When it comes to making up meals ahead of time for future use, it is important to stock up on the materials that you will need ahead of time. There is nothing worst than getting together all of your ingredients, baking and cooking up your meals and then…you don’t have the proper supplies to freeze them in.
As a home cook who makes a lot of meals and baked goods ahead of time, I thought it would be important to share my list of supplies that you will need to have on hand. I never know when the itch to cook up a bunch of food will hit so I keep the following stocked up and ready.
- Plastic Freezer Containers: 1 cup, 2 cup, 3 cup, 4 cup and 8 cup
- Aluminum Baking Pans: various sizes and heights
- Glass Mason Jars: jelly jar, pint jar and quart sized jars.
- Zipper Close Freezer Bags: quart and gallon size bags
- Labeling Supplies: Freezer Labels, Freezer Tape, Sharpie Marker
- Wraps: Freezer Paper, Plastic Wrap and Aluminum Foil, Wax Paper
Having this list lets me keep an eye out for sales on items I’m running low on or different sizes that I think could be helpful with a future meal. I do use the freezer bags the most because they are easy for storing. But I have quite a lot of freezer space so any casseroles or dishes that can be popped into the oven will go in an aluminum pan. I love having various sizes for things like enchiladas and lasagnas (I use 8×8 pans so 1 recipe makes 2 dishes). Aluminum pans make it easy for the kids to follow the directions and get dinner cooking if necessary.
I know some may be wondering about the glass jars and those can be a big lifesaver for liquids. They will stack nicely in the freezer and there is no risk of spilling. Beef or chicken stock to use for future recipes and sauces.
Emergency Tip: I keep 10 non-toxic frozen ice packs in my freezer at all times. If we should lose electrical power for a few days, these ice packs will preserve my frozen items until our power comes back on. I keep them strategically placed on various shelves in my upright freezer to keep the items cold. This is a great way to preserve your items should an emergency arise.
Additional Tips: I invested in a quality set of freezer safe containers that are stackable, dishwasher and microwave safe. These help to keep my freezer organized. I use mason jars to freeze my freezer jams, homemade soups, stews and sauces. All solid food items are frozen in storage bags or wrapped in freezer paper. It is important to read your labels and use up your older items before their expiration dates so rotate your items frequently by placing the newer items in the back and moving the older items to the front.