Freezer meals and batch cooking have taken the world by storm - in recent AND past years. Cooking your meals in batches and saving for later by freezing is a great way to reduce your grocery bill and ensure that all of your ingredients are being used up before expiration! Generally, freezer meals are really easy to make as well. Check out some of our favorite freezer meal ideas to make your life easier and save you money on groceries!
Soups and Stews
Soups and stews are a great option and one of the easiest freezer meal ideas to execute! There are so many variations on soups and stews that you can create a great recipe rotation for your favorites and have something different every week! Soups and stews freeze extremely well; simply put them in an airtight freezer container or ziploc bag and save them for another day.
Casseroles are super easy to make (most just have you throw ingredients together before throwing them in the oven) and extremely cost-effective as well! There are tons of casserole recipes out there - find a few of your favorites and rotate them out each week. Casseroles are a tremendous reheatable lunch option as well for those who pack their lunch to take to work!
Lasagna is definitely a fan favorite, as freezing it is so easy to do! Consider making your lasagna in a foil pan so that you can stick it right in the freezer that way and portion it out as needed. Not only does it freeze well, but you can typically find fairly cheap ingredients to make your lasagna with, making it a great option for those on a budget. Additionally, this is a great meal to make if you're planning to deliver it to friends and family for any reason!
Chicken is a tried and true staple freezer meal idea! There are so many variations of chicken you can make depending on what meals you're planning for the week. Cooking chicken for the week is made much easier by choosing a simple freezer meal recipe and using it in various ways throughout the week for different meals! You can eat the chicken as a standalone
Fajitas or Tacos
This is one great way to use up chicken that you've cooked as a freezer meal but you can also use any protein of your choice! To make it even easier, cook in the slow cooker throughout the day while you're gone and come home to a ready-to-eat meal. After that, all leftovers can be safely kept in the freezer to enjoy all week long or even the next!
These are another great option as far as freezer meal ideas are concerned. These can easily turn into a summer favorite! Whether you're grilling or baking these delicious ribs, you'll be able to save and stretch your meals for as long as you need to. If you're able to find some ribs on sale for a great price, grab them while you can, cook them, and save them for later if needed!
Chili is another quick and easy option for those cooking batch-freezer meals. Chili is easy to make and is a very "set it and forget it" type of meal. Once your chili is done cooking for the day, you can enjoy it immediately and save the remainder of it for the coming weeks! Chili is very easily reheatable and versatile, plus you can make many meals out of it!
- Invest in some good kitchen tools to make your freezer meal cooking easier. Namely, a slow cooker, some foil pans, and freezer storage bags are good places to start stocking up! Keep in mind that freezer bags and foil pans can be found extremely cheap at places like dollar stores. As far as slow cookers, if you're wanting to save some money and avoid a new kitchen gadget purchase, you can check thrift stores as well! Thrift stores are great places to check for any kitchen needs you might have as long as you don't need it to be new. You might even find something you like more in a thrift store than in a big box retailer!
- Start slow! You don't have to jump right into batch-cooking your freezer meals. If it's easier, start with one freezer meal a week and portion it out for your next week's meals. Whatever is easiest to accommodate and fit into your schedule is the best way to start. After all, you might start slow and realize you love it and want to dive right in the next week and do a big freezer meal cooking day to prepare for the whole week! It's all about balancing what is easiest for you to manage in your lifestyle.
- Freeze ingredients individually! For instance, if you found a great deal on some ground beef at the grocery store, there is no harm in cooking it up and freezing as is to use later as an ingredient in a meal! This can save you loads of time and also money if you're able to shop deals regularly! Additionally, it will help you save money by reducing food waste in your kitchen. This way, you aren't letting things expire before you get the chance to cook them.
- Avoid freezer burn by making sure you squeeze all the air out of anything you're planning to freeze. Freezer meals can be a huge lifesaver, but can also be prone to freezer burn, so make sure you're taking steps to prevent that and preserve your food!
- If you're still struggling to find good freezer meal ideas, there are also lots of cookbooks specifically for batch-cooking freezer meals. These can be massively helpful in discovering new recipe ideas for your freezer meals! Alternatively, if you're just looking for new ideas to add to your rotation so you don't get tired of the same old meal, this is a great option as well.
- Lastly, if you don't already own one, buy an air fryer! I have a small air fryer that comes in handy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! It makes reheating a breeze.
Do you do batch cooking and save freezer meals? What are your favorite freezer meal ideas? Share with us in the comments below!
Some great tips here. Alot of things I did not know would freeze well. Thanks much.
Lots of great ideas and tips in this post. It’s makes the week ahead so much easier.