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Freezer Cooking Methods

on April 17, 2012 by Jami Balmet 8 comments

Freezer cooking can be intimidating to those who don’t know how to do it. Doing one big grocery shop and then spending 10 hours in the kitchen can seem like MORE work if you aren’t familiar with the process.

3 freezer cooking methods

But really, whether you use a cookbook, website to help, or just wing it yourself, freezer cooking is supposed to help you in the end save time and money.

I began freezer cooking one month on a whim. I picked up a cookbook and thought I would try it out. I have been in love every since! I had never given it much thought and just jumped in with both feet. It wasn’t scary or overwhelming because I didn’t really know it was a “thing”. I just was following this cookbook. But to those who see freezer cooking an once a month cooking all over the internet, it can seem overwhelming and a bit mysterious.

Basically the goal of freezer cooking is to be able to cut down on your time spent in the kitchen, at the grocery store and to save money. For some this means one 10 hour day in the kitchen and for others it means making double batches of every meal and only cooking 3 times a week. It will take time in your own kitchen and with your own schedule to find out what works for you but here are a few methods to get you started.

Freezer Cooking Methods

1) Make Double Batches

This takes the least amount of planning and time upfront. With this method you simply buy double of everything. Make homemade spaghetti sauce? Make a double batch and freeze half of it.

This is a great method for busy moms who simply cannot spare an entire day in the kitchen. This way you still do normal shopping but just plan on making two of some things lasagnas or casseroles.

This method works well for those who have some days they can make full meals. Say three days a week you have time to make a full meal. You can make the meal and freeze the second batch for later. Then another night when you are trying to get out the door for Bible study or have unexpected company over, you already have a meal made and in the freezer.

{The Pros: You don’t have to spend a lot of time planning and shopping.}
{The Cons: You don’t save that much time in the long run and spend more time in the kitchen making 2 meals}

2) Just Make the Staples

This is a very popular option and many who are trying to eat healthy practice this, at least in part.

When I realized that I needed to start cooking healthy I wasn’t sure where to begin. I thought I was feeding my hubby healthy but didn’t realize that all those canned beans and vegetables was just stocking us full of sodium!!

So I began making everything from scratch (usually, I still have weak moments when I reach for cans). I realized that buying a bag of dried black beans and cooking them in the crockpot overnight was actually much cheaper than buying canned and processed version!

So now every couple weeks I make big batches of black and pinto beans in my crockpot. I just throw them in and when done pour individual portions into bags and containers and in the freezer they go.  I do the same with rice, chicken stock for my soups (I love soup!), and fresh bread from our bread maker. For bread, I just throw all the ingredients into my bread machine and press START! 4 hours later I have fresh bread and we store any extras in the freezer for later.

This allows me to make some healthy dinners and also have healthy beans and rice in the freezer that are just as fast as grabbing a can or quick cook rice. It’s healthier, cheaper, and quicker! 

{Pros: Takes almost no planning. When you run out of a staple (like black beans) just throw a new bag in the crockpot or some ingredients in the bread machine and you are always rolling in fresh and healthy foods}
{Cons: You still have the bulk of your cooking to do. You still need to make main dishes and you don’t save any time on grocery shopping.}

 3) Do a Full Cook Once a Month

This is by far my favorite option! Although I don’t always have time to do this so I rely on making double batches and freezing the staples like beans and rice some months. But in one day of cooking for 8-10 hours I end up saving dozens of hours cooking each day.

While this method of freezer cooking takes the most time and planning upfront in the long run it saves so much time, energy and money! Why this saves so much time is that you are doing every together. Instead of getting 1 onion out each night, peeling it, dicing it and then cooking with it, you get an assembly going and you cute all 10 onions at once! Multiply this by 15-30 meals and you save so much time!

There are many different styles of doing a once a month cook but the general gist is that you want to do a big shopping trip, shopping all the best deals that week. I like to take a few days and stop at a couple different stores. I find who has $0.99/lb chicken and where the best produce deals are happening. This way I save so much money upfront rather than running last minute into stores to grab whatever they have, on sale or not.

Once a Month Mom actually recommends that you do your shopping throughout the month each month to get the best deals! I don’t have the time for that at the moment so my shopping begins a few days before the big cook day!

There are many styles of once a month cooking you can follow like Once a Month Mom (who has Whole Foods menus), Once a Month Cooking:Family Favorites (read my review of this fabulous cookbook), or create your own from your own family’s favorite recipes!

I’ll share on Friday how I do my own Once a Month Cooking!

{Pros: You save so much money and time in the end! Instead of cooking every single night you get it all done in one 8-10 hour span! It’s easy to make good healthy meals when you don’t have to take the time each night}
{Cons: This way of freezer cooking takes a lot of time and planning upfront. While it does save you TONS of time in the long run you have to carve out enough time to actually do it!}

I’m curious! Do you follow any of these methods or make your own up as you go? Share with us so we can all learn how to do effective freezer cooking. And remember what works for me, may not work for you and what works for you, may not work for me 🙂 Let’s us all learn from each other! 

More in the Freezer Cooking Series:

Freezer Cooking: Has Changed My Life
Once a Month Cooking: Family Favorites {Cookbook Review}
An Introduction to Freezer Cooking 
Freezer Cooking Methods
How to Save Money Freezer Cooking
How I Do Freezer Cooking: A Look Into My Kitchen
Freezer Cooking Resources

Freezer Cooking Series

More posts to come in this series, subscribe my email below or follow me on Facebook so you don’t miss a post!

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
    • lol yeah well getting the staples done is a good option! I’m not sure if I’ll do full month cooks once we have kids, guess I’ll just have to wait and see 😉

  1. Jami I really like the idea of making double batches and freezing. It seems a bit intimidating to me and my family right now to do the once a month cooking. We have a hard enough time resisting going out. And I stink as a cook- things I’m working on! I look forward to reading more. 🙂

    • We have a hard time resisting eating out as well! I get home from a long day and don’t want to cook so it really helps to have meals in the fridge or freezer for those days! All I have to do is take the meals out of the freezer the night before and with a few steps, dinner is ready! Lovely 🙂

  2. Hi! I love this idea, just want to let you know that some beans, especially red and kidney need to be boiled for 10 minutes before putting them in a crockpot because they have a toxin/bacteria in them that is killed by boiling only!

  3. […] are many different methods of freezer cooking, and once you get into it, you will find out what works well for […]

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