Guest post from Keri of Families & Finance:
If your kid are anything like my kids, they eat ALL THE TIME!
It’s no secret that young children eat about every two hours. If you are in the throes of motherhood, you have probably wondered how in the world they can fit all of that food into such tiny bodies. I sure have!
I have also wondered how I can get away from spending all of my time in the kitchen slicing apples, doling out PB&J’s, and cleaning up the inevitable mess. I really didn’t want to pay for ready-made snacks and meals as they aren’t healthy or budget-friendly!
There had to be a way to streamline the process without shelling out more money.
My Solution = Mini Freezer Meals
I’m all about practical shortcuts, so I put my thinking cap on. After a bit of trial and error, I figured out a no-stress way to create toddler sized freezer meals! It’s so simple that you might just cry happy tears.
My “secret” is to use silicone muffin liners.
When silicone muffin liners first came out, they were all the rage, weren’t they? I saw them everywhere! People were making homemade chocolate cups, and using them as lunch box dividers. I thought “Well, I’d better get myself a set of those and see if they are all they’re cracked up to be.” It turns out, they are.
The idea came to me after I saw someone freezing soup in muffin tins. I thought it would be pretty difficult to remove the soup without a liner. Suddenly, I realized that although soup might not be a great thing to put into a silicone liner, other leftovers would work great!
That night, I took the few leftovers from our meal and dumped them into a muffin liner. I stuck it into the freezer in a snack-sized Ziploc bag. The next day, I fed my two-year-old his very first homemade freezer meal. It was a miracle!
Homemade Freezer Meals Save Time, Money, and Energy
I have been doing this ever since and it is a complete lifesaver!
Right before I had my third baby, I made a few dishes to turn into muffin cup meals so that I could feed my boys without having to cook. I can’t imagine what I would have done without them!
However, my favorite thing about this is that it can be done without any extra meal prep. My youngest two would be hard pushed to finish two muffin cups each. This doesn’t add up to much food at all!
Whenever we have a little bit of a recipe left after dinner, it goes right into the freezer. If I’m running low on mini freezer meals, I usually steal a couple of muffin liners before everyone eats. Nobody is the wiser, and it saves me a lot of work.
This has relieved me from dishes and cooking so many times!
Homemade Freezer Meal Tips
Make sure to label the snack bags. It won’t take long before you have a variety of meals to choose from. If your toddler is anything like mine, he will want a say in what he eats for lunch, and everything starts looking the same pretty quickly.
When you are ready to feed your kids, just pop a muffin cup into a dish and heat it up in the microwave. The muffin cups take about thirty seconds each to defrost. Then, stir them up and they are the perfect temperature for little ones. If your kiddo is a bit older, zap it for another fifteen seconds or so.
Make Your Own Mini Muffin Meals
This idea is incredibly simple and it can be applied to almost any leftovers. I have frozen mac and cheese, casserole, and breakfast bowls to name a few. The sky is the limit!
It’s amazing how much of a difference this one simple trick has made in our lives. Give this mom-hack a shot if you are looking to save money, time, and energy while feeding your kids!
Keri is a mother of three, Financial Planner, and founder of the blog, Families & Finance. She helps struggling stay-at-home-moms relieve the stress of money through frugal living, personal finance, and entrepreneurship so that they can find fulfillment in their everyday lives.