4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer: Week #1 Breakfast Freezer Foods Plan + Shopping List

Are you ready to get busy filling your freezer? My goal with this challenge is to erase your fears of freezer cooking and to show you that — no matter what stage or season in life you’re in — you can find a way to make it work for you.

In the process, I hope you fall in love with freezer cooking, if you haven’t already. It’s been a huge sanity-saver to me so I can’t help but be a big advocate of it. :)

Here’s this week’s list of Breakfast Foods I’ll be making to stick in the freezer along with a grocery list (let me know if you see any mistakes on amounts needed):

Click on the “Print This” tab at the top of the list to generate a printer-friendly list. (If you’re reading via email or a feed reader, you may need to click through to the post to print the list.)

Before you head to the store, make sure to clean out and organize your freezer and check that you have enough storage space for these items in it.

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Comments

  1. says

    Ah! You are listing the storage items needed! I totally just left a comment on your previous post asking if you would include the storage items needed. You are wonderful! I can’t wait to start baking. The good news is I have most of that on hand in vegan versions (we are a vegan household) so I should be able to bake right along! Unfortunately I will not be making banana bread tonight as I forgot to buy bananas yesterday (they never made it on my list for some reason!) I’ll pick some up at Aldi’s later in the week!

  2. says

    I am curious to see at what stage you freeze the cinnamon rolls? I have been making the ones from your recipe section for the last while and my family loves them and it sure would be nice to have them already made up so I could just pop them in the oven. I have decided to use what I have to grocery shopping day on Thursday. I want to concentrate mostly on sides and baking, since we grill a lot in the warmer months.

  3. says

    This is a wonderful series! Thank you! I have been fumbling along trying to “figure out” how to do freezer cooking. This is really helpful. I especially love the lists of supplies. I’m really excited about this!

  4. Sheila says

    I haven’t needed powdered milk for any recipes since I had to start cooking dairy free for my daughter. Is there a dairy free version?

    • says

      On the baking mix, you can leave off the powdered milk and just use a milk substitute (in place of water) when using it in recipes.

    • says

      For dairy free “milk powder”, I have successfully used Vance’s DariFree powder. It is a potato based milk alternative.

      • says

        I too use the Vances’s DariFree powder. I use it in my make ahead cream soup mix and in my baking mix. I get mine from Azure Standard.

  5. Erica says

    Thank you! When we served overseas last summer for six weeks I never thought it would be so hard to get back on the freezer cooking and couponing bandwagon once back home. After nearly a year, I am making some great progress on getting stocked up to where we were and this is just the extra boost I needed.

  6. Megan Henry says

    Thank you for sharing. I was just explaining to my mom your concept. I plan on using your methods because I am due to have our second child at the end of this summer. I too think it will save time and money as well.

    Thank you.

    • Jennifer says

      I will be having my 2nd child in November (right around Thanksgiving) So I will be using this series again in Sept/Oct to make sure I have food handy after the baby arrives, since I will be having a c-section, not having to do a lot of cooking or cleaning will be a blessing.

  7. Sara says

    I’m going to make a double batch of lasanga for dinner tonight, and triple batch of waffles tomorrow morning. You’ve inspired me to get back to freezer cooking this month!

  8. Shantel says

    How many are in your family and how long will this last? A week? Longer?

    • says

      We have five in our family — this would definitely be enough for two weeks’ worth of breakfasts, but we also throw in cereal, oatmeal, etc. for some of the days, so I can probably stretch all of this to last us a month.

      • Wendy says

        Not sure I’ll do this (I’m not a freezer cooking kind of gal) but you did make me smile at your comment about how long this would last. Teen son #1 brought home 2 friends from school yesterday. Between them they wiped out 1 loaf of banana bread, a plate of cookies I had made yesterday and half a bag of chips and salsa. After eating a filling dinner, he went to soccer practice. When he came home at
        9 p.m. he had to run next door to grandmas to get two hamburgers to eat. He’s not overweight–just active and growing. I would definitely need to make more than two loaves of banana bread to get me through two weeks, but then I am in a different stage in life than you are. Thanks for all your encouragement, you are an inspiration to so many people. :-)

        • says

          Yes, I used to cook for my family of nine so I definitely know how boys can eat! :)

          Since my children are still young, I’m blessed that a half of a loaf of banana bread will be enough for breakfast if we pair it with scrambled eggs and fruit or something similar. I know my days of being able to pull that off are numbered, though — especially since we went through a dozen eggs in one meal the other day.

