May’s Challenge: 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer

In May, we’ll be filling our freezers together in the 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer Challenge.

Whether you’re a freezer cooking newbie or an experienced pro, I hope you’ll find inspiration, ideas, and maybe just the extra motivation you need to get some freezer cooking done in order to save time, money, and your sanity!

I’ll be cooking or baking something every weekday for my freezer and I’ll be blogging about what I cook or bake each evening along with a link-up for you to share any freezer cooking or baking ahead you did that day.

I’ll be sharing my weekly plan and recipes at the beginning of the week so that you can follow along and cook what I cook, if you’d like. We’ll be tackling breakfasts the first week, lunches the second week, dinners the third week, and snacks and desserts the fourth week.

If you’d rather create your own plan, that’s wonderful, too! Just do what works best for you.

And if you don’t have any time to do extra cooking, than you can just read along and get some new recipe ideas. Or, you can skip these posts altogether. :)

Come back tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. and I’ll share the list of recipes I plan to tackle this week.

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Comments

  1. Amber Ballard says

    Yay yay yay! I am expecting a baby this summer and have had freezer cooking on my mind to make life easier in a few months. This makes me SO happy!

  2. mireille says

    excited! so far the only thing that i have used from your freezer cooking ideas is freezing muffins when i make them which makes breakfast for my son a little easier and gives him some variety! will you post a list of ingredients in advance so we can plan our grocery bill/list accordingly?

  3. Pamela says

    We’ll be filling our freezers about 8 weeks with 26 chickens! They currently reside in a makeshift brooder in our house right now, but they will be pastured poultry in a few weeks and then fill our freezer a few weeks after that!

    I’d love to do some freezer cooking. I haven’t done it for years. I need to see how much space these birds are going to take up in our two freezers first.

  4. says

    I have been wanting to get more serious about freezer cooking and create and follow some type of organized weekly plan to do so. Thanks for giving me the motivation I need. I can’t wait to work through the plan and blog about my trials and errors as I go.

    Thanks again for the fun project and great blogging inspiration!

  5. Amy says

    I lead a Freezer Meal Workshop once a month and always ‘practice’ my meals first, meaning my freezer is always stocked (and always being used). LOVE freezer cooking and will be reading the follow ups even though I won’t be participating. Hoping to find a new recipe or two though! ;) Thanks, Crystal!

  6. Melanie says

    Any body try freezer cooking without plastic bags or containers? I don’t like what I hear about BPA. Would small glass or corningware containers work?

    • says

      Yes, I know we have readers here who successfully do this. I’m not sure what they cover it with, though, if you don’t feel comfortable with using foil or plastic lids on glass pans. Anyone have suggestions?

    • Sarah says

      Melanie – I’ve used aluminum pans wrapped in foil before. They freeze nicely if you wrap them tightly and use them within the 30 days! Have fun!

      • Lee says

        A lot of the Pyrex and Corning ware have lids, we’ve successfully used those before.

    • Justi Thomas says

      I have some weck canning jars that have glass lid and a rubber seal that work well in the freezer. They stack well but only work for things that can be stored in jars. They were purchased rather inexpensivey at Crate and Barrel. Also Pyrex makes a set of glass storage more suitable for casseroles that come with glass and silicone lids for each dish. Thea are available at Target and elsewhere

      • Cassidy says

        from what I’ve researched there isn’t any BPA in ziploc bags. I’ve also seen that aluminum is bad to use as well.

  7. Tracy says

    I would love to do this challenge with you. We just bought a chest freezer and I have been trying to fill it a little at a time. We have decided to put our house on the market and do not know where we will land after we sell it. So this filling our freezer will have to be put on hold. I will definitely come back to this series once we are in our new home. I enjoy visiting this blog several times a day.

  8. Annie says

    This seems like perfect timing. I just got a small chest freezer, and I am waiting for my mom to come bring it to me, but I should have it in the next week or so hopefully. I’m hoping to fill it quickly.

  9. Kelly says

    I am sooo excited to do this challenge with you!! I can’t wait to have a full freezer just waiting for me. Thank you so much for all you do to help us all.

  10. April M. says

    This is great because I am a pretty bad cook. So am excited about recipes and freezer cooking!

  11. Gabby says

    Sure, I’m trying to use DOWN my freezer to prepare to move. Could we do this in July/August???

