I am a planner. Did you know that? Of course you probably do.
I am also the cook in our house. That’s not to say my husband can’t cook. In fact, he can make up a nice meal every once in a while for my birthday or Valentine’s Day, but he really does not enjoy it and it takes him a while to plan it. So, it’s a job that falls to me day-to-day.
I also hate to spend too much money eating out and since my freelance work is going on hold for at least 2 months of maternity leave, the belt had to be tightened a bit. That’s why I decided to make one month worth of freezer meals.
It will be a great way to feed Brett and I after the baby gets here and we’re sleep deprived zombies. All we’ll need to do is pull something out the night before and put it in the oven when we are ready to eat.
The better news was that I was able to buy the ingredients to make 24 dinners, 12 lunches, and 22 breakfasts for $200! Here’s the breakdown of what I made and how many servings I expect from each…
- Mini Mexican Pies (6 days)
- Leftovers (6 days)
- Buffalo Chicken Bake (5 days)
- Enchilada Pasta Shells (6 days)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (3 days)
- Tamale Pies (3 days)
- Chicken Stuffed Peppers (2 days)
- Slow Cooker Black Bean, Chicken & Corn (3 days)
- Chicken Mac n Cheese (4 days)
- Parmesan Chicken Risotto (3 days)
We’ll need to supplement these meals with fresh produce, salads, bread, eggs, milk and orange juice. I also plan to make sandwiches for lunch several times, but knew the ingredients would be better fresh.
Obviously this will not be EVERYTHING we’ll need to eat for a full month, but it’s a great base. It allows us some flexibility to eat out for lunch (when it’s cheaper and newborns are more socially accepted at your table). And we will also be able to fit in meals brought over by friends.
I found all of the recipes through searches online and on Pinterest. Every recipe should be linked above, but let me know if you have questions about any of them. In part two of this series I plan to share my grocery list and my schedule for making all of these items. I was able to do it all in 2 days, but if I had to do it again, I would have spread it out better over 3 days.
It should be noted that I did substitute out some of the ingredients for our tastes – I do not need beef, pork, or lamb so these items were replaced with chicken. This was more expensive, so I also subbed out expensive cheese for bulk cheese to cut down on the costs.
Seeing my freezer fully stocked makes me feel much more ready for our “peanut” to get here!
Have any freezer meal tips to share with others? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!