Friday, February 15, 2013

Freezer Friday: Planning

People ask all the time if freezer cooking is really worth it.  I know it is and here's why:

  1. You only have to clean the kitchen once a month.  My kitchen is destroyed on the day I do most of my cooking, but I clean it after and it stays relatively mess-free the rest of the month.
  2. You always have a meal to take to someone in need or extra food when unexpected guests arrive.
  3. You don't have to dread coming home and having to cook.  Just pull something out that thaws quickly or doesn't need to be thawed and get dinner ready for yourself or your family.  I've already posted several of my favorite recipes:  basil pesto chicken stuffed shells (just add some bread and a salad and you have a full meal), mongolian beef stir-fry (add some rice, your veggies are already in there), and pizza dough (if it's already topped, you only have to preheat the oven and you're done!)
  4. I always have fresh baked cookies.  Enough said.
  5. It saves you money.  You can watch the sales and buy things when they go on sale.  You can plan several meals that involve the same basic ingredients--if you get a great deal on chicken, prepare your chicken four different ways and toss it in the freezer for later.  You only need half an onion for a recipe?  Chop all of it and put the other half in the freezer.  Less chopping you have to do next time.  If you are making lasagna, go ahead and make two pans--one for now and one for later.  It is marginally more work to make double of something and you get twice the benefit.  Actually, that is a great way to start freezer cooking if you are on the fence about it.  Whatever you are having for dinner tonight, double it and save the rest.
Here are some helpful links if you just aren't convinced yet:
What if I don't like casseroles?
How do I get started?
Freezer cooking basics
What can I freeze?

And here are some great pdfs:
Menu Planner Pack
Freezer Planner Pack

Do you think freezer cooking is worth it?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Have a great weekend!

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