    :)

    Have fun but I’m skipping this one. I’ll be watching though.

  12. Sandy H says

    Is this a doable plan if you only have a refrigerator/freezer? We don’t have the space right now for a extra freezer.

    • Kerry D. says

      Many things work great–last year, I cooked about 20 extra batches of spaghetti/meat sauce, sloppy joes, burrito filling etc. and froze them in gallon zip lok bags laid on their side (about 9 cents each, bought 2 box set at Costco)… Once frozen, they stacked flat like pancakes, or vertically in a box on my freezer shelf. A lot of food fit into a pretty small space.

  13. says

    SO excited for this one! I always get bogged down with the idea that I have to make a lot of food in one session to make it worth my while. This idea seems so much more manageable! I can’t wait!

  14. says

    I wish I could join in! But June starts hurricane season here. It’s been years since we’ve had a direct hit, but I’ve learned the hard way that the last thing you want during the long power outages after a hurricane is a freezer full of food. We don’t freeze much at all during the summer anymore – and won’t until we can afford a generator. But I’ll be back to freezer cooking in the winter!

  15. Michelle B. says

    This has been on my to-do list for before the baby comes at the end of June. I wasn’t sure where I was going to start so this will give me a good jumping off place.

  16. Mars says

    Awesome, can’t wait to try your recipes! I love Freezer Cooking, but always seem to run out of good recipes. Looking forward to following this series!

  17. Candy says

    I’m thinking of investing in a vacuum sealer again. I hated my last one. Anyone have one they love or do you just use zipper bags?

    • rachael says

      I have been using my vacuum sealer for freezer cooking this weekend…I get easily annoyed by it. Would have used zipper freezer bags if I didn’t have so many of these vacuum seal bags to use up!

  18. Karen Lee says

    I am so very excited about freezer cooking. We moved into a new home a little over a month ago so I am slowly creating my stock pile again. Would be nice to fill my bare freezer and not have to run out to the store as frequently as I do now. I am curious though, will you be posting a list weekly of the ingredients we will need?

  19. Julie says

    I’m going to try it! All I have ever done are dinners, so really excited about the other meals.

  20. Valerie says

    Yes pls post ingredients for the week I would love to participate I think this is a great idea! ;) I may not do all tho ive still got about 20 meals in my freezer, plenty of room left tho, I have no breakfasts only Dinners & maybe by week 3 ill be looking for more well see ;) Im very excited tho!

  21. rachael says

    Just at the tail end of a MAJOR freezer cooking session…maybe too much in fact.
    This past weekend I managed to do
    – 5 batches of chili
    -5 batches of cornbread
    – 50 chimichangas
    -4 batches of taquitos
    -4 cheeseburger meatloaves (your recipe)
    -4 batches of hamburger vegetable soup (again your recipe)
    – 4 green rice cassaroles (can you tell where I went for inspiration when deciding what to make :) )
    -2 lasagnas
    – 4 batches of teriyaki chicken and rice
    -5 loaves of applesauce bread
    -40 breakfast burritos (yep, your recipe again)
    -3 batches of taco meat and beans
    and I cooked all of my beans from scratch including making refried beans for the chimichangas!
    I still have the chicken enchiladas and a couple more batches of taco meat and beans to freeze….running out of room though.
    Thanks so much for ALL of your inspiration!!

    PS yes this was all done for a reason. Just barely found out that I am pregnant and I usually get so sick by 6 weeks that I can’t step foot in the kitchen, let alone cook a meal for my family, trying to plan ahead a bit this time.

  22. Kiersten says

    Super excited about this as this is my goal this month as I eagerly await my due date on Memorial Day! My husband and I are expecting our second and know that with that comes an adjustment period where we will be tired and not wanting to cook…so to save money I have already started to freezer cook meals for when baby arrives! This is just perfect timing! Thank you! I will be following along!

  23. says

    Wow! What perfect timing! I’m expecting my first baby in early June, and had planned on focusing on Freezer cooking in May. Now, I think I’d switch the timing around (do the dinners first, and breakfast last) but this will be great motivation to get that stocking up done!

  24. says

    Awesome! I was thinking of doing this challenge just for myself. We were really tight last month so I think I spent a total of $100 on milk, eggs, and fresh fruit & vegis. All the rest we ate out of our freezer. It was great! But now I have no more beans, rice, pizza dough or ready meals… time to get cooking!

