipe cards and shopping list for each menu, it creates prep instructions. I like to call this a chopping list, so I know exactly what and how many veggies and fruits to chop, slice, and dice before diving into my cooking day.
It also creates cooking day instructions that gives you step by step instructions to create your entire menu ( a total life saver for me because my kiddos interrupting me doesn’t knock me off track anymore), a thaw sheet you can put on the fridge that tells you how long and where to thaw your meals, and labels so you have serving day instructions at your finger tips. I also like to write the name of the meal on the bottom of the bag so it’s easier to find it in the freezer.
If you are a fan of freezer cooking, or seriously want to spend less time in the kitchen, I cannot recommend this site enough.
If you want to try before you buy, they are offering a free mini-menu (5 recipes plus all the extra time-saving goodies) so you can try out their system and see if it works for you.
Go to Once a Month Meals to learn more. They have all the info you need to learn how to start freezer cooking and they have live messaging to answer any of your questions. They are always very helpful to me.