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My best tip for me is to have all the ingredients for a dish all in a bag. I freeze onion, green peppers, celery and okra in a bag along with chicken cubes. Toss in a pot with chicken broth, garlic. canned tomatoes and you have soup, serve with rice that has been frozen.
In another bag, I have chili beans, chicken stock and chili spices. Add frozen onions and green peppers and you have chili. Find a dish that you like, keep all the ingredients marked for just that along with the directions. Freeze taco meat for salad or tacos.
By linda from Port Orchard, WA
My daughter is a chef and said to saute lightly, but sometimes I am in a hurry so I just chop and freeze. Yes you are supposed to blanch things first I just get a little lazy. I also have on hand a bag of frozen sweet peppers for chili or gumbo.
A perfect addition to any brunch or an easy supper for two, this quiche is delicious with a mimosa in the morning or a salad and white wine in the evening.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 60-75 minutes or until thoroughly cooked
This delicious sweet bread is perfect any time you need a treat or a quick dessert for unexpected company! This bread is also wonderful as a gift for any occasion!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, water and oil: stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips and almonds (if desired).
Pour the batter into 2 greased 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pans. You can also make three smaller loaves in mini bread pans. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely on wire racks. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.
To thaw, allow the loaves to sit at room temperature.
When I'm preparing a meal on a weekend, it's just as easy to double the amount and freeze a meal to eat later in the work week. Here are some great recipes that you can double up on and pull from freezer to oven on a busy day.
In a large skillet, brown meat and onion. Drain and add cooked rice, tomato soup and seasonings. Add water to produce desired consistency. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add shredded cheese, cooking only until the cheese melts. Lay six of the peppers halves flat in a baking dish. Lay the remaining six flat in a freezer container. Fill each pepper half with meat and rice mixture. To bake immediately, cover the peppers in the baking dish with aluminum foil. Cook at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes.
Freeze the remaining six stuffed peppers in a covered freezer dish. To bake, transfer frozen to a baking dish and cook at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes or until tender.
This pie is an excellent way to use leftover beef roast. You can make as many as you want at a time, and freeze them for later use.
In a skillet, heat shortening, and add celery, pepper, and onions. Saute until soft and onions are clear. Stir in beef, soup and seasonings. Place entire mixture on top of one pastry shell in a 9" pie pan. Top with remaining pastry shell, pinching edges together to prevent seepage, and slash top pastry to vent. To cook immediately, bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. To freeze, place pie in a freezer container and cover. Cook frozen pie at 425 degrees for 50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
You can also double soup recipes and eat one tonight, while freezing the rest for later. Soups that freeze well are split pea, bean soups, vegetable soups in a beef broth, French onion, and soups with a chicken broth. They can be frozen in gallon size freezer bags, or in covered freezer containers. Just thaw and simmer until done! One of the added health benefits of freezing soup is that any fat in the soup will rise to the top and harden, so it can be removed prior to cooking.
Do you love French Toast? You only think you do! Just wait until you this version with delicious cream cheese filling!
Enjoy a warm breakfast by yourself, with your family or even with guests when you keep this deliciously filling granola on hand in the freezer! It's also a great way to get your grains for the day.
Peanut butter is one of the most popular flavors when it comes to any type of sweet treat and this dessert is no different! Adults and children alike will enjoy this treat perfect for almost any occasion.
Sometimes homemade rolls make a meal complete and now you can have them on hand anytime with this quick and easy freezable recipe!
When you need something that looks like it took a lot of effort to make but you don't have the time, these Chicken Wonton Rolls are just the thing! Try serving with chicken gravy to make a complete meal!
The possibilities are endless when you always have this delicious Roasted Tomato Pesto sauce on hand! Serve over cooked pasta with grated parmesan cheese, over toasted bread or on your favorite pizza!
This classic coffee cake adds the right amount of fruit in addition to a hint of cardamom for a truly unique and delicious breakfast treat. The Cherry Coffee Cake is wonderful when served with coffee, tea or alone!
Enjoy the flavor of fall throughout the year with this quick and easy, creamy pumpkin cake roll! Consider doubling, tripling or even quadrupling the recipe to have extra rolls on hand for quick desserts or unexpected guests.
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I have a target goal of trying to spend no more than 300 dollars a month for groceries for me and my fiance. My spending for food usually is not very frugal. I have this impulsive urge to buy take out when I don't want to cook. I forget to pack lunches and snacks with me when I go out and end up buying take out.
Cooking meals like casseroles and soups is something I would like to do more. I just don't know where to really start. Any sites that suggest how to make easy simple soups and casseroles, that can be frozen? Or does someone want to share any ideas of your own?
