Freezer cooking, can also be known as bulk cooking and the process of cooking an entire month’s meals in one weekend. Or in our case here at OAWC, taking a couple of hours and doing a week or two’s meals. While that may seem like an overwhelming task, it is actually quite doable. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier:
- Partner Up: If you have a family member or friend who is interested in freezer cooking, partner up with them. It will be easier to get started when you have someone to cook with. Together, you can scope out the best deals at the stores, and of course, share in the work. It’s also even more fun to cook with others.
- Keep Notes: As you start freezer cooking, keep that meal plan handy. If you find a certain recipe works better with a different ingredient, jot it down. If you find yourself going through more quart sized freezer bags than you planned for, write it down on a main cooking list. When you begin your meal planning for the next month, you can look back at your notes and be better prepared. Plus, you’ll want to note which entrees your family loved, and which ones didn’t go over as well.
- Pare Down: If you find that planning and cooking your meals for a whole month to be too much work for one weekend, simply pare down. Try cooking 15 entrees instead of 30. You will still have two weeks of meals ready to go. Or you can just take a weekend to make several things your family enjoys. For example, if your family loves lasagna or a certain type of casserole, make a few of them and stick them in the freezer. When you are having a busy week and need a quick dinner, simply take a lasagna out and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and pop it into the oven when you’re ready to eat. We have a few family favorites such as chicken enchiladas that are always in the freezer for a quick meal.
- Ask For Help: Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to help you plan, shop, and cook. If you have an infant or toddler and want someone to help keep them busy while you are cooking, ask a young teen from your neighborhood to come over and help you keep an eye on them. A younger teen will normally charge less than older, more experienced babysitter would. You’ll be on hand if your child needs you, and it could be a good idea to start building relationships with the young teens in your area, as they will be the prime “babysitting age” as your child grows.
If your first attempt at freezer cooking doesn’t quite go as planned, keep trying. You probably weren’t the world’s greatest driver the first time you drove a car, and I’m sure your first attempt at writing looked pretty horrible. Don’t give up, the easy meals are well worth it. With a little practice, you could just end up being the town expert on 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.
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