How do you find the strength/discipline to follow through with freezer cooking on a consistent basis? I’ve not disciplined myself to do so as of yet. I do so enjoy reading about your freezer cooking experiences, however. Is it really that well worth the effort? (time saved, easy clean-up after each meal, etc.?) –a reader
Yes, freezer cooking has been so worth it for our family. I wrote a post in 2010 with three specific reasons why I love freezer cooking. And those reasons still hold very true two years later.
1. I spend a lot less time cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.
I no longer have big time blocks in our schedule to do full day or half day cooking sessions, but I’ve found that doing mini half-hour or one-hour freezer cooking sessions works really well for this season of our life. And while I might not be making 20 or 30 meals at a time, by consistently cooking ahead once or twice a week, we always have some meals in the freezer for those busy days when I don’t have time or energy for cooking.
Instead of having to dirty up a bowl to make meatloaf three times in six weeks, I just triple the recipe and make meatloaf once and stick the extra two dinners’ worth of meatloaf in the freezer. If I’m already going to dirty up a bowl, I might as well double or triple the recipe saving me the effort and mess later on in the month. After all, it really doesn’t take but a few more minutes to make two extra batches of meatloaf — and the clean up time is pretty much the same!
2. I don’t have to dread 5 p.m. anymore.
I don’t know about you, but there are some days at our home when life whizzes by so quickly and all of a sudden, it’s 5 p.m. and dinner isn’t even a figment of my imagination. Before I started regularly cooking ahead and freezing meals, I’d be tempted to call my husband and ask him to bring something home for dinner.
Freezer cooking has solved the 5 p.m. “What’s-For-Dinner” panic. If I forget to pull something out earlier in the day, I’ll just pick a meal from my freezer stash that defrosts quickly — such as meatballs. I pair this with some frozen veggies, rice, and maybe a fruit salad. No one even has to know I forgot about dinner until 30 minutes before it was supposed to happen!
3. It’s not a huge undertaking to have dinner guests or take a meal to someone.
When I have meals already made in the freezer, it’s rather simple to bring food to a new mom or have friends over for dinner.
Lasagna casserole, spaghetti pie, and meatballs are great staple meals to have on hand to share with others. Just whip up some Bread Machine Buttery Rolls, make a salad or fruit and maybe some brownies and you’re set! I also like to sometimes make up chocolate chip cookie dough and freeze it so I can quickly make a dessert for friends coming over or to take somewhere.
Knowing the reward that comes as a result of the effort is what gives me the motivation and discipline to follow through with freezer cooking. Well, and it also helps that I have the public accountability of blogging about it and all.
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How about the rest of you? Have you found freezer cooking to be worth it for you? Why or why not?