Monday, October 6, 2014

Freezer Cooking: What Will I Do with all this TURKEY?!

In case you were curious about any of my time and money savers as a largish family mom, I'd have to say that freezer cooking is a pretty handy way to go about achieving both for our family. There is a time investment involved, but the time it saves after it's done really does make it worth the time taken.

An assembly line method of making several meals at one time that will last for anywhere from a couple of extra meals to an entire month worth of meals.

We choose to buy large quantities of supplies at lower prices, so we save money
We avoid take out, so we save money
Increases convenience: We assemble many meals at once, so we have prepared food on the days we can’t/don’t want to cook. In the case of month cooking, potentially several nights of freedom.
Promotes Nutrition: We know exactly what’s in the food.
Saves time: At dinner time on the day of, we have taken many steps out of the ‘what’s for dinner question’.
Promotes Hospitality: casual invitations to dinner become easier, also when we want to heat something and take it to someone having a hard time (family challenges, deaths, births etc.)

Often we will make a turkey or roast, and then don’t make full use of them. It’s a meal you already know your family will eat, and you’ve got a ton of it.
What if you packaged full meals in lasagna pans right away and threw them in the freezer? Label it, and you have a few extra meals. This can eliminate waste.
Other nights, make a double batch of something, or fill the biggest crock pot, or stock pot you have when you are cooking. Then immediately after eating, (or before if you’re ambitious) stock your containers, label and freeze them.
You can always work your way up from there to accumulating supplies for meals for a major cook, or continue to make triple( or more) batched meals, and rotate serving them through a menu plan.

There are some predictable times when you will find large amounts of the base items for freezer cooking on sale at fantastic prices. Summer is a great time to pick up zucchini, Rices go on sale with many of the Caribbean festivals, as advertised in the flyers. 10lb bags of vegetables (carrots, beets, onions, potatoes) go on sale when they come into season in the fall. Meats like turkeys and hams go on sale for us here in Canada before Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Under certain point programs that we have here, you can get free groceries, and time the spending of the points for when you know they will go on sale. With a little thought and planning ahead, that brings down the prices even further, and you can get the foods into the house that you want to make.

Some of the useful things you might find handy:
Lasagna pans- half height lasagna pans or smaller depending on whether you are storing a full meal, a sauce, or a side dish.
Ziploc Bags- they store reasonably flat
Containers that you would like to give a second use through re-use.
Sharpies and labels – you want to know what was in that container the next time you unearth it. Make sure to take note of your cooking date when you label, for food safety.
Multiple nesting stock pots- handy for making multiple types of foods at the same time, so that you can form an assembly line when the foods are ready. Having lots of pots to work with make it more convenient for the cooking stage, and storage is easier if they are nesting.


Check your local flyers for the foods, because that is a great bet for the loss leader sales.
For the storage items, they are less likely to go on sale, so check out some of the following if you need ideas. Locally, we have:

THE WHOLESALE CLUB- open to the public
 2255 Barton St East,  Hamilton,  ON  L8H 7T4

90 Glover Rd Hamilton L8W 3T7


100 Legend Crt. Ancaster L9K 1J3

1225 Brant St. Burlington L7P 1X7

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jen!! I'm featuring it as one of my favs this week :) Thanks for linking up this week on "Inspired By Me Monday"!! Please come back & join us this week with all your great posts (live Monday to Friday)-->


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