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Freezer Cooking Day: Crockpot Sausage & Peppers, Slab Apple Pie, Apple Pie Filling, Muffins, Ziti, and Taco Meat

Freezer Cooking on a $70 weekly grocery budget. This is SO impressive and inspiring!! Check out everything she made in just a couple hours!

Our garage freezer was almost empty 2 weeks ago. I decided to challenge myself to see if I could slowly fill it up — on our $70/week grocery budget.

This is one way you can save SO much money. Buy ahead when things are on a low, low price and you’ll rarely ever pay full price for anything. Then, use what you already have on hand in the freezer/fridge/pantry as the basis for your meals and freezer cooking.

I did an impromptu freezer cooking day on Tuesday and here’s what I made (well, “freezer cooking day” might be a bit of an overstatement since I actually only spent a little over two hours on this cooking and the clean up! But hey, “freezer cooking day” sounds better so we’ll go with it!)

We had a bunch of peppers and some onions that I had gotten marked down, so I combined them with some sausage I had gotten for $1.99 per package plus a little celery I had left in the fridge to make sausage and peppers in the Crock-pot. I cooked this on low most of the day. We ate half for dinner (served over rice) and I froze the rest for another day.

I had a bunch of apples that I’d gotten marked down at Kroger over the past few weeks and turned them into one of our favorite recipes — Slab Apple Pie! I baked it and we froze it to have on hand for quick desserts in the next two months when hosting guests!

I had enough apples left over to make a bag of Apple Pie Filling (sliced apples with lemon juice and cinnamon/sugar).

I used some marked down bananas I had gotten recently and stuck in the freezer to make some amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

I used our favorite Banana Bread recipe and just added some chocolate chips to the batter. My kids love these in their lunches and they also make great snacks. We store them in the freezer and then just pull them out as we need them!

We had some cream cheese that needed to be used up and some blueberries in the freezer, so I searched online for recipe ideas and found this one.

I taste-tested one and it was delicious! I stuck these in a freezer bag and put them in freezer fit quick snacks!

The Final Results of My Freezer Cooking Day:

And I did a little bit more freezer cooking on Thursday and Friday, too…

We had frozen cottage cheese and browned sausage I had gotten marked down + pasta sauce in the fridge that needed to be used up and pasta I’d gotten for $0.49/box, so I found a deal on mozzarella cheese and made 3 pans of Ziti. One for dinner that night and two for the freezer.

I found ground turkey marked down to $1.99 per pound, so I bought 2 pounds and browned them with homemade taco seasoning and stuck two bags of taco meat in the freezer.

It makes me so happy to see that our garage freezer is starting to fill up a little bit! I’m going to keep challenging myself to add more deals and freezer meals to our garage freezer every week without spending more than our $70 grocery budget.

We’ll see how long it takes to fill it up! (And of course, we’ll be eating some what’s in this freezer every week, upping the challenge even more!)

I love looking at saving money as a fun challenge! This makes my competitive side come out in a good way AND (in our super lean years) it kept me from feeling trapped!

Instead of saying, “Ugh! This is all the $$ we have to spend!” Change your perspective and say, “How well can we do on this small amount?!”

Have you done any freezer cooking recently? What are your favorite recipes to stick in the freezer? Any suggestions on recipes I should try soon?

P.S. See my previous Freezer Cooking Sessions here.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

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38 Comments

  • Karen says:

    Those banana chocolate chip muffins look delicious! I might try that this week.

  • Rhonda says:

    I love reading about others’ freezer cooking sessions! About a month ago I defrosted my 2 large freezers, and when ground chuck went on sale for $1.88/lb., I bought 50 lbs. and spent a day cooking 3 Bean Bake, taco meat, Sloppy Joes, Slim Sloppy Joes, Mama’s Meatloaf, Lazy Lasagna, Cowboy Grub, Chili, BBQ Beef Patties, Poor Man’s Steak patties, and bags of browned hamburger. I also currently have cheesy hash browns, party mashed potatoes, and bags of cooked brown rice in the freezer, along with breakfast burritos (found eggs for 15 cents/dozen a few weeks after Easter) and bags of shredded and diced chicken. Additionally, I have bags of homemade granola, banana choc. chip muffins, choc. chip cookies, choc. cake, lemon bars and peanut butter cookies in the freezer. Another side dish I love to keep on hand throughout the summer is frozen fruit slush to eat with a meal or to use in green smoothies.

