Testing Freezer Meals

In Thirty-One we ask “What is your ‘why’?”.

My WHY has been eclectic and ever changing:

to travel again

to pay the car repairs

girl time

FREE BAGS!

pay student debt

Now I have a new “why”.  My sister-in-law is marrying a guy from Hawaii!      IN HAWAII!

IN JANUARY!!!!

This means we will need to save about $600 a month to pay for the travel, lodging, and vehicle.  Sooooo….guess what my new “why” is?

I am hoping to contribute about $300/mo from my Thirty-One business.  We will also be tightening the belt...even tighter.

Since groceries is the one area I feel I am able to have the most control over I would like to see how far I can make my dollar stretch.  I picked up a book at the library a while back that I wanted to try, and now is the perfect time to put it into practice! It is called Frozen Assets by Deborah Taylor-Hough. I know the whole freezer meal thing was already the rage a while ago but it has never really appealed to me.  We like food.  I mean, we LIKE food! We are a little bit snobbish about it. At least what we eat within out own house.  I don’t want you to go canceling dinner plans with us now!

freezer

I thought I would give it a try and just go in with not-so-high expectations. I thought it would also be good to have some meals made up when I begin my new semester of grad school next week.  I wont have to revert to expensive and very unhealthy pre-packaged meals. I think it will also make it easier for me to incorporate healthy side dishes such as a simple veggie dish.

freezer2

Unlike many freezer meal plans I have seen, this book does mini-sessions. This consists of 5 dishes with one common main ingredient such as a type of meat, veggies, tofu, or pasta.  I chose a chicken mini session that looked good.  I got my chicken in bulk at Costco.

freezer3

I haven’t looked in depth at other meal plans, but this one gives you your ingredient list for all of the meals and tells you what you need to do to prep the food. MOST of my ingredients are here.  The night before I boiled the chicken and used the stock from that for the dishes.

I was happy to use jalapenos from my garden rather than buying the canned stuff that they called for. The recipe also called for canned white beans, but I always prefer to use dry beans. Cheaper and no salt added.

freezer4

Once everything was prepared and ready in their dishes it was pretty simple to put the meals together. They did require some cooking before pouring into the freezer bags.

freezer5

My gallon freezer bags are filled with White Chicken Chili, Chicken-Asparagus Crustless Quiche, Penne Cacciatore, Marinated Lime Chicken, and Cheddar Chicken.  Each bag should be 6 servings, but my husband always surprises me with how much he can pack away! 🙂 We will see how long each dish lasts us.

I got all of my ingredients for $36 so each serving costs about $1.20, but I did not include the cost of spices that I already had.

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