With the end of summer quickly approaching, I’m getting the itch to make some more freezer meals. After doing these for about a year, I know this is the best way for us to not go over budget, to make sure we eat healthy, and to introduce my kids to a wide variety of foods.
After doing a month trying to spend as little as possible, I believe even more strongly in freezer meals for our family. Because there are some days where cooking is the last thing I want to do. Even as much as I enjoy cooking, there are some days we are just too busy/too tired to stand in the kitchen for an hour making dinner. On those nights, we have a few options: eat PB&J (which isn’t Dustin’s favorite), go out to eat (which isn’t our budget’s favorite), or pop some twice baked potatoes in the oven and make a quick salad/side. That means 5 minutes active cooking time, tops. That means our budget is saved. That means I go to bed without feeling guilty about eating.
In a few weeks, I’m planning out a big freezer cooking day. Dustin can hang with the kiddos as I cut and slice and dump and wrap and roll up some tasty meals for the months to come. Until then, I’ll continue emptying our freezer/pantry trying to use up everything we have left so we can start the season off right.
Chicken Noodle Soup. I made this one a few weeks ago, and was skeptical. Last year I wasn’t a fan of soups as freezer meals, because I was breastfeeding a newborn, and soup is hard to eat with one hand without scalding your newborn’s head. But we made this after everyone had the sick a few weeks ago and then tried it last week and OMGoodness YUM. Both kids had two helpings. And it was really easy to make. Winner winner, chicken soup for dinner. I need to make more of these. They are that good.
Sausage Balls. Lots of people like these for football games, but served with some broccoli and a side salad, these make a delicious meal, too. And they are SO easy to make, I like to do 2-3 batches at a time. Get my hands all sausage-y once, and then bag up about 15 at a time. That’s more than enough for us for a dinner plus sides, which means about 20 minutes of active time makes about 8-10 meals worth.
Twice baked potatoes. I cannot tell you enough how much these are worth it. You have to have your oven on for a while, because you bake the potatoes (twice), but then you bag em up, and you’ve got several meals worth of potatoes. I like to make these to trick myself into thinking I’m eating a lot of meat, when I’m really not.
Taquitos. So, apparently I am notorious for over stuffing these, so my husband said they are actually “flautas” but I call them taquitos, and they’re tasty either way. I add cilantro, lime, green chilies, and pepper jack cheese to the chicken and cream cheese, and they are so good for lunch with the kids. Pair them with rice and beans, and you’ve got yourself a dinner fit for a fiesta.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies. We made these last year and they were awesome to have on hand. Portion control (because I can/will eat a whole pan of these if left to my own devices), they froze perfectly, and made me very happy when I was in my postpartum fog.
Pizza Sauce. Budget Bytes pizza sauce continues to be my hands down favorite, and I found a huge thing of crushed tomatoes at CostCo for nothing. Thirty minutes of simmer time is going to give us plenty of pizza sauce for a quick alternative to delivery pizza which, let’s be real, isn’t all that good compared to the kind we make at home anyway.
Chili. Nothing says Fall quite like chili. Some people put chili in the freezer cooked so that they only have to nuke it and eat it, some people put it in the freezer uncooked. Me? I do a little of both.
Pumpkin purée. I love the smell of pumpkins roasting in the oven, and love knowing I’ll be able to have pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie shakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin butter, and all the other pumpkin perfection I want. Sure, I also use canned, but there’s just something magical about the homemade kind. Seriously.
Apple sauce. I cannot wait to go to the apple picking festival later this month to get us some apples. I’ll make a freezer ready apple pie or two, some yummy apple butter, and then homemade roasted apple sauce. Because it makes your house smell amazing (and you don’t have to peel them, which means all that extra fiber in the skin isn’t wasted).
What are your favorite go to Fall meals? Think any of them can be frozen? When I get ready to do my freezer cooking day, I’m thinking about live cooking on Instagram and/or Facebook, so make sure you follow me on one/both of those pages. Yay! Can’t wait to cook with you!