    • Theresa says:

      I’m envious of your freezer stash!!! That’s a lot of food. We need to start freezer cooking in earnest again. I think I’ll stick with making double batches of a few suppers to start.

    • Connie says:

      That is awesome. I to do the freezer thing. I buy a turkey cut it up, boil it and make taco meat, enchiladas, chimichangas, soup, n cut the breast in chunks and cook for salads. The things we can do with what we have. Alot of my griends refuse tonfreeze their leftovers. Not me.

    • This is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing! What an inspiration!

  • Linda says:

    We work an odd shift. So when we get home I’m too tired to make anything. Great ideas that I will incorporate into my life! Thank you for sharing.

  • Susan says:

    I love how neat and clean your freezer is!!!

  • Tricia says:

    Soup is our favorite thing to stick in the freezer – we make double (or triple) for dinner and the rest goes in the freezer. So easy. We also like chicken enchiladas for the freezer – I usually make about 4-5 pans at a time.

  • Erica Knight says:

    I need to invest in a bigger freezer for this! I love batch cooking but don’t have the freezer space

  • Terry says:

    I buy those same dairy-soy free chocolate chips. They are awesome for people with sensitivities.

  • Danielle Justine Spears says:

    I really need to do this. We don’t have a freezer in our garage yet, but I think this might be the summer to do it. How do you reheat the foods like the peppers and pasta?

  • Amy R says:

    totally OT…What do you use to clean your wood floors?

  • Kate says:

    This post has me motivated to do some freezer cooking before baby #2 arrives! Can you share what you did to get the Apple filling for the pies ready??

  • Melissa says:

    Crystal, do you have a method for remembering what is now in your freezer, so it gets used before it gets icy? We haven’t figured this part out and sometimes find frosty surprises in the depths of the chest freezer.

  • Becky says:

    I’ve done freezer meals off an on for many years and it is always such a time and energy saver! I’m in my 40th year of raising kiddos (we adopted our grandkids 15 years ago!) and have learned that a bit of planning and prepping ahead not only allows for less work in the long run, but also more time to enjoy, nurture, and teach those kiddos! Each of them have learned to cook (to some degree 😉 ) along the way as well.

  • Tammy says:

    I love all of your ideas for freezer stashes….I do a few of the same and also like to make lasagna, meatloaves, and I pre-marinate pork tenderloins in a big zip loc. Pork is pretty cheap and so excellent and fast on a bbq. I love seeing how far I can stretch a buck too. It kills me to see people wasting leftovers!

  • Kim says:

    I’m regrowing celery by starting the head in water in my window seal. It’s thriving outside now & it wasn’t even an organic package! I re grew two celery heads in pots last year. They survived until February or March, so I had to start some more. It’s so easy to grow! Love freezer cooking!! 🙂

  • Jacque says:

    Thanks for getting on your soap box. I’m excited about making your ideas work for our family! I need to save money on groceries! Thanks again

  • Vivian says:

    What an excellent use of resources, both time and $$.
    Keep up the good work and the inspiration for the rest of us!

  • Cheryl Hershberger says:

    I made about 35 crockpot freezer meals last year at this time and they lasted us all summer. I’ve been working on my menu and shopping list for this all week. I also use this opportunity to use up as much as I can from what I already have in the pantry. I make a beef burrito with meat, beans, corn, salsa, and taco seasoning. I always buy burger in bulk when it’s on sale and fry it up to grab quick, but I never actually made taco meat. I’m definitely stealing that idea. I also make a ton of premade parties. (I don’t like the store bought ones) I also do meat spaghetti sauce, sausage spaghetti sauce, shepherds pie, chicken with gravy (and I throw in some mixed veggies) for chicken and waffles, I do sausage and peppers. Pork chops and gravy. Stew. Pot roast.

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