Saving Money with Freezer Meals

save moneyToday’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I’m using:

Forget ~ Understand ~ Distant ~ Opal

They were submitted by: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

With the warm weather I try not to use my apartment oven as it heats our tiny kitchen. Now the darn thing is acting up, but at least the stove top works. Between the toaster oven, microwave, stove top, and slow cooker, I don’t need the oven. In the future I would love to get a double toaster, just hope it’s not the distant future. At least with the slow cooker you throw your food in, set the time and forget about it until it’s time to eat. Perhaps a second, smaller slow cooker might need to be bought. It would be nice to have a dessert being make while we prep and eat dinner. The tough part would be storage, with our already small kitchen and limited cabinets, where would we keep it? I always wanted one extra cabinet, but where would it go and how would we get it to match our faded, opal-colored cabinets?

We tried Hello Fresh, a meal delivery service. Since I was able to use a $40 referral credit it was more than worth it. After a week of yummy meals, we decided to use HelloFresh every four weeks. After three weeks of slow cooker meals, we will be treated to a week of new recipes. While it will cost us $35 a meal, which is far more than I would EVER pay for a meal, it is nice to try new recipes. We won’t have much leftovers and understand that it will require more meal prep on my part. In the end I love to cook and relish learning new recipes and ideas in our kitchen. Maybe

*~*~*~*~Freezer Meals*~*~*~*~

PROS:

  • less money per meal
  • little to no prep time on day of meal
  • come home to a cooked meal
  • lots of leftovers

CONS:

  • gets boring after a while
  • if you don’t like you are stuck with lots of leftovers
  • lots of prep to get them into bags and in the freezer

Our normal weekly menu will look like this…

  • Friday pizza
  • Saturday leftovers (pizza and Thursday’s meal)
  • Sunday pasta with meatballs or sausage
  • Monday leftovers
  • Tuesday slow cooker freezer meal
  • Wednesday leftovers
  • Thursday slow cooker freezer meal

Favorite slow cooker meals: 

ginger peach meal  rosemary honey chicken plate2

Slow Cooker Ginger Peach Chicken (SLOW COOKER)
Honey Rosemary Chicken (SLOW COOKER) 
Creamy Mushroom Chicken (SLOW COOKER)
Slow Cooker Lasagna (SLOW COOKER) 
Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Potatoes (SLOW COOKER) 

 

*~*~*~*~Hello Fresh*~*~*~*~

PROS:

  • variety of meals
  • portion sizes are healthier
  • only get ingredients you need, so you are not stuck with unwanted ingredients that you will never use.
  • less time in grocery store
  • get new recipes and add them to my recipe bank

CONS:

  • more prep than I am used to
  • more money per person than I usually spend on a meal
  • leftovers only for one person, unable to spread out meals for the week

 

The week of Hello Fresh menu will look like this…

  • Friday pizza
  • Saturday leftovers (pizza and Thursday’s meal)
  • Sunday pasta with meatballs or sausage
  • Monday Hello Fresh Meal
  • Tuesday leftovers
  • Wednesday Hello Fresh Meal
  • Thursday Hello Fresh meal 

Two recent Hello Fresh Meals

lemon grass beef stir fry  apricot glazed chicken

Apricot Glazed Chicken (HELLO FRESH MEAL)
Lemongrass Beef Stir-Fry (HELLO FRESH MEAL)

 

Here are some great resources for slow cooker meals.

Happy Money Saver http://happymoneysaver.com/freezer-meals/

Hello Glow http://helloglow.co/slow-cooker-freezer-meals/

Buzzfeed 24 Dump Dinners http://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/crock-pot-dump-dinners?utm_term=.uup2MNJ6a

Thirty HandMade Days http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2015/08/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-busy-weeknights/

The Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/10-ways-to-use-your-slow-cooker-this-summer-205089

 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts


Comments

Saving Money with Freezer Meals — 16 Comments

  1. I can’t really relate because I keep a log of our favorite meals (about 40 or so) and then rotate them. I almost never ever have leftovers unless we have guests and then they always take the leftovers home. The only thing I end up freezing is soup and I make it is huge batches for quick meals when I don’t/can’t cook.

      • When the kids were young I tried a new recipe once a week. Then we voted on it. It had to have 100% thumbs up and it went into my roster of meals. Now, I use that list to pick and choose when I forget about something I made and loved. We eat a lot of ethnic food and NO casseroles.

    • I do have about 20 meals we like, but between a picky husband and the crazy afterschool crunch time it gets hectic. I should create a base of meals and rotate them.

  2. I like that there is pizza no matter what!

    How about alternating frozen and Hello Fresh meals?

    I can totally relate on the appliances / storage dilemma. I would love to have a slow cooker and a double toaster and this and that – only where do those live?

    • I know, if only space wasn’t an issue, right? I think I am going to do hello fresh every other week as getting to the grocery store after working all week is flipping tough.

  3. I try not to use my oven in the summer too We live in SC and the days are already HOT! We use the grill a lot and I love the slow cooker! Sorry the comment above was a mistake.

  4. I have thought about trying those fresh meals at home, but I have to feed five and three of them are picky (myself included). Not sure it’d be worth it.

    I like the idea of freezer meals, though. Maybe I’ll try them out some day.

    • oh yeah that’s the bad thing about those meal deliveries, only give four portions…they need to improve that. LOVE freezer meals…just pull them out of the freezer, defrost and set in the slowcooker.

  5. For 3 years I made a new recipe every single day, then I would repeat a couple of our favorites 2-3 times a month. Now we eat the same things over and over as my new family is VERY picky. I LOVE cooking and prepping. I would STILL fix something different everyday but no one would eat it. makes me sad. We rarely have leftovers and if we do, the teenager eats it the next day after school.
    Enjoy the Hello Fresh , I’ve seen another company that is very similar but it’s not in my budget and my guys wouldn’t eat it anyway.

  6. I know I’ve said it before, I seriously need to get back to make-ahead meals. I totally agree though, it can get boring. I’m glad Hello Fresh worked out for you, it seems like a great service.
    And kudos on getting your words in. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing with us at #MMBH!
    XOXO

Would love to read your thoughts