Soooooo, here we are one week out of my groceries on a budget freezer meals. Remember, my meals had to do 3 things:
- Be inexpensive (under $300 a month, which was accomplished).
- Be convenient (less than 30 minutes in the kitchen at dinner time to give me time to learn to play the ocarina).
- Taste delicious!
This here bliggity blog is where we find out if numbers 2 and 3 are working, so….here are our first 5 meals. Meals 6 and 7 were leftovers and dinner out when we were out of town watching Big Man get his black belt because he is awesome. I’ll post the link to the recipes on the TS website next to the meals so you can see how they were made.
Meal 1: Creamy Salsa Chicken
I made this the day I made the freezer meals. It was SUPER simple. Throw ingredients in crock pot, turn it on. So, convenience wise, big thumbs up! My family really liked this one. The husband wanted a spoon to finish off the salsa gravy. SUCCESS!
My daughter asked for seconds of the meatballs. She’s 3, so that’s a big deal. She can’t fit much in her tiny tummy. As for convenience, the meatballs were easy. Thaw them, bake them in muffin tins, done. The biscuits were not a freezer meal but something I made with the “and more” portion of the 30 meals and more that I got from Tastefully Simple. I combined 4 ingredients, mixed it in a bowl and dropped it on a cookie sheet to bake. The end. This one did take all of the 30 minutes to cook in the oven, but only 5 of that was preparing the meal. SCORE.
It also took a little time because this had to happen: *ring ring*
Me: Oh, hi…the oven is on fire. What do I do?
Husband: That’s not the greatest. Don’t open the door and let oxygen in there, and it will die down. Perhaps we should clean it?
There were French fries at the bottom of the oven apparently. They are now extra crispy, and my cheddar biscuits had an amazing smoky flavor.
Meal 3: Pizza Casserole
This one was a hit with the family, too, and BONUS, there are at LEAST 3 more meals out of this. This one was so easy I didn’t know what to do with myself. Thaw it and put it in the crock pot. Since I put my meals in the fridge to thaw 2 days in advance, this took less than a minute. There were so many things that I could have done with that time, it was hard to choose! Do I learn Japanese? Take up croquet? Knit a toilet paper cozy? I DON’T KNOW! In the end, I took an hour and went outside to play with my kids in the leaves.
Meal 4: Ginger Orange Sriracha Stir-Fry
SPICY! This was really good, and, again, we have leftovers for the husband of the year to take to work. This one took around 15 minutes, since that’s how long it takes to make rice. You make the rice, then cook the chicken in oil, then cook the veggies in oil and add the sauce, then mix it all together. The end. Eat and be happy because this is so, SO good. I don’t tolerate spicy at all. I just don’t like it, and even I loved this one. And it had the added bonus of easy portability. This one was made on a day that I had to work in the evening, and I just had to pop it into a Tupperware dish and go about my merry way.
Meal 5: Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
This is another thaw and reheat on the stove kinda deal, but I had a little mishap, so….
I put this in the freezer before it was all of the way cooled, and it kiiiiiiinda produced condensation and stuck to the bags in front of and behind it. So…when I went to pull it out, the whole top of the bag came off. So, I had to find a way to thaw it without broth going everywhere since I now had a giant cube of frozen chicken soup instead of a giant cube of frozen chicken soup in a bag. So, I turned the stock pot on low heat and put the cube in it and slowly thawed my soup while removing the rest of the plastic bag as it thawed out. This process took a LOOOOONG time. Over an hour, as I kept having to go back and check to make sure I wasn’t melting plastic bag into my soup.
The result, however, was ASTOUNDING. Seriously, the best chicken and noodles I have ever eaten. I changed the name, because the way I had to thaw it reduced the soup portion to a thicker sauce instead of a broth, which made this meal much more hearty. We ate more of the cheddar biscuits on the side with this, and again, super portable for work. I can’t WAIT to eat those leftovers, they were so, SO good.
The first week of meals did EVERYTHING I wanted it to do! With the money we are saving, we’re gonna get out of debt, and I think go on a cruise from Australia to Fiji (one of the husband’s dreams)! With the time I am saving, I’m going to learn a dozen languages (my dream)! So much win!
tl;dr GREAT SUCCESS!