          That said, I’m pretty sure my girls could give those two boys a run for their money when it comes to chips and salsa. ;)

          • Wendy says

            You are funny! I would love to hear more about your experience when you were cooking for a larger family—I’m assuming when you were growing up? While there are only 4 in my family I know some of your readers do have larger families. Maybe you’d be willing to share some of that experience sometime.

        • kj says

          Your comment made me smile. I’m not quite at your level yet (no teenage boys yet) but when my 9 year old son finished a large bowl of oatmeal then looked at me and asked if there was anything else to eat, I knew I was seeing my future. :-)

        • Jen says

          You’re scaring me, Wendy! :) I have two little boys, and the 14 month old already eats twice as much as the 4 year old. He is insatiable. They are like night and day.

          I can only imagine how much food I will have to cook to keep two growing boys and my husband fed in a few years. One whole, roasted chicken is just enough for a meal, and a “leftover meal” (pot pie, soup, etc.). I joked with my husband that in the future, I’ll probably be roasting 3 for a single meal.

  9. Lacey Davis says

    What are you going to use the baking mix for? I don’t want to make it if I won’t use it.

  10. says

    I was just making a freezer cooking list over the weekend! I can’t fill mine too full since we’re getting a 1/4 of a cow soon, but I do need some freezer meals stocked up. I’m spending way too much time in the kitchen!

  11. says

    This is exciting! I can’t wait to start. I love your site and all of the tips and especially love the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that are now a staple in my freezer! Yummy!

  12. says

    Crystal,

    I absolutely love this series! I’m encouraging my readers to participate and I hope to as well. I told my readers to let me know if they need an allergy-friendly version of any of your recipes. I hope some join in. Perhaps I’ll do a similar {allergy-friendly} series down the road because like you, I strongly believe in the benefits of freezer cooking and try to do little mini sessions whenever possible.

    Thanks!
    Michelle

    • Misti says

      Michelle/Crystal-
      It would be soooo amazing if you had gluten free versions of these recipes that you would be willing to provide. I would LOVE to freezer cook but I have trouble figuring out what gluten free counterpart to use. Thank you so much and God bless you both!!

      • says

        Misti,

        I’m waiting to see how my gluten-free banana bread turns out. It’s cooling right now, but a little nibble was pretty good. I’ve never made this particular recipe before but I’m hopeful. I’m happy to help you out as much as I can. You can follow my name to my site where you can get in touch with me.

        Michelle

  13. Kari says

    I’m hopping on board for this month’s challenge and just changing some of the items to fit our family’s preferences. I like the idea of a theme week (breakfasts).

    My unofficial plan:
    waffles
    muffins
    breakfast burritos
    sausage/egg mcmuffin – if I’m feeling ambitious

  14. Teresa says

    Thanks for this series. It is perfect for me right now. I am pregnant and feeling better, but most foods sound awful. I am haing a hard time cooking because nothing sounds good. I was just telling my husband I wished he would just give me a list of meals to make. I guess you read my mind. My family will thank you since we might actually have some food to eat now.

    • says

      I had horrible morning sickness until week 40 with my first, and until week 22 with this current pregnancy. So, I completely understand! My first pregnancy my husband made PB&J or Eggos every night, but with the 2nd it is was much harder because I had to feed my preschooler. I just threw lots of meals into the crock pot and had my husband serve them up at night. That way I never really had to prep anything, which was the worst part. Good luck, hope you’re feeling better soon!

  15. Kristin says

    I am single and live alone. Would it make sense to half these recipes? I also don’t have a ton of room in my freezer so I know that all of it won’t fit lol

  16. says

    I have been wanting to try more freezer cooking because I think it will make my days more efficient/productive – much needed here! I’m going to try to play along – I just need to figure out when I can find a chunk of time to do it.

    Would you do all of this in one day?

    Thanks!

    • says

      No, I’m just doing one recipe per day — see the days mentioned above on the list. You could do it all in one day, but since I have three children and am homeschooling, I rarely have big blocks of time during the day to pull off a long freezer cooking list.

  17. Carolyn K says

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but where are the recipes for the above items?

    • says

      Click on the names of the recipes in the post to take you to them. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you.

