I JUST had a hip replacement 4 weeks ago. Phew!
And if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I despise cooking. Seriously, I’d rather scrub toilets!
So the thought of making dinner for my family of six hobbling around on crutches (taking me FOUR times long!) was too much for me to handle.
Enter freezer meals.
These saved my life and they’ll save yours too if you’re a mega-busy-mom who needs dinner on the table in 20 minutes on busy weekday nights.
Chances are if you’re reading this blog…I’m talking to YOU!
So, here’s how you prepare a month’s worth of easy, healthy freezer meals in one day.
Two Days Before Meal Prep
Make a List of Your Meals
Many of your favorite meals are freezable already. Casseroles, stir-frys, and crockpot meals freeze beautifully.
Things that don’t freeze well are fresh greens (romaine, spinach etc.) and potatoes get mushy!
Legumes freeze well, but I recommend you soak and cook them first (at least partially) to make sure they fully cook in the end. Canned legumes work as well but fresh is healthier (and cheaper!)
Another great tip is to pick one recipe and double (or triple) it, which makes meal prep faster.
I picked 15 recipes and doubled them for 30 monthly meals. That way you double up on meals every two weeks. This is usually enough variety for the fam.
The BEST freezer meals are the ones where you combine everything in a gallon sized ziplock bag then cook in the crockpot.
Two reasons why.
None of the ingredients require cooking prior to combining which saves time AND makes it taste like you’re not eating leftovers!
As you know I’m not a cook AT ALL, so visit Kelly over at New Leaf Wellness and she’ll hook you up with some great healthy recipes.
Print Out Your Recipes
Look…this is a huge undertaking. Food will fly everywhere. Your kitchen will look like a bomb went off. Save your beautiful computer, iPad/tablet, or smart phone and print off your recipes.
Put Your Recipes in Order
Put your recipes in order of meats (if you eat meat.)
That way you can leave your cutting board dirty until you’re done chopping all the chicken you need for the meals. Then clean it for the next meat you’ll use.
If you don’t have two cutting boards, run and get another one! They’re inexpensive and will make life so much easier to have one cutting board for meat and one for veggies.
Print Labels for Your Freezer Meals
You can certainly handwrite on them, but if you like ultra-organized and neat (like I do), pull your download into PDF Escape and type in your recipe, use by date and directions.
Tape Labels to Your Freezer Bags
This is something that takes more time than you would think, so get this done two days ahead of time so that you maximize time on meal prep day.
One gallon freezer bags are perfect for crockpot meals. Two gallon freezer bags are perfect for casseroles for they can fit a 9X13″ pan.
One Day Before Meal Prep
Create a List and Go Shopping
Preparing 30 meals will take all day! That’s why it’s important to grocery shop the day before.
Since you’re buying food in high quantities, the shopping trip will take longer than average. Plus, you may need to visit a couple different stores to collect all the ingredients.
I go to Sam’s to buy bulk organic chicken and vegetables (wish we had a Costco!) then I finish up at our regular grocery store for the things I can’t get at Sam’s.
Don’t forget your one and two gallon freezer bags.
Meal Prep Day Tips
Pick a Time When You Have Two Days Off in a Row
Juuuust in case you don’t finish on day one. You don’t want all that food laying around in your fridge when the work week starts, because that’ll create overwhelm.
Wear Supportive Shoes
Okay. I’m a physical therapist so hear me out. Static standing puts a lot of stress through the ankles, knees, hips and spine and you’ll be standing for hours.
Do yourself a favor and wear supportive shoes. Trust me, when you go to bed at night your low back will thank you for it!
Let me know in the comments below if you think you’ll try this!