The idea of OMG I am gonna make 52 meals all at one time! It's going to take forever! Where am I going to put all that! Will I need 4 carts at the grocery store?!?!
Freezer cooking isn't something to be afraid of. Freezer cooking is your friend :) I am not going to tell you how to stock for a whole year, but I can help you stock during the crazy holidays.
You will need 1-2 hours to do all this. A tiny price to pay for TONS more free time and less time thinking about what's for dinner :)
So let's start slow and arm ourselves with some common sense too.
1. Start easy. I first used (and still use) the Six Sister's Stuff 8 Meals in an hour. Yes, it only takes an hour and they include the shopping list and recipe list. EASY!
2. Organize yourself! Have your zipper bags ready with the meals and cooking instructions already done.
I also arrange all my ingredients by recipe as shown above. This makes it easy when I start putting the bags together.
3. I only needed to cook two meat items beforehand this time and I get those going first and then get to chopping!
Rachel Ray always said something about chopping once if you need it twice. Do all your veggie prep beforehand. I arrange mine in these handy bowls I got in packs of 4-5 for $1 at Dollar Tree. Again, easier for the assembly line.
Rachel Ray always uses a trash bowl and I HIGHLY recommend one for this too. Otherwise it gets ugly really fast!
4. Keep the meat out of the way till the end. I am a little grossed out by meat since we went mostly vegetarian (although I love to eat it...weird I know). So I keep it in the fridge until I need it. The prep takes the majority of your time, assembling is the quick part so you don't want it hanging out on your counter that long anyways. This also prevents contamination. Yuck!
5. I end up with a lot of large cartons, cans and glass jars after this. I usually put these all in the sink and rinse for disposal during cleanup.
6. CLEANUP - yes, it's bad afterwards. But honestly all of my organization techniques help this go a lot more easily! Tackle one area at a time. Put away leftover ingredients, clean up trash, clean dishes, etc.The best part? This nice little stack of meals waiting in your freezer. Many of these feed my family more than once and I keep adding new recipes to my list and try a couple more each time I do freezer cooking. I'm not up to 50 by any means, but this stash of meals is a tremendous help!
For example, when we came back from my parents for Thanksgiving it was so much easier coming home knowing I had stashed enough meals so I didn't have to do major grocery shopping for almost a week. SCORE!
Another unexpected blessing is my grocery bill is definitely going down! I have no idea how, when I figure that out, I will let you know.
I tried these great breakfast muffins this time too and these are great for people like me who love hot breakfasts but hate cooking in the morning or have no time.