My version of freezer meals

Once a month cooking.  I read of it years and years ago and thought it was a grand idea, but waaay too much work.  In my head, I wanted to do it, but in the real world, I just never did.  

Until one day I came across a Pinterest idea that you can read about here.  This was a great success.  My hubby used these meals while I was away.  He was very happy to have something that was easy to prepare.

Out of the 4 that I made, we only really liked 2:  Beef Veggie Soup and Healthy BBQ Chicken.

SO........because I can't be closely involved with my daughter's wedding plans as she lives 4 hours away, I needed to do SOMETHING that had to do with the wedding.  How about have some freezer meals prepared for hubby and my son while I'm away the week before the big day?  

Great idea.

I shared my plans with a friend and she wanted to join me.  So grab a friend and get started!

Here is what we completed  in about 4 hours:
  • 4 Healthy BBQ Chicken Crock pot meals
  • 4 Beef Veggie Soup Crock Pot meals
  • 4 Macaroni and Cheese Casseroles
  • 6 Meatball meals--can be made into Sweet & Sour, Spaghetti & Meatballs, or meatball subs
18 meals to serve 4 people for approximately $110.  
Not bad, huh?

 Grocery list:
9 pounds ground beef
8 chicken breasts
2 bags baby carrots
1 bunch celery
4 green peppers
2 red peppers
1 large zucchini
10 pounds potatoes
2 pound bag onions
4 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 - 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 - 15 oz cans of green beans
2 cans beef broth
italian bread crumbs
1 gallon milk
1 large bar Velveeta cheese
2-16 oz bags (4 Cups) shredded cheddar cheese
3 pounds macaroni noodles
10 - 9 inch round tin pans for freezing
1 box freezer bags

on hand:
worcestershire sauce
brown sugar

If you'd like the recipes for the Crock Pot meals...this is where I found them:

Macaroni & Cheese 
makes 4 meals 
serving size each meal: 4

12 T Butter
8 Cups milk
8 T flour
a large onion
4 Cups Velveeta Cheese
4 Cups Cheddar Cheese
6 Cups uncooked macaroni noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Melt butter and saute onions.  Slowly add milk and flour.  Stir until begins to thicken  (it takes a while...we divided the sauce recipe part in half and made 2 batches)

Add cheese, stir until melted.

Mix noodles and cheese together.  Divide evenly into 4-9" round tin pans.  Or 2 larger pans.

makes 4 meals
serving size each meal: 4

6 pounds of ground beef
4 Cups bread crumbs
2 Cups milk
4 eggs

Mix together and form meatballs

So HOW did we do all this?  We started with cooking the ground beef, boiling the noodles and making the cheese sauce.  While these things cooked, we mixed up the meatballs, formed them and flash froze.  Then we chopped and chopped...saving the potatoes until the very last minute so they would not turn brown.

All cooked food done, all veggies to assemble the various meals.  

Mix macaroni with cheese sauce....divide between 4 pans.

Remove frozen meatballs from freezer...divide between 6 pans (approximately 26 meatballs in each pan)

Separate the ground beef into 4 bags, the chicken breast into 4 bags...then began adding the rest of the bagged ingredients.

Label & date!  

What we will do differently next time:  (yes, there will be a next time!)
Be sure to have a permanent black marker available or stickers for labeling. 
Label BEFORE filling the bags & pans
Be careful with bagged food---there is a lot of liquid that can spill if you don't keep the bags upright. (what a mess!)  My mom suggested to place the bags in bowls to keep them from toppling over....Mom's they always have the solution AFTER the fact.:)

Next we want to bulk freeze rolls/breads etc.  Then frozen cookie dough.  YUM!

HMMMM...I have a ton of zucchini that was given to me...let's see what I can make to freeze with all that!   (I think I'm hooked!)


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