This post is written by contributing writer, Jami from Young Wife’s Guide.
I love to cook. Once I’m in the kitchen, grocery shopping done, and I can just cook, I am happy! But finding the time to get my shopping list together, heading to the grocery store, and making meals on a daily or weekly basis is where I fail.
I want to be the perfect wife and mother-to-be. I want to be Superwoman and do it all everyday! But I can’t. This is where freezer cooking enters the picture.
I wandered into Barnes & Noble one night and started browsing the clearance table. I came across Once a Month Cooking: Family Favorites, and my kitchen and my domestic responsibilities changed forever.
Freezer cooking has changed my life - I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this for years! It helps in so many areas of my life and I want to encourage everyone to try it at least once!
6 Ways Freezer Cooking Can Change Your Life
1) Helps When You Are Working
I started freezer cooking when I was working full time. I simply didn’t have the time or energy to come home and cook a hot meal every night after working a full day.
When I was working full time, we ate out way more than our waistlines or budget could handle. With freezer cooking, I could simply pull a meal out of the freezer the night before and pop it in the oven when I got home! We always had a fresh, hot meal on the table by 6:30.
2) New Baby
As I look forward to the arrival of our twin boys, I’m starting to think of the long nights up with them, the laundry, and the exhaustion of having new babies. I plan on doing at least a full month’s worth of freezer cooking before we meet our precious babies.
This way, even if we get meals from friends and family, we will always have a fresh meal we can pop in the oven on days we don’t have a meal, and for the weeks following the time when friends’ meals stop coming.
3) Limited Sitter Time
Are you able to hire a babysitter or get your Mom to watch the kids only once or twice a month? Use this valuable time to go shopping for a full month’s worth of groceries and then make all your meals in one day!
So then when you don’t have a sitter, it’s 5pm, and hubby will be home any minute, you don’t have to stress. Dinner is ready and you can
relax sit down with your kids.
4) Saves Money
This is one of the biggest reasons that I freezer cook, to save money! I usually do freezer cooking for a full month at a time.
This means I do one big grocery shop and get most of my groceries for the full month. I make my shopping list and then stop at 3-5 different stores to get the best deals!
This helps me to save money because I am very intentional about what I buy. I get only the things on my list (no throwing in anything extra). And I shop the sales like crazy. I find out who has the lowest meat and vegetables prices and plan my meals around that.
It also helps to save money because I am in the grocery store fewer times throughout the month. When I do need fresh produce or milk throughout the month, I can run in and just get those items!
5) Helps your family to eat better
Now that my family is trying to eat whole foods, I need to be more intentional about how and what I cook. Instead of canned beans, I now do dried beans in the crockpot. Instead of pre-cooked rotisserie chickens, I make fabulous whole chickens in the crockpot (delicious!).
This can add time to my already busy schedule, but not when I do freezer cooking! The week leading up to my big freezer cooking day for the month, I spend a few minutes every day putting beans or chicken in the crockpot, cooking rice, and getting other easy whole food ingredients ready to throw into my recipes.
When I am intentional about the meals that my family eats, we eat healthy! When I am lazy or exhausted, then we end up with frozen pizza or take out. Making sure that we always have healthy meals in the freezer helps our family to make good choices when it comes to food.
6) Saves TIME
We could all do with some extra time, right? While it might sound like a nightmare to do a month’s worth of grocery shopping and cooking all in one or two days, it really does save time in the end!
Instead of cutting up vegetables every night, you do it once. You cook 15 pounds of chicken at once and divide it among different recipes.
I am always amazed, once I get into the cooking groove, how fast and easily all my meals come together! Then, throughout the month, all you need to do is remember to get your meals out of the freezer and turn on the oven, stove, or crockpot!
7) Helps You to Practice Hospitality
I have a passion for practicing Biblical hospitality, but often excuses of time and money get in the way of reaching out and extending hospitality.
Freezer cooking can really make a difference and can help you to save money and time. Often times, hospitality opportunities come up at the last minute.
Having meals ready to serve without a lot of prep work or mess involved helps to reduce stress. And using your freezer meals can help reduce the costs of having to run out at the last minute and buy non-sale items!
Freezer cooking may not be for everyone (although I have a hard time thinking of who it wouldn’t benefit), but I challenge you to try it out at least once. You may hate it, or you may fall in love with a great new way to do meals and grocery shopping.