  18. Amanda says

    Although I am very aware of how convenient freezer cooking is for many people, I can’t fathom not cooking and baking every day. As a home-schooling mom of five children ages 10 and under, I find being in the kitchen relaxing and delightful. I love to plan our healthy meals, and the children sometimes help me cook and bake. I guess food planning, modifying recipes to make them healthier, and food prep is a hobby for me. :) I do occasionally make a double batch during a particularly hectic week, or make granola bars a day ahead when we will have a day of errands or activities planned. I love to peruse your recipes though, and have gotten some fantastic “jumping off” ideas too as I create my own concoctions. I will read this post because I find it intrigiuing, but I will make the recipes on a more daily schedule.

  19. Jennifer says

    I love this! I have most of the ingredients I need. I even have most of the storage stuff you listed. I am so excited to get started :) Now I just need to organize my freezer so I have room to put stuff in it.

  20. Tina says

    Crystal,

    I know you use a bread machine alot to mix dough, I dont have one though. Will I still be able to follow along?

    Obviously you can tell I am not a cook :-)

    Also, I dont have many kitchen baking ware(like a mat to roll out dough on). Could I just roll it on a clean countertop?

  21. says

    It is great you are doing the freezer items. I usually do some batch cooking for the freezer when I have time, but this will be nice to have some of each meal in the freezer. I will do bagels today as we don’t have enough bananas to do the banana bread. But then the rest of the week I will follow the plan.

    Crystal,
    Can you post what ingredients we will need for the lunches next week later this week? I want to make sure to have everything and I usually do my shopping over the weekend. This week because I bake so much I had everything needed except the bananas.

  22. says

    Is this going to be possible with a tiny freezer? We don’t even have a side by side refrigerator. It’s an older basic Fridge with a top freezer. (and the ice maker takes up half the room!!) I would love to do this, but worry that I’m not going to have the space? Any advice?

    • says

      This is my problem too. Our small apartment-grade freezer is basically packed with just the things I use regularly: meat that I’ve bought on manager’s special, frozen vegetables, extra loaves of bread, and skillet meals bought at sale+coupon prices. I freeze leftovers as I can, but I can’t imagine being able to fit even 1 casserole dish in there, let alone as many as this would make.

      It’s definitely a dream of mine to someday have a large freezer and be able to do this to its fullest potential!!

      • says

        I only had an over-the-fridge freezer for a long time and was able to fit an amazing amount in there by getting really creative. I also tried to use the frozen items as part of the freezer meals in order to free up more space (making meatballs, etc.)

        Have you ever tried freezing things flat in bags and then standing them up like file folders or stacking them? You can do 15-20 meals this way in a small amount of space.

        Another thing you can do is make baking mixes and store them in your fridge. They won’t keep quite as long, but they’ll keep for quite awhile and can cut down on meal prep time.

      • Sarah in Alaska says

        I say get into the ‘spirit’ of this challenge. Check out what’s already in your freezer and find out what you can make out of it, and then refreeze.

        I’m in the same boat as you with an apartment freezer and I’ve found that the best things I can do is to save prep time – even if it isn’t true freezer cooking. This means that all ground meat (turkey and beef) gets cooked with onions and spices before it even gets put in the freezer. Saves me loads of time on meal prep.

  23. says

    I’m curious as to how you thaw an entire loaf of bread? I’ve tried it in the past and it didn’t work well, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t seal it well and/or left it in the freezer too long.

    I’ve noticed you freeze entire loafs of Nature’s Own plus you’re freezing a loaves of banana bread. Do you just take it out and let it sit on the counter overnight? Does it change the texture at all? Thanks for the input!

  24. says

    Great series! Was just beginning to stock my freezer and pantry with pre-made goodies which I will either freeze, can, or dry. I am expecting baby number eight in August, so any help my husband can have with meals during my recovery will be a blessing! Now, to find room for it all since we grow and preserve many of our own foods anyway. Looking forward to following along!

  25. says

    I am doubling your whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe (which should make about 80 cookies) and hopefully will get a chance to triple a batch of whole wheat waffles, this week. My freezer is pretty much chocked full with cooked beef and frozen fruits, chicken stock, etc., so I hope there is some room for what I want to make.

