A couple of weeks ago my sister forwarded me an email from a blogger she follows featuring crock-pot freezer dinners. Desperate to find a way to stop the 6 o'clock mad dash to the nearest fast food joint, I enlisted my girls to plan, shop, and prep a month worth of meals. It took us one afternoon, and we have been happily set for lunches and dinners since. Can you believe it? It's totally doable.
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Freezer Dinners Prep Basics
To start, I purchased the Cookbook eBook Bundle during a big sale, and started browsing ideas for meals we could make. The girls and I printed off the easy calendar planner and went to town scheduling out the recipes that looked good to us.
As we added each recipe to our calendar, we made a spreadsheet to keep track of how much of each ingredient we would need. With our list in hand, we headed off to the store, starting with Costco for bulk buying, and then heading to WalMart for the rest of the list. Walmart has an online grocery store where you can order online and schedule a time to pick up your groceries. Next time we make our meals, we'll just shop while we plan, and kill two birds with one stone! How awesome would that be?!
Our total spent for 26+ meals?
At Costco - $143.54
At WalMart - $113.15
Total: $256.69 That comes out to about $9.87 per meal, or $1.65 per person. And I'm feeding my kids good whole foods that aren't over processed.
I keep saying that we made 26+ meals, because we have had so many leftovers that the meals have covered our family of six (with a teenage boy) for lunch and dinner for the month. Not every recipe leaves leftovers, but enough of them have that I could easily say that the food we purchased will cover around 40 meals for this month. That comes out to about $6.41 per meal, or $1.07 per person!
Recipes We Used
Most of the recipes we used came from the Crockpot Chicken Meals cookbook. So far, everyone has raved over each meal. Here's a look at our menu:
Some of our favorites were:
- Chicken Spinach Alfredo (next time I'll add less Chicken to this one to make it spread even further)
- Orange Chicken (Wonderful served with rice and broccoli)
- Chicken Taco Soup (another recipe that didn't need as much chicken as I added)
- Cilantro Lime Chicken (Wow!! So good. We lived off of this one for three days! It was awesome the first night in tortillas, then the next night again when we needed a quick dinner, and the third night we ate it on a baked potato. There is still more left!)
You don't have to buy any recipes though because there are so many amazing recipes out there! I can't wait to try some new ones next month. Follow my Pinterest board below to keep up with good recipes I find!
So will you try it?
I'm not a huge fan of spending long hours in the kitchen. Even though I'm a "stay at home mom", I work hard from sun up to sun down. I'm so thankful for a helper like my crock pot to take one task off of my plate in the day. Freezer dinners have been a wonderful experiment for me in lightening my load.
Check back in a couple of days for my top 10 tips for pulling off a month's worth of prep in one afternoon!