Sometimes something's gotta give.
You can't do it all.
Many things can't come off our plate.
You can't take the day off from work to finish your manuscript.
Your kids need clean underwear and socks for school. As much as we hate tackling that laundry pile.
As a busy mom and writer like many of you, I have been thrilled to find something in my life that is negotiable, meal time. Now, don't get me wrong frozen fish sticks and tater tots will work occasionally but not for day after day. That's why I have a plan of attack for dinner. An appliance that saves me hours and hours per week...my freezer.
This 5' by 3' cubic appliance is a God send! Here's how I use mine to not only save time but also dollars!
- Have a meat cooking day:
When you come home with your groceries think about the meals for the week. And if you don't have a plan, check out a service such as emeals to create simple meal plans. Meal planning will not only save you time, but also money in the long run. You can always switch your plan to fit the day.
Now, since you know your meals for the week, divide your meat as needed for each meal. It takes only a few minutes to cook your ground beef or chicken and pop it in a freezer bag. Later, you can add dressings or marinades and vegetables for simple great meals.
Here's a favorite super simple meal using frozen ground beef and macaroni and cheese mix. Cheap and easy:
2 boxes Kraft Macaroni & Cheese mix
1 lb ground beef, precooked
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
2 cups Mexican cheese blend shredded
1 cup sour cream
1) Make macaroni and cheese according to boxed mix. Preheat oven to 400F.
2) Stir in ground beef, salsa, 1 cup of the Mexican cheese blend, 1 packet taco seasoning, and sour cream. Place in large baking dish.
3) Top with final 1 cup of Mexican cheese.
4) Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
5) Serve with corn and a salad.
-Cut up vegetables and freeze them after your grocery run. You can grab a meat packet, grab a vegetable packet and voila stir fry. All you need to do is keep stocked up on a few marinades such as Garlic Sauce or Hoisin Sauce. Check your local Asian department.
-Have a party. A freezer meal party. If you are intimidated by this idea, there are Tastefully Simple consultants who hold parties where you bring your materials and leave with ten tasty freezer meals. There are meal stations around the country where take-home containers are provided. It can be a great excuse to get friends together.
Here Ree Drummond talks about Freezer Cooking.
Prolific blogger and author, Crystal Paine has a step-by-step on freezer cooking at Money Saving Moms.
Need more great recipes? Check out Martha Stewart's Freezer-Friendly Foods.
Do you freezer cook? I would love to hear your recipes in the comments section. What is your best meal for when you're on deadline?