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. Any tips, ideas and suggestions will be much appreciated.
Make a normal batch of lasagna or double the recipe and divide them into small aluminum pans that come with lids. They are fairly cheap and you can buy them at almost any grocery store. You can even reuse them after. My friend and I have done this on several occasions (great way to visit :) ) Use your own favorite lasagna recipe. You might spend a few hours making it, but then you will have ready made dinners in freezer. Definitely cheaper than buying pre-made lasagnas! (09/09/2004)
I saw this on TV the other day. Make a nice big pot of soup and eat all of it you want for that next meal. But with the rest of it, put it in cups after it's cooled and freeze with a cover of foil or wax paper or whatever. I think I might then want to secure wax paper or plastic with a rubber band. I don't always trust that it will stay on. Let this thaw when you or the kids are ready for it and then if you trust your cup is a good one, microwave it. Maybe save some of the Munchon cup soup cups to freeze in. You KNOW those are worthy!
For years and years my mom has kept a container in the freezer for things like the liquid off of drained vegetables or leftovers. She adds to it all the time and when it's full she has soup. My son LOVES it.
I freeze chili in containers when I get tired of it and have too much. It's wonderful!
Make a whole bagful of French Toast from day old bread when eggs come on sale! After it cools put it back in the same bread bag and it can be warmed (after it's thawed) in the toaster! (10/06/2004)
When you make a meatloaf make two or three. Wrap the extra ones in plastic place them in a freezer bag and then when you want meatloaf, you have it right there in the freezer. (11/15/2004)
By Shannon Fox
When I was expecting our little one I made up biscuits and put them in the freezer so we could have hot homemade biscuits, fast. Then one day I decided you buy already made sausage biscuits in the store why can't I do that. You know what you can. Just go ahead and cook the whole pack of sausage and you can even bake the biscuits. You just defrost them in the microwave just like the directions on the store bought one's. (11/15/2004)
By Shannon Fox
I just found 16oz frozen blueberries on sale at Wal-Mart. I got two bags, came home and made homemade pancake batter, I tripled the recipe I found in my Betty Crocker cookbook. When I was done I had made 38 pancakes, I than flash freeze them and put in freezer bags. My husband usually takes 3 in a container for breakfast at work. When I worked up the cost of ingredients, it came up to about 12 cents per pancake, with syrup it works to about 46 cents for his breakfast. You can't go to MacDonald cheaper than that, he said 3 plain pancakes at MacDonalds is about $1.99 with tax that about $2.10, thats a saving of almost ten dollars a week (6 day workweek) or $40 a month. His friends always make fun of him for taking his breakfast and lunch to work, they always buy their breakfast and lunch each day, but as I told him we are having the last laugh. I also have enough blueberries left to make about 24 muffins. I also make french toast and breakfast burritos for his lunches, it cost so much less to make it myself than for him to go buy it each day. (02/19/2005)
There is a yahoo group called "Frozen Assets" based on the book by the same name by Deborah Taylor-Hough. The list is all about preparing meals that freeze well. The goal for most people is nutritious and frugal meals. Check it out: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frozen-assets/ (06/21/2005)
By Linda Hug
I don't know about you, but I love tuna salad and could eat it for almost every meal. Either as a sandwich or served on a lettuce leaf with a few whole wheat crackers. I make up a big bowl of it at a time & keep in the fridge. I made a big bowl of it when my parents came for a visit, not wanting to spend all of our time in the kitchen. Can serve with rolls, if preferred or in pita bread. (same with turkey salad, chicken salad, or ham salad).
Lots of dishes can be prepared and frozen. Some things don't do well frozen. Best of lucky with your fibromyalgia. (06/21/2005)
I hope you can use this tip. When I bake cakes I make different kinds and cut them in slices and wrap real good with clear wrap and foil. When I want something sweet just go to the freezer and get it. It taste just as if I made it. (06/23/2005)
By Lynn Fain
To help you keep track of your meals, it might pay to invest in an upright freezer and use each shelf for a different item - lamb products on one shelf, seafood on another, etc. For extra organization, I list all the items I have (e.g. pork chops, prawns, etc) and keep the list stuck on the outside of the freezer. Every time I add an item, I make a mark, (e.g. Mince - I I I) every time I remove an item, I cross the mark off. Then you know at a glance what's in the freezer, and where to find it. (06/26/2005)
Hi Fancy, fellow fibro here, loved the postings. Have had your same thoughts lately, have been fixing items to freeze for times I can't cook. Found my old little pizza recipe the other day. They freeze great, easy to make too: 1lb of sausage, 1 box Velveeta cheese, rye bread slices (the little ones!), 1 tbl. spoon Worcestershire, 1 tsp oregano, garlic salt to taste. Brown and drain sausage, cube cheese and melt in sausage, mix in other ingredients, spread on rye slices, freeze 4 or 5 in a zip lock bag and they're ready to throw in the oven any time, bake at 375 about 10 min or till cheese bubbly. Makes an entire loaf of the rye bread. (06/27/2005)
I know you wanted freezer recipes, but I was thinking about how I try to have 'ready' to eat foods around my house for my family on the go. One thing I like to do is buy the ready made salad mixes. I am very cheap, but found that it comes in handy to add to any meal or just eat by itself, throw on some dressing, cheese, crumble crackers etc. and its ready. You can also add any cooked chicken you have, or add ground beef and nacho chips for a taco salad. This is how I get myself to eat better more often too! I also love making stuffed potatoes. I have started making more than we need and wrapping them for fridge, they reheat in microwave very nicely and can also be added to a meal or eaten by itself. Hope this helps. (06/28/2005)
Here's an awesome starter and recipes follow...just watch serving size!
BIG-BATCH BEEF SAUCE
YIELD: about 15 cups total
YIELD: 2-3 Servings
YIELD: 3-4 Servings
YIELD: 9-12 Servings
YIELD: 2-3 servings
I am also disabled and suffer from low energy problems. I live on a truly miniscule budget, as well. One of the tricks I have used for years is cooking as much as I possibly can every time I turn on the oven. I may have a beef roast, chicken, and oven baked pork chops all going at the same time on the same energy. It really saves on the electric bill. In our area it seems that one week of any month, the sales on meat are all better than the other weeks. I buy as much as I can and once I bring it home, I try to get as much into the freezer as I can--preferrably precooked but always cut into individual serving packets. That way if my son needs to eat while I am resting or if it is one of my "bad days" he can help himself without getting way too enthusiastic for the budget. If we are eating together or if we have guests I just pull out as many servings as needed.
I make spaghetti sauce by the gallon including hamburger, Italian sausage and mushrooms if at all possible, then freeze it in meal size portions, using the same basic mixture in pizza, spaghetti, lasagna and other pasta dishes--varying the pasta and the other main ingredients. I make lasagna, meat loaves and other main or side dishes in large pans, then freeze them in smaller portions. On a whole while I do prepare and freeze many main dishes and sides, I also really like the convenience and flexibility of being able to pull out cooked meat or sauce and add whatever is available or on sale to create a full meal. (05/05/2006)
I live alone and love to cook, but prefer to cook in large quantities. The freezer allows me to do this with all sorts of stuff, especially soups, stews, chili, etc. This also works well with pot roasts cooked with veggies. One thing I've found is that these items taste better after a day or two in the fridge, so I wait a few days to bag them up and freeze them. Also I love to catch a good special on whole sirloin tips. I use my electric knife to cut them as needed, usually one third for a roast, one third for beef stew and a third for chili and / or burgers... just whatever sounds good at the time. (05/06/2006)
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