  25. Belinda says

    I am super excited about this! I have one request or suggestion, will you please place a shopping list at the beginning of the week or on the Friday before so if we need to get certain food items we do not have to run to the store all the time? This way we can be better prepared to freezer cook with you. =)

  26. Heather says

    Crystal, Oh I have to chuckle because upon returning from vacation over the weekend, my husband and I decided to challenge ourselves to eating out of our freezer the ENTIRE MONTH OF MAY!! Poor thing has about 2 inches of frost that needs to come out and get thawed out, so I will be watching you, but unfortunately waiting for June to follow! Just my luck…isn’t that how it always is, right!? LOL! :)

    PS. Will you include it all together in an Ebook by chance?

  27. says

    Perfect timing! My freezer was looking so bare until last week when you started freezer cooking again. I got inspired and made rolls, breadsticks, burritos, taco meat, granola bars, and poptarts over the weekend. I am looking forward to stocking up my freezer more. Thank you so much!

  28. Heather says

    Awesome! I know you have been so busy-and I’m so happy for you! But I have selfishly been missing your regular recipe and freezer cooking posts. I will be participating, so excited for this! THANKS:)

  29. Paula says

    Just pulled my last venison potpie out of the freezer, only one meatloaf left in there! Looking forward to your list, so I can scope out my local ads! Thanks! Busy Tball, baseball, flag football season upon us & my family needs the quick suppers!

  30. Michelle says

    This is perfect! My baby is due on June 9th, so hopefully I can muster up the energy to cook along with you and we’ll have a freezer full of food for when the baby gets here.

  31. Sarah says

    I’m so excited for this! It’s perfect timing for me, since we’re due with baby #2 the first week of June. Maybe this will help motivate me and keep my mind off the inevitable discomforts of the ninth month of pregnancy.

  32. says

    You are brilliant. I liked your organized home series, but unfortunately I had done almost everything you asked in January when I reorganized and clean. Not to mention I was going a Spring Cleaning series on my blog and had done almost everything ahead of time for posting purposes (I am currently taking a hiatus…too much going on here at home). Lately it seems like we are eating out more and more because I took on a second job and I am no longer home in the evenings to cook or do anything for that matter (I literally leave early in the morning and come home well after dark most days). Its extremely time consuming, and I am finding I have less and less time to do the things I enjoy, including cooking. I’ve tried to get into freezer cooking, but could never bring myself to do it.

    I was wondering if you could also make a list of essentials you need for freezer cooking, such as containers you use, etc, etc. I’m never really sure what to cook in and freeze in since most of my stuff in glass, I don’t want to freeze anything in them (aka lasagna).

    Can’t wait for this series to begin!

  33. Rachel says

    wonderful series idea! I did a mini freezing session last night…I put together some chicken enchiladas for dinner on wednesday, so I made extra to put in the freezer. It feels so good to know you’ve made dinner for now AND later! Excited to read the upcoming posts!

  34. Amber says

    Oh this is so great! I won’t be able to start yet until payday but I plan to do this with you all!

  35. Kayla says

    SUPER excited about this challenge! My husband and I were just talking this weekend about really needing to get back into freezer cooking as we are planning a move out of town in the next year or so and need to change the way we will be doing our meals since we won’t be able to go to the store as frequently. Thanks for the push to get me there!

  36. Lindsey says

    Expecting a baby…perfect timing…so excited to try this. I am freezer cooking newbie.

  37. Karen says

    I love the freezer cooking series and would love to see more info related to this. Sometimes I don’t understand, like what do you make with the baking mix? The haystacks recipe, you freeze the taco meat then thaw out in crockpot while you chop the lettuce and tomato? When you have a list of seven breakfast items, is it Monday-Sunday’s meals or your basic outline for the week? I would like to read about how you plan your menus. Maybe I missed this in a previous post before I found you!

    I love your blog! Your blog is like a favorite magazine that I get excited when I see it pop up in my inbox! But I don’t entirely understand the weekly menus because some meals have links to recipes and some don’t. A previous post said “salmon” but no recipe. I try to figure out then how you made the salmon and how it’s saving time because it looks like it wasn’t a freezer meal. I think this is part of where I get lost.