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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stock Your Freezer:
Nine Meals Under $3.00 Per Person!

This past Sunday, a friend came over and we worked hard for five hours to make this:

Well, in fact, we made more than what you see in this picture. This is just my half of what we made (and there's one chicken dish missing... 'cause we ate it right away)!

That's nine meals prepped for my freezer at a cost of $2.20 per person. Nine meals that, even with the addition of one or two side dishes and/or pasta, cost under $3.00 per person. Note that many ingredients, such as the tomatoes and chicken, were organic, so that's an amazing cost. The cost would have gone down even further if I had planned meals around sale items. Here's what I put in my freezer:

2 x Lemon chicken with carrots and olives (one not frozen because we ate it right away)
1 x Pepper-lime chicken
2 x Adzuki bean and yam burgers
2 x Tomato sauce
2 x Tomato sauce with meatballs that I prepped the day before (plus one more small batch of tomato sauce with meatballs just for mama... I'm dreaming of a delicious submarine sandwich...)

We also had some leftover boiled and mashed yam. I froze mine in one cup portions that I will use in muffins. We also made some mashed potato mounds that can simply be heated up to pair with a steak or one of the chicken dishes. We also had a couple of baked potatoes left over that can be defrosted, sliced and fried to accompany a nice weekend breakfast or breakfast for dinner on a busy night.

I have to say, this is really the way to go. I had a nice visit with a friend, we both stocked our freezers with a couple of weeks worth of meals and sides, we saved money and we freed up some time in the future. Having these meals ready to go means not having to spend an hour in the kitchen at the end of a long day. Yes, prep day was long and tiring, but it was just half of one day. It was also cheaper to prepare the food all at once - one trip to the store and no waste when you realize a meal you planned to make but had no time for has been in the fridge too long and needs to be thrown out. There is some work to do ahead of time to choose recipes, decide how many batches you will make, create the grocery list, buy the groceries and prep some of the food. For example, I boiled and mashed the yams the day ahead and my friend cooked the beans ahead of time. To me, it was totally worth it to not have to ask or answer the question, "What's for dinner?" for at least a couple of weeks!

You can find the recipe for the Roasted Chicken And Carrots With Olives And Lemons here:

Happy cooking!


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  1. I do wish I could make myself do this! Good job, you!

    1. Thanks Jen. No WAY I could have done this without help. Highly recommended!

  2. There is much to be said for a freezer filled with ready-to-go meals. I am always grateful for the option on a night we don't have time to cook or just plain don't want to. Saves us from the takeout phone call!

    I actually need to make a big batch of mashed potatoes and freeze them (the little mounds are a great idea) because our CSA deliveries at the end of the season brought us way more potatoes than we can use before they go bad. Perhaps that will be tomorrow's job...

    1. Lisa, if you have baking potatoes with the thick skins, you can bake them, scoop out the potato, mash the potato with roasted garlic, olive oil, salt and stock (or whatever you like) and then scoop the mixture back into the skins. Sprinkle with paprika, wrap with saran and freeze. On cooking night, remove saran and set them in the oven to rebake ("twice baked potatoes"). That's what we had intended to do, but a certain well-intentioned husband bought the wrong sort of potatoes. :)

  3. I'm such a fan of freezer meals especially for those days when we are rushing to a million different places!

    1. Hi Barbara! Anything that makes dinner less stressful, I say. Lots of up front work, but totally worth it to have an easy end to the day!

  4. This is such a great idea. the first step I need though -- get a bigger freezer!
    But it would be a fun day with a couple of friends for sure.

    1. L, we get a lot of use out of our chest freezers. We have one in our pantry so it's handy and one in the basement. We rotate between the two. I'm definitely doing this again. It was so worth it!

  5. This looks and sounds delish.

    I need to pin it :-)