How to Start Freezer Cooking

Freezer cooking is a great way to save time and money by preparing homemade meals ahead of time.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Freezer cooking is a great way to save time and money. Preparing homemade meals ahead of time doesn’t require any special equipment – not even a large freezer!

Having prepared meals in the freezer can be helpful in many situations. If unexpected guests are on their way, meals from your freezer can be a lifesaver. Freezer cooking also helps by saving money and calories on take-out or fast food purchases, and expectant parents can also benefit from freezer cooking by preparing meals ahead of time to make life a little easier after baby’s arrival.

Start today

A great way to start keeping your freezer stocked is to double-up on recipes that you’d normally make. If, for example, you’re making homemade lasagna for tonight’s dinner, double the recipe and make two lasagnas and place one (uncooked) in the freezer. This also works well for cookie dough and soups.

Tips for storage

Make sure that you have freezer bags, sturdy covered plastic containers, and aluminum foil to keep foods properly frozen while in your freezer. To save valuable space, use freezer bags to store and stack sauces and soups, saving space for larger casserole dishes. To make things even easier, be sure to label each item with the name, date, and cooking instructions.

Planning ahead

Make a list of items that you currently have in your pantry and items that you need to purchase from the store. The idea is to save money, so make sure that you’re purchasing items that you know you will use in your cooking.  There is no need to make it complicated; freezer cooking will become part of your routine if you plan your grocery shopping around a few extra purchases.

Freezer cooking with friends and family

Each time you make a dish, make one extra and share it with someone to put in their freezer. Keep the exchange going and expand your network — you’ll soon have a well-stocked freezer full of homemade meals.

Plus: Making Use of Leftovers

Sources: MoneySavingMom.com, Organized Home

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