  26. says

    I might have to get on board with this challenge! I tried freezer cooking in the past. But strangely found myself hesitant to eat the meals once they had been frozen. I think because I dislike frozen convenience meals, I transferred that dislike towards my own food LOL! So my version of freezer cooking now is to cook and freeze the components of meals (like browned beef, cooked beans, etc) instead of entire meals.

    But breakfast items would be a good place to start, especially for our family (work + school = busy mornings). However, I’m not sure if my favorite recipes for pancakes, french toast and cinnamon rolls would freeze well. Guess there’s only one way to find out!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  27. Diane says

    Do you have a general guideline you try to follow of how much of your freezer is devoted to meals and how much to stocked up frozen meats, veggies, cheese, whatever else? We freeze milk and cheese when it’s on sale and between that and the frozen veggies and some meat I don’t have room for a ton of freezer meals (and we do have a decently large separate freezer). Maybe I am going too far on the stock piling?

  28. Teria says

    Thank you so much!!! You have really made my day. Financially we are in a tough spot, and today was the kick off of cutting costs and getting out of this. I felt overwhelmed, but this challenge was my saving grace. Thank you!!!

  29. Annette says

    I’m not sure the at least two cups on the milk is enough in the grocery list for all the recipes especially for the waffles and oatmeal. Not a big deal but thought you might want to double check that. I love this idea. Thank you for doing it!!

  30. says

    Im so excited to try these recipes & the best thing of all is I have ALL these ingredients except the only thing I need is Bananas. The boys ( 8 & 7 in 2weeks) have already eaten the ones I did buy, I let them have free range of the kitchen Sunday to make their snacks. It wasnt bad my oldest made pb & chocolate Banana sandwich & my youngest hates Pb so he made chocolate banana cracker sandwiches. Lol it was cute to watch them feel like adults & make their own decisions. Im excited to try the waffles, Banana Bread & Pumpkin choc chip muffins, I kinda trailed off ur menu with the last lol Ty so much for always sharing with us! Love ur blog! ;)

  31. Jessica says

    I did it! I have 2 loaves of banana nut bread in the oven and the ktchen is cleaned up. Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. Jamie says

    I am looking forward to trying to do a bit of freezer cooking. I agree with the above commenter that I tend to not want to thaw and eat main entrees that I freeze but I think breads and breakfast items will be better. I am going to give it a try! Also, we are Paleo/gluten free so I will be using this recipe for the banana bread: http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-banana-bread/
    Can’t wait to eat some banana bread!
    Jamie

  33. says

    I adore this idea!! I have tried freezer cooking a few times but have never quite figured out how to make it work for us. But I plan to follow along with this monthly challenge even though I will be doing them 1 week behind. =) Thanks for the great idea/info/everything!! lol =)

  34. Suzy says

    I am sitting here eating some “Carrot Waffles” from a previous post. WE LOVE THEM!

    Changes I made, I just used regular milk because I didn’t have buttermilk or any lemon juice on hand and I added water to make the batter thinner.

    YUM.

    Can’t wait to try some of these new recipes.

  35. Meredith says

    A few questions…. Can we have next week’s grocery list on Friday? Since I work full time, I do my food shopping on the weekend. Also, I don’t have a bread machine, is that the only way to do the cinnamon rolls? I also don’t have a waffle maker! AHHHH… I’m already striking out!

    • says

      You can do the cinnamon rolls by hand, but it’s a lot more work. I’d switch those out with something easier, unless you’re highly motivated. And you can do pancakes instead of the waffles — or muffins, or whatever your family likes. Or just skip it altogether!

      • Meredith says

        I apologize if I sounded like I was complaining. Thanks for your response… I’m determined to get something out of this challenge. This doesn’t come easily, but I’m not giving up. Thanks again for your suggestions!

        • Wendy says

          I don’t have a waffle maker either so I always make pancakes and freeze. And I don’t think you need a bread maker to do bread. In fact, I gave away my bread maker. I think it’s easier and bread tastes better when I make up the bread myself…but that’s just me.

    • Danielle B says

      Don’t worry, I don’t have a bread machine or a waffle iron yet either! (And, my husband shattered the stoneware part of my Crock-pot last week. Can you guess what I’m asking as my gift for Mother’s Day?) I’ll be making this recipe for Fluffy Pancakes from allrecipes.com instead of waffles: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fluffy-pancakes-2/detail.aspx

      When you freeze the pancakes, use small squares of wax paper in between the pancakes so that they won’t freeze as one solid unit. I have a large baggie I keep in the freezer, and as we use the pancakes I put the wax squares into that baggie. You can just keep reusing them over and over to help save time and money!

