Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preparing for Baby: Freezer Meals

During the first few months of pregnancy, I started trying out some freezer meals. I thought that it would be great to have some meals ready to go in the freezer for when the baby is born. So, I started doubling recipes that we already enjoyed and freezing half of it. However, I really didn't have the knowledge of how to freeze things correctly, so I wasn't really happy with the results when we defrosted the meals to test them out. Next, I found some simple recipes that could be frozen, but most were 3 ingredients or less (which isn't always bad), but a lot of the recipes ended up very bland.

My freezer stocked and full with freezer meals made from Once a Month Mom recipes!
So, I took a break from the whole freezer meal thing - until I found this website a couple of weeks ago. One a Month Mom is a website devoted to freezer meals. There are six menus to choose from, and each menu is designed to give you about a month's worth of meals. The idea is that you go shopping, spend one loooong day cooking (10-12 hours), freeze all your meals, and then pull them out daily as needed.

I did a lot of exploring on the website, and I was hooked and knew this is what I wanted to try. One a Month Mom had great information about how to freeze things properly and how to prepare for a day of cooking.

I chose to try the traditional menu for February. Not only do they give you all of the recipes, but they give you instructions on an order for cooking all of the meals that makes sense, a grocery list, printable labels for all of your freezer items, and the ability to choose how many people in your family are going to be eating the meals (which automatically adjusts the amount of items on your grocery list and the recipes). I am in love!

Taco Pasta, cooked, frozen, and labeled.
Here is a rundown of what I made (most items were split into 2 meals):
Chile Verde
Mini Ham and Egg Cups
Coffee Cake Muffins
Mini Shepherd's Pies
Bagel Pizzas
Stirfry Veggie and Rice Packets
Mexican Chicken
Chicken and Broccoli Bake
Easy Ranch Chicken
Chicken Parmesan Bake
Taco Pasta
Beef Enchiladas
Beef Vegetable Soup

All the veggies prepped and ready to go.
Instead of doing one day of cooking, I spread out the recipes over a week. I did all of the shopping on Monday. On Tuesday, I prepped the vegetables and meat. Wednesday-Friday were devoted to about 3-5 hours of cooking each day.

Coffee Cake Muffins
I now have a freezer stocked with 23 large meals (each will have at least a lunch or two worth of leftovers). I chose not to make one of the breakfast meals (instant oatmeal packages) because we make instant oatmeal all of the time, and I didn't think the packets would really save us that much time.

Easy Ranch Chicken - labeled with directions and the date (printable from the website).
Although at this time I can't give you a rundown on the taste of each of the meals (eating them all before the baby is born does kind of defeat the purpose), I plan on posting a follow-up with some of our favorite meals and what did/didn't work for me.
Have you tried freezing meals before?
Were you successful?

*I am in no way compensated by this post (Once a Month Mom doesn't know I exist :) ), just thought I would share a good find!

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  1. Thanks so much! i will definitely be checking her site out.

  2. I just came back from visiting my son and his family. While I was there, I made 34 freezer meals for them. It took me two long days of cooking. My son and his wife both work, so this was something I could do for them to help simplify their lives.

  3. Freezer meals are awesome! I'd love for you to come share up at my linky party. :)

  4. You've been tagged! Check it out!


  5. I am for sure returning again for more contents of yours.

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