I keep threatening to tell you about my Freezer Cooking exploits so here goes. As part of my “tightening our belts” and “being more organised” plan I read a lot of blog posts about freezer cooking mostly from the States which had great ideas but weren’t great in practise for an Irish girl like me.
Basically Freezer Cooking in the US is when you take an afternoon out do a huge batch of dishes for your freezer after bulk buying with coupons at Walmart or Costco ect.
- I don’t do coupons and we don’t have huge clearance places, so buying in bulk wasn’t always an option.
- I also have two small freezers so can’t store months worth, I still lament the passing of my old chest freezer – RIP old friend.
- Also I didn’t really want to spend all afternoon or day at this I have lots of fun stuff to do.
Anyway while looking more closely at my shopping habits I stated to notice that every few weeks my local supermarket would do special offers on steak mince and my local butchers would do a special of 10 large chicken breast for 10 euro (bargain !!) But what was I going to do with these specials, I like chicken as much as the next carnivore but can’t eat that much in one sitting.
Here is where Freezer Cooking for me became a reality – Instead of just chucking the whole lot in the Freezer without think, it take less than an hour out of my day and I can prepare 6 meals to go in the Freezer that can easily be thrown in a slow cooker in the morning for dinner in the evening. So an hour one day saves me loads of time on those days when I am up to my eyes with the million and one things.
And because I brought all the meat and a lot of the veg on special offer it means those meals are saving us money in the long run because there is always something in the freezer to pull out for dinner instead of resorting to take out.
Freezer Shop Shopping List
Steak Mince – 2 packs for 5 Euro
Chicken Breast – 10 for 10 Euro
Onions 39c Aldi special
A bag of Peppers – 99c
Carrots 99c a bag
Mushrooms 99c a punnet
Garlic 99c for 3
White wine sauce – Aldi 99c
Spanish Chicken Sauce -Aldi 99c
Tinned Tomatoes – Aldi 35c x2
Mixed Beans – Aldi 59c
Balti Sauce – Aldi 99c
Passata -Aldi 59c
Store cupboard was used – things like spices and chilli and Thai sauce.
Total – € 23.21 which divided by 6 is €3.85ish per meal and our meals feed 4 people – a lot less than take away.
You will need Freezer Bags or Containers – I use bags it is just easier for me.
How to get it done in less than an hour.
1. Get everything out on the counter to prepare.
2. Brown all the mince in a pan , I usually do with onion and garlic and let cool.
3. While the mince is browning, peal and chop the carrots and the rest of the onions and the mushrooms, the garlic and the peppers.
4. Get out the bags and label with the meals you plan to make – this session I made Chicken and white Sauce, Bolognese Sauce, Chilli, Spanish Chicken, Balti and Thai Chicken. I also put directions for slow cooker times in case I am not the one putting them in.
5. I dice the chicken as I am putting in the bags so I know that 2 1/2 Breast are going in each bag but you can always prep this before if you wish.
6. For each bag I add the ingredients – so for example the Chicken in White wine – I added the chicken, a cup of chopped mushrooms, half a large chopped onion, two handfuls of chopped carrots and two chopped cloves of garlic and the sauce.
And for the Balti it was Chicken, Mushrooms, Onions and Balti spices – I usually add fresh spinach in the slow cooker.
7. With the mince I make one batch of Bolognese Sauce with Passata and Chopped tomatoes , Italian herbs. And a batch of Chilli with the Beans, Chopped Chilli, Peppers and Tinned tomatoes.
I wait until Mince dishes are cold and then fill my tiny freezers with lovely dinners. I usually only have to do this every 3/4 weeks as I mix freezer meals with fresh dinners over the week if you look at my Meal Planner here – which has a free Meal planner Printable.
Let me know how you do your Freezer cooking – if that is something you do.
I love getting new ideas about organising things. So feel free to comment below 🙂