      And instead of cinnamon rolls, I’ll just make two extra loaves of Amish white bread using this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/amish-white-bread/detail.aspx
      Set your timer for 10 minutes and play some music you like to help the kneading pass quicker!
      I may not actually freeze my loaves, because we’re using bread as a main staple right now and I can’t keep up with the demand, but you definitely CAN freeze the bread if you want. Just wrap it well in plastic wrap, 2 or 3 layers.

      I hope this helps! :-)

    • Mary says

      We have a waffle maker, but I’m making pancakes anyway. I can cook 8 at a time on my griddle, instead of 2 waffles. The waffles are big, but it cuts my hands on time by at least half.

  36. Suzanne says

    I would love to start freezer cooking and am so glad you started this! However, we have just gone gluten free due to a couple of people in my house. I was just wondering if you ever tried any of your own baking recipes with a gluten free mix instead of flour when your family was eating gluten free. Your recipes always sound so good (especially the cinnamon rolls) and I always wanted to try them, and now I don’t have any good ideas for breakfast!

  37. cwaltz says

    Wow! What a great resource, short of going to the store with me and holding my hand during the cooking process I can’t see how you could make this any easier. I particularly like how you made a shopping list. This way I can print it and tailor the challenge to our pay period. I have 4 locusts so I figure this would cover 10-11 of the 14 days in a pay period. I’m trying to get our grocery budget under $300 for a 2 week cycle. Hopefully with this I can get us there.

  38. Jenny says

    I see you are not using your breadmaker cinnamon roll recipe. Is there a reason you’ve switched?

  39. Jessica says

    Great list! I work 10 hours a day during the week and don’t have time by the time I get home at 9pm to do cooking, but I am planning to pick 4 of my favorites and double up this weekend! The baked oatmeal looks really good!!!

  40. Amy R says

    I am soooooo excited about this series, but I do have one question… Do you have a freezer aside for the one in your kitchen. I’m just trying to figure out how to fit all this in my side by side fridge/freezer. I do well with meats and things I can freeze flat in ziplocs and “file,” but chunkier items like muffins and loaves I struggle with more.

    • says

      I do. However, I think you should be able to fit everything in the freezer side of a side-by-side freezer — provided you don’t have a lot of other stuff in there.

  41. Elizabeth B says

    Does anyone have low-carb freezer recipes to share? All these breakfasts look delicious, but we’re doing Atkins right now (or rather, my husband is). (I’ll definitely bookmark this for later but I want to get back into freezer cooking now if I can! :) ) The only breakfasts I can think of to freeze are mini-quiches, and I love the idea of doing weekly meal-themed freezer cooking.

  42. Abra says

    I am so excited about this series! It is very timely for me. I have gradually been doing some freezer cooking (your posts inspire me), but have made it a goal to get into a routine. I can’t wait to see the results day-by-day, week-by-week and at the end of the month. Thanks for all you do, Crystal!

  43. April D says

    I love to freezer cook but my problem is that sometimes I bake things and I forget to use it and I end up throwing it out but I’m just not sure. My question is how long are these items good for to stay in the freezer? I was thinking about putting that on the outside of the bag as well. I’ve tried your breakfast burritos and froze them-they were wonderful and easy. I might subsitute those for the waffles as we normally do breakfast night one day a week and have waffles then.

    • Pam says

      I have done a LOT of freezer cooking over the years. With 6 kids and babysitting numerous kids at a time, bulk cooking was a must. When I was able to accumulate a lot of meals and baked items in my freezer I found it tremendously helpful to make a list and placed it on the side of my refridgerator to keep track of what I had. I would just mark the items off as used. I still do this with my freezer beef so that I have some idea of how much I have left and that I’m trying to use all of the cuts of meat. Yes, sometimes I do forget to mark off items. I update the list when I occasionally clean out and reorganize my refridgerator and freezers.

  44. Amy R says

    One more thing before I head to the store… I have a ziploc full of mashed banana in the freezer. Do you know how it translates whole banana to cups of mashed banana? I’m guessing 2-3 bananas=1 cup. Does that sound about right? This series is soooooo cool!!!!