By ChildGoddess from Kenora, Ontario
It really is possible to feed 2 on 300 a month and you are smart to think about casseroles and soups. I get the impression that you might be a beginner cook? Start with something easy but that has big impact, like a lasagne. I happen to love the recipe that is on the no-bake Barilla lasagne noodle box. I have been cooking for 40 years, but that is the best one I have ever used.
You could do two 8x8 dishes that would each yield 4 hearty portions, or enough for 2 nights. I add a couple layers of very thinly sliced, cooked Italian sausage too, which makes it my own. A basic chicken noodle soup is also a great economical dish, especially if you can get your chicken on sale. Go to allrecipes.com and foodtv.com for lots and lots of great recipes. Get yourself a crockpot and make large batches of beef stew (for that night, and to freeze leftovers). Economical doesn't always mean pasta either; think polenta or brown rice. Best of luck to you!
I've been fixing this Bisquick Taco Bake for years. I first made it WAAY back when my husband and I first started living together, and it's been a family favorite. I use a can of beans instead of corn (personal preference). I use less cheese (maybe 1 cup) and I mix the cheese right into the Bisquick mixture. I accidentally mixed it in a long time ago, and I liked the results better. I don't think I've ever frozen it, but we usually have leftovers a few nights later, and my husband will take some for his lunch.
And I agree about using the crock pot. Toss it together and turn it on in the morning, and have a yummy dinner that evening! And you can use the less expensive meats . . . they'll still be nice and tender after the long, slow cooking. We like this stroganoff recipe. I HAVE frozen the sauce before, and it thawed/reheated nicely.
And this pepper steak recipe is an oldie but goodie for us. Over the years I've modified the recipe a little. I use low sodium soy sauce, omit the salt, and add maybe a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. I buy no salt added 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (can't find 16 oz anymore!), and add a small can of tomato paste. I serve with brown rice. It freezes well.
I hope you find some good recipes. If you find that you like a crock pot recipe, you can increase the recipe and you'll have more to freeze. Best of luck!
Soups are the best fast food in the world. Freeze half in two serving containers. Keep the other half for quick microwave meals. And you can increase your servings of vegetables so quickly and be much healthier.
And this one is the best - but cook tortellinis separately and put those in the bowl first (omit noodles from recipe) and then ladle in the hot soup, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Use your time wisely by planning to make two or three of these in one day over the weekend. That way you have many meals prepared ahead and just have to clean up the kitchen that one day.
You will be shocked how much money you will save and how much better the food you prepare will taste.
Both of these are Crockpot recipes and both are freezable ;-)
Crock Pot Orange Chicken
6 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 can orange soda
1/4 cup of water
1 cup diced celery
Place chicken in crock pot and pour soda and water over the chicken and then top with celery. Cook on low and test for doneness at 6 hours but, depending on your crock pot, it could take up to 8 hours.
Zesty Minestrone - Slow Cooker
A yummy full bodied meal when served with crusty bread smothered with unsalted butter and a mixed green salad tossed with a vinaigrette dressing.
1/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing (I use Kraft)
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can (19 oz.) kidney beans, white beans or garbanzo beans rinsed
2 cans (14 oz. each) vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1-1/2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (fresh or packaged)
Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook 2 minutes or until crisp yet tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer in to a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, water and seasoning and stir. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in pasta and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.
This is very easy to cook, economical, and makes enough for several meals.
Easy Taco Soup
1 and &frac; pound ground round beef
1 large onion chopped
2 cans stewed tomatoes ( Do Not Drain)
1 can Ranch Style Pinto Beans (Drained)
1 can regular Pinto Beans (Drained)
1 can cream corn
1 can yellow hominy * (Drained)
1 can Rotel with green chili
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry)
1 package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix (dry)
Brown beef and onion. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer , simmer a couple hours.
This is a thick, dark red, soup with the consistency of chili.
(Hominy not optional! You won't taste it and it adds a little "crunch" that is delightful in this recipe. But if you must, substitute a can of yellow corn kernels. Very festive when served topped with grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and a dollop of sour cream.
Crockpot : You can use your crockpot for this recipe. It makes a nice dinner to come home to on a cold day. Brown the ground beef and onion. Do not drain beef mixture, pour into crock pot, and add all other ingredients. Stir. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Learn to make a white sauce from scratch -- google it
You can vary the white sauce to become a homemade version of cream of chicken, mushroom, celery, cheddar etc.
Mac & cheese casserole with ham and spinach or broccoli pieces in it.
Lasagna can be made with cottage cheese cheaper and frozen too.
starch such as rice, noodles, potatoes
veggie such as peas, carrots, corn, greens, etc
topping such as cheese, seasoned bread or cracker crumbs, crushed potato or tortilla chips, etc.
Line your casserole with foil enough to wrap over the casserole while freezing. When frozen you can take the foil wrapped casserole out of the dish and replace in freezer and your dish is free again.
