Meal planning is a fabulous thing. You save time by knowing exactly what you are going to be cooking without that last minute ‘what’s for dinner?’ freak out. You save time at the grocery store, knowing what you need to buy. And you save cash by buying only what you need with little to no waste. Win!
But meal planning can also be very overwhelming, especially if organising isn’t your strong point. It means planning out your meals at least a week ahead. Sometimes longer.
That can be tough when you lead a hectic life or simply don’t know what you’re going to want to eat that far in advance. There are ways to make meal planning work for you by being flexible, but sometimes it’s still not for you.
Never fear, there is a fabulous alternative for those of us who are lazy, disorganised, busy or just hate the structure of meal planning. That’s freezer cooking.
Freezer cooking has the same benefits of meal planning. It saves cash and time. In fact, it saves even more time usually.
Instead of planning out your week of meals to cook each day, freezer cooking is all about cooking in advance in big bulk batches, like a month of main meals cooked in a single afternoon. Yep, it’s totally do-able. I know because I do it!
In fact, my freezer cooking post is still my most popular to date. Plus there are some of my favourite freezer cooking recipes.
Like meal planning, you work out what you are going to cook and buy what you need. Only try and make sure they are complimentary meals to maximise your kitchen space, such as those using a variety of methods – slow cooker, stove top, oven bake.
You also need meals that freeze and defrost well. Some things just don’t recover well from freezing. But meals like casserole, stir fry, lasagne, meat patties etc are all good options.
Cook up your bulk lot of meals, put them in freezer safe containers or freezer/sandwich bags, allow them some cooling time then freeze. Then simply defrost in the fridge that morning, or put them straight in the microwave to heat and serve.
No day to day cooking needed. Meals planned out in advance to save mega time. No wastage. Plus since they are frozen, if your plans change, it’s no big deal to save a meal for another day. Mega bonus!
Easy peasy… So tell me, are you a meal planner or a freezer cooker? Or neither?