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How I Do Freezer Cooking: A Look Into My Kitchen

on April 20, 2012 by Jami Balmet 14 comments

As I talked about earlier in this series, I stumbled upon a little cookbook with no pictures, that I had never heard of before one fateful night in the Barnes and Noble clearance section. Sounds overly dramatic, but it’s not. This book about cooking once a month changed my life.

This book taught me the basics of freezer or once a month cooking. There are many different methods of freezer cooking but the gist is: do more cooking at once and have meals or parts of meals in the freezer/fridge for later use.

Since then I have adapted my freezer cooking a bit but largely follow the book’s plan and use a lot of its recipes.

So I have shown some different methods of once a month cooking but today I’m going to give you a little glimpse into my kitchen and how I do freezer cooking.

How I Do Freezer Cooking

A Look Into My Kitchen

This is generally how I organize and execute my once a month cooking days!

1) Glance at the Sales Ads

Get the sales ads for the week and do a quick glance over. Find the meat and produce sections and find out who is having killer deals that week.

Does someone have chicken breasts on sale for $0.99/LB? Then you will know in the next step to pick a lot of chicken recipes.

Found some avocados at rock bottom prices? Plan on making a lot of Mexican that month. Glance at these ads and then keep them in mind as you move on.

2) Start Your Menu for the Month

Gather your cookbooks, favorite recipes and log into Pinterest {I have a freezer meals board} to do your meal plan for the month.

Keeping in mind what is on sale this week or time of the year, plan out the meals you will eat for the month.

Grab a calendar and write out the meal for that day, how many servings it is, and the page # and or cookbook you got the recipe in for easy reference later.

If one recipe calls for two sausages then try and find another recipe that calls for 3 sausages so you can buy a 5 pack and not have any leftovers.

Only going to use half of the lasagna noodles? Then plan to make two lasagnas or find another recipe to use the other half.

Plan meals with what is on sale, what’s already in your cupboard, and what you can use for other meals.

3) Assemble the Grocery List

Now that you know what your meal plan will be, go through each of your recipes and start a master grocery list.

Mark how many of each item you will need. For chicken, make a note of how many pounds you will need as you go through the list.

Once you have your list you can go back through your cupboards and cross off what you already have. 

{This was before my whole foods cooking days…}

4) Make a Plan of Action

Now, get those sales ads back out. Select which stores you will go to. I usually end up at 2 regular grocery stores (like Albertsons and Safeway) and Costco and Trader Joes.

Map out what you will get where. I like to make a separate list for each store I’m going to just to make the actual shopping go as quickly as possible.

5) Shop and Organize

Now head to the store. I like to pull out cash before I go as that helps me to spend less.

When you get home, organize your food. I usually leave all the non perishable on my kitchen table and get everything out of the cupboards ready.

6) Do the Prep Work

Usually on Friday night (my cooking day is Saturday) I’ll get out all the vegetables and do all the chopping, dicing, and skinning. If certain recipes call for already cooked chicken breasts or cooked rice, then I will spend Friday night getting these ready.

Then Friday night make sure your kitchen it spotless, everything is washed and put away (you will need as many dishes as possible), and that you get a good nights sleep!

7) Get to Cooking!

The big work day is here! I start off with some coffee and eat some breakfast and then I jump into it! I pull out my recipes and start cooking.

While chicken breasts are cooking in the oven, I’ve got 3 things on the stove. Things can get a little chaotic at first, but then meals start coming together. All of a sudden, you start throwing meals in the freezer and before you know it, your freezer is full of meals, your feet are aching, and your cooking day is over!

8) Get Hubby (and Kids) to Clean the Kitchen

It’s only fair now that he gets to clean up the kitchen right?? Okay this isn’t exactly how it plays out in my kitchen but it’s nice when he does help!

Here are just a few of the meals I made that day! All ready to go into the freezer.

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


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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
  1. Thanks so much for doing this series on Freezer Cooking! I just recently decided to try to learn more about it, and this series is coming at a perfect time! 🙂

  2. My first freezer cooking day is tomorrow and I have been excited all week for it! I have been preparing now for several days and you are right, it is A LOT of work! I know it will be worth it in the end. I got the book you were talking about from the library and will definitely be buying it! The book is fantastic! Thanks so much for taking the time to share all about your experiences with freezer meals. It seems like a daunting task, but then you make it seem so exciting and do-able! 🙂

    • Oh so fun Lara!! Okay well when you get 5 hours into the cooking it’s not so fun BUT then you have a freezer full of meals! I hope the book helps you and that you love the meals! I know we do 🙂 How did your cooking day turn out??

  3. Again just wonderful Jami. Thank you for this series- it’s helping me out lots!

    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

  4. This is awesome! I am super hooked on freezer cooking right now too! I LOVE not having to do lots of dishes every night! I am now following your Pinterest board of freezer recipes to get even more inspiration!

    • I know! I didn’t even think to mention that in my series, but YEAH clean up is way better. You spend one day in the kitchen and when it’s over you don’t have pots and pans and mess all month lol! So glad to meet a fellow freezer cooking enthusiast! 😉

  5. I recently tried to do a freezer meal. I made a rice casserole. The rice was so awful that we had to throw it out. Any suggestions?

    • Oh no Heather!! I wonder what went wrong? I make rice all the time in big quantities and then freeze the rest until we need it. Our rice always comes out fine. What did you add to the rice?? It seems like it should have frozen well. What was awful about it? Was it mushy?

      • I mixed it with cream of mushroom, chicken, and veggies. It was mushy and almost as if it had been ground up or something. I am looking into getting the cookbook you talked about. Maybe I will use set recipes (instead of making ones up) to start with. Thanks.