This Saturday my mom and sister, Jen came over to help me make a whole bunch of dinners to put in the freezer. I already knew that this would be a busy semester so I have been trying to think of things that I can do to lighten my load. One of the hardest things to do is figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner after I’ve had a long and exhausting day at school and work.
My mom used to make freezer meals for an entire month at a time. She would put a calendar on the fridge that would list what dinner was planned for each day. The meals for the week would get moved to the fridge at the beginning of the week to thaw. Sometimes there was some final prep work to be done when you got home and then you’d heat and eat. Very quick and didn’t require you to do much thinking or decision making after that long day.
My make ahead meal plan also included some treats, so there would always be something to snack on as well.
I plan to add more, but this was just a test run since I’d never done it before.
We did all the chopping of veggies, baking & shredding of chicken, browning of hamburger and then we assembled all the meals, put them in containers or baggies and labeled them.
I then put together a weekly menu plan that includes instructions on how to heat or put the meal together each evening.
I hung that on the fridge so that Andy can get dinner together on those nights when I have to stay late at work or have a night class.
On Saturday we made:
Hamburger Vegetable Soup (2 dinners worth)
Stir Fry Mix
Baked Ziti (2 dinners worth)
Tater Tot Casserole
Corn Chowder (2 dinners worth)
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Chili (2 dinners worth)
Chicken Noodle Soup (2 dinners worth)
Hamburger Gravy to be served over mashed potatoes
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
Cinnamon Puff Pastries
We have a freezer in our garage and it’s now entirely filled with these freezers meals- enough to last us the entire month and maybe even longer.
When I planned my meals for the month of September I figured in one night a week for a Date Night/Take Out and two nights a week for eating leftovers. I also planned some nights where we would have something ‘easy’ like pancakes or grilled cheese.
I’m excited to serve my first make ahead dinner tonight (fajitas) and let you know how it goes! If all goes well and this does actually eliminate some stress for me, then I’ll do it again next month!