Pinterest. Do you browse Pinterest and pin things? I do. What I don't like is when I'm browsing Pinterest in the evening about 10pm and I start pinning food. It makes my stomach growl. And I'm practically salivating on myself.
Last week my husband and I were discussing our goals for 2014. One of my goals that I said out loud was to make more/better dinners. It's called a rut. I've been in one. I don't plan ahead then when 3:00 arrives I'm shocked that I don't have a meal planned. Then I toss the crowd a grill cheese and call it good.
After our discussion I thought I better get to work on my meal planning. So I started pinning. I started browsing Freezer Meals and it dawned on me this might be the ticket to a popularity contest amongst the home team. I grabbed my phone and texted my neighbor and asked if she wanted in on the fun. Jen was all for it.
On NYE night Jen and her family came over for a low key evening. We picked simple meals. All if them are gluten free or I made them gluten free.
Here's the steps we took.
- We picked 10 recipes. We started simple but we also didn't want them to become science projects in our freezer either.
- I wrote out the shopping list and split up the items. 2 categories: grocery store + warehouse club for bulk items.
- I cooked up some beef the night before for the spaghetti sauce and we made mash potatoes on site. That was all we cooked. This was on purpose. We were a little sketchy about the flavors of the meat after it had been cooked, frozen then cooked again.
- Jen and I are morning girls so we started at 9am. That also works best for her and her kids who are 4 y.o. twin girls and 1.5 y.o. boy. Can I just say her kids were awesome for the 4.5 hours I was there.
- Make sure you have plenty of large bowls, knives, spatulas, cutting boards etc.
- First thing we did once we had everything out on the counter was we chopped up all our veggies. We cut onions first and they made us cry like crazy. Some recipes called for chopped onions and chunked onions. Same was true for carrots too. Honestly, I could chop all day long.
- Next we went thru the recipes one by one. Gathered our ingredients, lined it up. Dumped what we needed in a bowl, stirred, mixed, and then divided into our labeled Ziplock Freezer Bags.
- Because it was about 12 degrees that day, we could toss our stuff out into the snow and let it firm up before tossing it into the bag.
- We had more than the recipe called for so we doubled the recipes and walked away with more than 10 meals.
- We got so much done in 4.5 hours. Dishes were dirty but we would use the same bowls and just wash them out several times. It wasn't that big of an undertaking considering what you get in return.
- When we decided on what recipe we were going to use from my Freezer Meal Board, I would snap a picture of it on my iPad. This helped for when I was writing out our shopping list. And it also helped when we were whipping up the actual freezer meals on the day of. We didn't have to go thru Pinterest looking for which recipe etc.
- I made all of my meals Gluten Free. For the meatloafs and meatballs, I made my own bread crumbs the night before.
- We snuck a lot if veggies into these meals that our families will never know about. We used all fresh veggies and fruit. The fresh pineapple was divine.
- Chicken tenderloin instead of chicken breasts.
- I buy a cow so we used 10 lbs of my beef. That cost is included below in my break down of pricing.
Spicy Southwest Marinade
Turkey Parmesan Meatloaf
18 Sliders (mini burgers)
6 Italian Chicken Roll Ups
Mashed Potatoes (individual portions)
So our final costs:
$110 per family.
$5 freezer meal
$1.25 per person for my family of 4
$1.00 per person for Jens family of 5
And we didn't use coupons.
Final word: Make a Freezer Meal Board on your Pinterest page ( only after you have eaten) and pin recipes that are relevant to your family and what they will like. Grab a friend and jump in and have fun.
Jen and I laughed because we couldn't replicate what we made yesterday. We improvised a few things. We tossed a lot more in than it called for or we left a little less out because we didn't have enough.
What counts is that our family will have 22 awesome meals in their very near future.