May 9, 2013

Freezer Frenzy

If you can't tell from all my posts lately, I'm trying to work through some challenges that I now face as a working mom. My house is in a constant state of flux. My typical OCD and cleanliness have taken a backseat so that I can spend the precious hours after work with my baby, <A>, before he falls asleep. What's left at the end of a long day is a sleeping baby (hopefully), a dirty house, piles of laundry, and two exhausted parents with nothing for dinner.

"What do you want for dinner" one of us will ask on our way home from work.

Exhausted the unwilling to make a decision the other almost assuredly will reply, "I don't care" which then translates into one of two things:

  1. fend for yourself and see what you can throw together with a bag of frozen veggies, leftovers that are probably two days older than the recommended date of consumption, and a stale donut; (it sounds like an episode of chopped) or,
  2. order pizza, Chinese, or mexican
Therefore, the diets at our house are less than stellar. So it should have come as no surprise when my mom inquired about them. I admitted that despite my best efforts we were doing a less than satisfactory job of taking care of ourselves when it came to our eating habits. Her recommendation: freeze some preprepared dinners.

My answer to that was one double batch of Chicken and Andouille Sausage, of which half went into our freezer. 


I thought I was really taking a big step toward healthier eating, but little did I know.... I haven't been a mom long-enough because the next morning I got a well-deserved lesson in how to grit and grind in the kitchen from an expert in running a family menu, my mom.

I met her at Costco when the doors opened at 9am. With <A> in tow, we tore through the aisles and piled up on ground beef, tomatos, peppers, the largest bag of mozzarella cheese I've ever seen...

He is such a good shopper.

Que mild anxiety attack. 

I've really only prepared meals for <K> and I, and occasionally a guest or two, so buying and cooking in bulk is really far out of my comfort-zone. Luckily, my mom knew exactly what she was doing. She explained the cost-saving benefits of buying six pounds of ground beef as opposed to the individual pounds. She also explained that if I plan ahead and prepare freezer-friendly meals I need to buy a LOT more ingredients than I'm used to. One of the added benefits is that I can save somewhere between 25-50% off the total cost of a meal just by buying in bulk (who knew!). 

In addition to a fantastic lesson in frugal grocery shopping. I also got a cooking lesson. I learned the secretes to mom's homemade lasagna, baked ziti, sausage and peppers, stewed beef, and beef and onion.  After four hours I have so many great homemade dinner options:

    4 Pans of Lasagna
    2 Pans of Baked Ziti
    6 Dinners of Sausage and Peppers
    2 Bags of Ground Beef and Onion (for tacos or spaghetti)
    5 Packs of Stewed Beef (for Beef and rice, Beef Stew...)

To provide a little context, my freezer only had one item in it prior to our freezer frenzy. 

I feel so much better about the healthy, homemade options available and I feel like I now have a basic understanding of how to plan for and prepare meals ahead of time. Thanks for all your help Mom! 

Do you have any freezer-friendly meals that you like to make?

Be Blessed,
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  1. I love to make soup and chilly. Today I just made some chicken soup base. I don't want to add the noddles or potatoes until the day I use it and that way I can choose that day which carb I feel like eating. So it is basically chicken noodle soup without the noodles. :) I am glad you are getting the hang of it though it will help you out so much. Keep it up you will figure it all out. It's not easy having kids or working with children.
    Love you

  2. Mandy Ferguson PhillipsMay 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Would you like my moms Red Beans and Rice recipe? It makes ALOT with little quantities of ingredients and freezes beautifully. And i know Kyle has had it. Shes been making it for years!

  3. That's awesome! I wanted to do that when I was pregnant with Aubrey and stock pile a bunch of meals, but it never happened. Such a great idea!