Friday, August 15, 2014

Freezer Meals Make Mommy a Happy Lady

I've looked up recipes off and on for several weeks for cheap/fast meals. I LOVE crock pot meals because I makes everything ready, throw it in the pot and it cooks by itself while I run about my day. The I came across freezer meals.. FOR CROCK-POTS and something felt...amazing. Cheap meals that can be frozen and then cooked in the crock pot. 

A little more research today and I found 4 recipes I wanted to try. Well, to be honest, I found more but I wanted to start small. I've seen people post that they made 40+ meals over a day or two.. and I'm exhausted just typing that. 

Along with it, was meal planing. Something we don't do in this house, or at least something we didn't do.  My goal was to go shop for 2 weeks worth of dinner (and breakfast and lunch). My main focus was dinner. So I sat down with my 4 recipes and decided how many meals they should make. I came to the number "11". Close to two weeks already! Wow! I considered finding another one or two recipes to fill in the gap, but then I reminded myself to start small.  I didn't want to hate it the first time I did. Then I KNEW I wouldn't do it again. So I thought about cheap fast meals. I called them my cheater meals. I came up with two meatless one, and three ones that required a pound each of ground beef. That made 16! Over two weeks worth of food!

After I printed off the recipes. (I'll post those below), I came up with my grocery list (I added a few things to it at the store, but mostly stuck to the list). I picked our favorite go-to lunches and breakfast. Check. That was easy. Then I added anything I didn't already have for my five "cheater" meals. Done.

Finally, I went through each recipe and wrote down everything I needed. Luckily I have a fairly stocked spice cupboard so I didn't have to worry about that. I did need some more brown sugar, having recently ran out, and some extra virgin olive oil. It raised my bill a bit, but now I won't have to buy those items for awhile. 

I shopped two stores. Picking out the better deals to make sure my cost stayed low.  In total, I spent about 160.00 for two weeks worth of lunches, breakfast and dinners for myself, husband and toddler son. I also had some misc things in there, like a box to return some school books and a bowl to make some pudding for Cody (by request).

I got home and set straight to it. It took 3.5 hours. My feet were killing me and I was tired and exhausted, but I did it, and seeing my full fridge of lazy dinners for 2 weeks, makes me HAPPY. Pre-tax, the total for my dinners came to just under $100.00. This makes each meal only an average of six dollars (and one penny) to make and eat. I could probably get it a bit lower if I tried, but I'm fairly content with that.

I made 3- 2 BBQ Chicken and Veggies. (probably could have stretched it to three, but I figure lunch left overs :) ) 
4- Minestrone Soups, 2 Tortilla Chicken Stews, and 3 Chicken Taco Chilies. Add in my 5 cheat meals and I have 16 dinners and 16 nights of laziness. 100.00 and 3.5 hours of work, makes it definitely worth it. You chop up/mix/measure/cut all the ingredients, throw them into a bag and freeze. So easy!

Recipes:  I nabbed these ones from here.

Tortilla Chicken Stew

·      1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts

·      1 (12 oz) jar of salsa

·      1 lb frozen corn

·      1 lb mixed bell peppers

·      6 corn tortillas, ripped or shredded by hand
Cook in slow cooker for low for 8-10 hours.
 Chicken Taco Chili
·      1 onion, chopped

·      1 16 oz. can black beans

·      1 16 oz. can kidney beans

·      1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

·      10 oz. frozen corn

·      2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes

·      1 packet taco seasoning

·      1 tbsp. cumin

·      1 tbsp. chili powder

·                                                                                                                     3 chicken breasts

·                                                                                                                     Chopped cilantro

·                                                                                                                      Chili peppers (optional)

                                                                     Cook in slow cooker on low for 10 
                                                                      hours or high for 6 hours.

BBQ Chicken and Veggies
·      2 green peppers, chopped

·      1 red pepper, chopped

·      1 zucchini, chopped

·      3 onions chopped

·      6 red potatoes, chopped

·      4 garlic cloves, chopped

·      4 chicken breasts

·      1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce

·      1 tbsp. brown sugar

·      1 bottle of BBQ sauce

Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours

Minestrone Soup
·      1 red onion

·      4 cloves of garlic

·      1 small bunch of chives

·      1 medium bunch of basil

·      3 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce

·      1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes

·      2 32 oz. cartons of vegetable broth

·      6 large carrots

·      1 lb. zucchini

·      1 small eggplant

·      2 15 oz. cans of kidney beans

·      1 lb. frozen peas

·      1 lb. frozen corn

·      ½ lbs. mushrooms

·      5 stocks of celery

·      2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Chop vegetables and herbs. Add all ingredients into bag.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add dry pasta noodles during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

1 comment:

  1. Looks so good. Can't wait to hear what you think of their taste