advance planning

December is busy. So is the end of November.

I know, every month is busy. But these two seem busier than normal, because of all of the holiday preparations, gatherings, maybe travel, etc.

It is an easy time to fall back on fast food. Don’t do it!

Right now in the freezer, we have a veggie pot pie and half a dozen black bean burgers, both made this week. We had one pot pie for meals already, and we had bean burgers last night. We just made double of each (which really does not take twice as long) and froze half. We could eat dinners for a week with what’s in the freezer.

I’m planning to have one or two more meals next week that we can double and freeze half of. I know the busy days are coming. We both teach elementary music, which means concert season is coming. I’ll have only one concert, but The Big Man has five. That’s five evenings in the first two weeks of December that he’ll be at work. Who wants to cook after that?

If we can get two weeks’ worth of dinners in the freezer before December hits, we’ll be good to go for the month, no matter what comes up. It also makes our grocery bills smaller in December, which frees up a bit of cash either to have a dinner party or to spend on gifts or to save. It’s good to have options.

Do you make extras and freeze them? Is it something you might try?

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle on 12 November 2010 at 07:00

    I’m working on getting better at this, and by this, I mean starting it. 🙂 I really want to eliminate eating out and make it a special event, rather than an expected Friday night/weekend activity. It’s healthier, and cheaper. All good things. Right now, I’m transitioning to cooking the meals we all love to eat at restaurants. Will be trying pasta fagioli soup and Italian wedding soup this weekend. Looking for recipes for some Chinese foods the kids like.

    • That sounds great! I was blown away by how much better pasta e fagioli soup is made at home with fresh ingredients. We make it at least once a month now, sometimes more.

      I hope that it works out well for you! Even if you don’t succeed to the degree you’d like, I am sure you’ll eat out less.

      Cheaper and healthier indeed! Win-win!

  2. Posted by Lisa on 12 November 2010 at 17:09

    I do. I use the freezer very differently from how my mom does – she buys meat and freezes it raw (either in the package or taken out and wrapped individually). She’s super organized about planning her meals and takes the appropriate thing out to defrost with plenty of time, etc. I tried this and FAILED dismally. What works for me, instead, is to freeze things that I’ve already cooked. Favorites include soups, chili, sauce, and chicken/pork cutlets for the kids.

    My other freezer favorite is to chop and prep veggies that I use in recipes over and over again and freeze them in individual portions. So if I buy a bunch of celery but only need two stalks for my soup, I’ll chop it all up and add to onion and carrots for my next pot. I also make a carrot/coconut muffin all the time so I freeze the pre-shredded and measured ingredients. Makes baking so much easier.

    • I never thought of chopping and freezing veggies on purpose (haha). We plan meals out a week at a time and usually use all of what we buy, but we’ve stopped using celery because we never need more than a stalk or two for a recipe and the rest spoils. Freeze it!

      I am not always good about remembering to take things out of the freezer with enough time to thaw…

  3. I just made a giant crock pot of split pea soup and froze enough for a couple of dinners. Make a loaf of home made bread and it is a delicous meal, and very healthy. I also make huge batches of spaghetti sauce, chili, sloppy joes, chicken noodle soup,etc. As long as the main ingredient course is taken care of, it is easy to throw together the ‘accessories’.

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