Make ahead meals can be very helpful for those days when you are very busy and don't have time to cook. This page contains freezer meal dinner recipes.
Tomatoes, garlic, onions, and olive oil, are roasted and then put through a food processor with added olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper. The sauce can be frozen for future meals. Try this delicious sauce on pasta, toasted bread, or even homemade pizza. This is a page about making roasted tomato pesto sauce.
Beef stew can be an easy thing to make lots of. Save some for meals later by freezing some serving of beef stew. This is a page about beef stew (freezer meal).
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I went to a Homemade Gourmet party (a home business that sells spice packets and mixes) recently where we used their spice packets to make "four meals in four minutes". They were simple recipes where we put meat, maybe a can of tomatoes, spices, and the contents of a Homemade Gourmet spice packet into a Ziploc bag to take home and freeze. Then all I had to do to make the meals was put it in the crockpot.
Where can I get a bunch of quick "dump" type recipes to make from scratch to fill my freezer? I do like to cook, but with two children under 5, there are a lot of nights where using my freezer is great. I do "double and freeze" meals to fill my freezer sometimes, but these "dump" type recipes were so simple. The Homemade Gourmet products are pretty expensive and too salty, so I would like recipes to make my own and directions to use them to freeze simple meals. I've looked and looked for a website that will help pull this together for me, with no luck. Does anyone have a great link, or any other ideas?
Betsy from AL
Make Your Own Spice Mixes:
Combine all ingredients; mix well. Store in airtight
Makes 3 cups; enough to reconstitute sauce
equal to 9 cans of condensed soup.
To use, combine 1/3 cup mix with 1 cup water.
Cook and stir until thickened. If you like, add
mushrooms, celery, or bits of chicken to resemble the
soup you usually use.
One batch of sauce mix contains:
.2 grams fat, 95 calories and 710 milligrams of sodium.
This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets.
Combine all ingredients in the container of a food processor or blender
and process on high speed until well blended and powdery smooth. To use
mix: Combine 1 tablespoon dry mix with 1 cup milk and 1 cup mayonnaise. Mix
well. Makes 2 cups salad dressing.
I hate to answer my own question, but I got frustrated not finding what I was looking for.
This site has lots of "dump recipes", things you can just dump into a Ziploc bag and freeze, to fill your freezer quickly. Just like what I did at Homemade Gourmet without the high $$! I searched on the term "dump recipes" and found this site and some others. Hope this helps. /oamc.8m.com
Check out supersuppers.com.
There is possibly one in your area and they have many take home items and once a month they have a sale for "freezer food". (12/30/2006)
I like to go ahead and put my BBQ sauce or whatever sauce I am going to use (Teriyaki, Mesquite, etc.) and freeze the chicken or pork chops that way. I like to make up meatballs and freeze them individually on a cookie sheet (flash freeze). Then I put them in a large Ziploc bag, this way I can pull out what I need.
I like to use the crockpot when I can. I like to take chicken breasts (however many you need, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cheddar cheese soup (these can be the regular cans or the large ones), depending on how many pieces of chicken. I put this in the crockpot and do my work for the day. This makes a gravy and it is very good.
The Homemade Gourmet spices come in bulk sizes with recipe cards and cost less than 10 cents a serving! If it's too salty, simply use "no salt added" canned goods. That works for me. You can always buy "packaged" seasonings at the grocery store for about $1 a packet and do the "dump method", but my family loves the Homemade Gourmet recipes and the cookbooks help me with easy meal planning that saves me lots of $$$. Super Suppers is way too expensive, but a good alternative to eating out. (07/07/2007)
I also really like the Homemade Gourmet idea of just dumping it. I have bought some of their product and really like them. I have a couple of suggestions.
1. Buy the mix and use only half. I have found that my family really does not need as much seasoning as they use. We especially love the Grandmother's Sunday roast.
2. Host a party. Even if you don't sell very much you and your family get to try lots of their items and you can decide what you really like. I have found this is especially a good idea. Often at the party I find items I really like or items I really don't like.
3. Buy the mix once and see if you can come up with an equivalent. For example we really like the garlic basil so here is my recipe to make it at home.
To make a smoosh bag, empty 1 can diced tomatoes, meat of choice, and 2 to 4 TBSP of Garlic Basil seasoning. Freeze. When ready to cook, place in crock pot for the afternoon.
I hope that helps.
Buy the Taste of Home magazine. No fuss freezer meals in Walmart or another grocery store. (10/11/2008)
I have fibromyalgia and am finding daily chores becoming exhausting. I recently purchased a freezer and hope to cut my grocery shopping to once or twice a month at the most. I am looking for "make ahead" and freezer meals.