If you have wanted to try out freezer cooking but thought you would have to purchase 30 freezer-safe casserole dishes beforehand, you are in luck. As it turns out you only need one or two of them! Here are some tips on how to freeze and store all of your meals:
- Stock up on aluminum foil, jumbo sized plastic storage bags, and both gallon and quart sized plastic freezer bags. Around the holidays the aluminum pans go on major sales. We shop at Costco for our storage bags, buying in bulk saves a lot. No room to store bags in bulk? Go in with a friend to share the boxes and still get the discount.
- To make the most of your freezer space, try to freeze your foods as flatly as possibly. You will be able to stack them on top of each other and fit more food into your freezer.
- To freeze casseroles, you’ll simply line the casserole dishes with enough aluminum foil to come up over the sides of the dish. After the casserole is assembled, bring the foil up and cover the casserole tightly, and then wrap it in a second freezer bag.
- Once the casserole is frozen, remove it from the outer bag, pop the frozen casserole out of the dish, and place the aluminum foil wrapped casserole back into the freezer bag. When it is time to cook the casserole, remove it from the freezer and place in the same baking dish to thaw. Once thawed, take it out of the freezer bag and cook. Since it is lined with the aluminum foil, clean up will be a breeze! Simply throw the foil out and wash the dish!
- As you know, a full freezer is more efficient. To prepare your freezer to freeze all the food, wash out your empty milk gallons and fill with water. Place them in your freezer. And if you wanted to quick-freeze something on your cooking day, all you need to do is take out one of the frozen gallon jugs and smack it on some cement to start cracking the ice. Place the cracked ice and the items you want quick-frozen into a smaller camping-type cooler. They’ll be frozen in no time!
- Make it a point to label each freezer bag. You can write the name of the entrée and the reheating instructions on a piece of paper and stick it inside the bag, on top of the aluminum foil covered casserole or write the instructions on the bag with a permanent marker. Another idea is to print out the information on packing slip labels ahead of time and just peel and stick as you cook and freeze your items.
- Keep track of the meals you have on hand by placing a magnet mounted whiteboard on your freezer door. If you add three lasagnas, two portions of chicken fajita meat, two beef stews and one ham casserole, write them on your board. As you take things out of the freezer to thaw, erase them. It can be easy to forget what you have previously made, and if you don’t remember it’s there, you’ll never be able to use it!
- If you don’t have a deep freeze, try bulk cooking in two-week inventories. By freezing things flatly you should be able to store two weeks worth of food in a normal sized freezer. Our menu plan is set up for very small spaces and weekly freezer cooking.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
Please be aware that some links used are to affiliates. They are almost always to products I use and love.