Tanya’s Freezer Meal Hints and Tips

Directions For Freezer Meal

  1. Buy ziploc freezer bags, one gallon. You may need quart baggies for recipes that call for two or three bags.
  2. Mix your ingredients in the gallon baggie, squishing to make sure it is mixed well.
  3. Once recipe is complete, print a copy of recipe and place your sealed baggie with no air into another baggie to prevent bag from dripping. If you put the printed recipe in between the bags it reminds you of instructions.
  4. Freeze meals, and if you want to eat them, pull them from the freezer 2-3 days before eating. It does help setting on a plate or bowl in the fridge as sometimes they do leak.

Helpful hints:

  • On occasion buy a bunch of ground beef, cook and bag in freezer bags in 1-2 lbs servings for chili, spaghetti, sloppy joes, tacos, etc. This makes a meal real fast and gets the grease out all at once.
  • Pick 5 meals and double recipes.Bulk buying makes shopping quicker and easier. I make at least two of each recipe as many of them require ½ of something.
  • Make your cooking days friendly.  If you cook with a friend, the chopping is more tolerable and the conversation is great.
  • Use crock pot liners to make cleanup faster. They can be found In the paper section of your grocery store.
  • I usually prepare the meal in the crock pot or casserole dish the night before. Then all I do is place in the crock pot into heating element in the morning or direct my children to put the casserole dish in the oven at a selected time.
  • Pick one day once a month just to crank out a bunch of meals. Usually 10-15 meals lasts our family of five one month since we eat these about 3 nights a week. By the time you make a list, shop, cook, and clean up, you’ve killed the better part of a day, but feels so good to get it done. This makes your life so much easier. Batch cooking also saves you money since you are less likely pre-packed food – or go out to eat.  Many meals make enough for leftovers.
  • My crockpot automatically turns to warm after a few hours. I used it so much I got a nicer crock pot that had a timer so things would not overcook.
  • Most of these meals serve 4-6. You can split some of these for a smaller family or a couple – or just eat more leftovers.
  • Pictured below is after a cook day, Meals are ready to go into the freezer.

Large group cooking days:

Tanya lives in Kansas City and organizes the cooking day.  There are 10 in her group each time. She is given access to her church’s kitchen and fellowship hall for the operation.  Before the cook day, she does the following:

  • Decides what meals they will make – usually about 20 different dishes.  Each time the group tests out 3 new dishes.
  • Keeps the list of meals and ingredients. Each person chooses which of the meals she wants to bring home.
  • Determines the cost of for each meal and collects payments.
  • Prints out the labels for the bags.
  • Shops the day before. Meat obviously needs to be refrigerated, so make sure you have enough space to store it overnight.

On the cook day Tanya:

  • Assigns each person their jobs.  One person may be working on de-boning a rotisserie chicken – another may measure out spices or chop veggies.
  • Clocks about 20,000 steps on her Fitbit.  Wow!

Other hints for large group cooking:

  • Sam’s Club is the best for bulk cooking. Tyson chicken breasts are huge. One breast is about 1 lb. It’s best to cut them in ½ “hot dog style” to make them not so thick. A case of chicken breasts is about 35 pounds. A case of hamburger is 80 pounds and is 90% lean. No matter what if you buy – the case is cheaper.
  • Organize your food in categories to make ensure you have all of your ingredients.
  • Nothing beats Aldi’s (local KC store) on prices except meat. Note Sam’s club mozzarella/cheddar cheese is equal to Aldi’s. 1 bag is 16 cups.
  • Here is after a cook day. We made 155 meals as a team. Assembly took about 8 hours.

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