Hoping to get ahead by having a successful freezer cooking day? Here’s how!
Why have a freezer cooking day?
I love to have food pre-made and in the freezer to pull out and use as convenience foods on extra busy days! It’s beyond great to have a casserole in the freezer that I can slide into the oven for dinner without any prep (because I’ve already done the prep!).
In addition, it’s great to have muffins or cookies ready to pull out to bake or serve with just a few minutes’ notice.
If you have extra freezer space, it is worth your time to spend a few hours getting head so you can save time and energy later!
How to Have a Successful Freezer Cooking Day
Here are my top bullet points, with details to follow:
- Make a plan
- But don’t over plan
- Consider how you can multitask
- Get out everything possible the night before
- Be prepared for a mess, and save energy to clean it up!
- Have your evening meal already prepared and ready to serve.
1. Make a plan.
It’s a great idea to jot down a list of food you want to make ahead of time for your freezer so that you can prepare for your freezer cooking hours. Buy the groceries you’ll need, block out the time necessary for your freezer cooking extravaganza, and consider how you can make your time most efficient.
2. But don’t over plan.
But wait! Take it from me, the one who used to almost pass out during her freezer cooking days by trying to execute too much then becoming exhausted and grouchy at the kids (sorry, boys).
Be reasonable when you make your freezer cooking plan. If you only have two hours, your to-do list needs to be able to be fulfilled within just an hour and a half so you still have the energy to clean up afterward (see #5).
It’s easy to become overexcited, thinking of ALL THE THINGS you want to put into the freezer. Yay, you! But make your lofty list, then consider paring down to what is actually doable and reasonable. Perhaps break your lofty list into two or three different freezer cooking time slots.
3. Consider how you can multitask.
When making your list, look at what will help you be the most efficient with your time and energy. For instance:
Perhaps your freezer cooking day can focus on chicken dishes so that you can get out fewer ingredients, cut up several meals worth of chicken at once, and knock out more work in less time.
Or maybe your freezer cooking day is all about baked goods this time. Again, you can get out fewer ingredients so instead of working with meat and vegetables and flour and sugar – you are instead only focused on putting together sides, snacks, and desserts this time.
4. Get out everything possible the night before.
Say you’ve decided to make three batches of muffins, a double batch of cookies, and a pan of oatmeal bars during your freezer cooking session. The night before you are ready to take on the task set out all possible ingredients like baking powder, salt, sugar, flour, etc. Thaw your butter, lay out your recipes (or pull them up on your computer), get out bowls and measuring cups.
Whatever you can do to make the job easier tomorrow, do it today. Thaw meat, grate cheese, prep veggies, get out freezer bags. If you grind flour for baked goods, get that flour ready so you’ll save time tomorrow.
5. Be prepared for a mess, and save energy to clean it up!
In my experience, freezer cooking makes a pretty big mess. It’s worth it though, because of how easy it is to use and serve these prepared foods later! So remember that the mess you’re making now saves many messes later!
But also keep in mind that after you’ve spent an hour or four prepping food for the freezer, you’ll be a bit tired from your work. Plan ahead to save some of your energy and time to wash dishes, wipe down messy countertops, and sweep the floor.
6. Have your evening meal already prepared and ready to serve.
Is it just me, or do you ever not feel like cooking after you’ve spent the day cooking?
It is a good idea to plan ahead for this because, for some reason, everyone will still want to eat the night of your freezer cooking day. Crazy.
My suggestion is to have something in the crockpot already cooking, or better yet, if you’re making some casseroles for the freezer, save one to bake for dinner tonight.
7. It is worth noting that…
If you have big kids, they should be put to work with you on this endeavor! My big kids are my cheese graters, my floor sweepers, and my general go-to taskers. I have gotten very good at handing out small jobs left and right, which makes every big job (including freezer cooking!) so much easier!
Want some freezer cooking ideas?
Here are some great ideas to get you started!