January 19, 2014

20 Freezer Meals for $100 in my Dirty Kitchen!

I've seen all of you Pinning and sharing on Facebook those posts that claim they made a gazillion meals for their freezer for $5 in four minutes or whatever. I didn't pay too much attention to the titles. But they did appeal to me for several reasons:

  1. I love freezer meals.
  2. I love saving money.
  3. I just might be a foodie blogger deep down in my soul.

So, I spent the week scouring over these blog posts that claimed to have made a bajillion meals for next to nothing in their nice and tidy kitchens. I loved the ready-made shopping lists and their "dump it" attitude for their crock-pot meals. But, none of the lists had a fool-proof menu for my very picky family.

So I did it myself.

That's right. I collected recipes (and made up some new ones) and then made my own shopping list. I spent $100 on a month's worth of crock-pot meal groceries and then came home and made twenty-meals for my freezer. Here's what I learned.

I didn't need to clean my kitchen before beginning the process.

This was my entire--ENTIRE--work space.


I needed a Sharpie that worked to write on the freezer bags. (Some of these meals will be pleasant surprises.)

I did twenty meals, two loads of laundry and cleaned the kitchen afterwards (without a dishwasher, even!) in under two hours.

And, I carried on a running commentary as if I were narrating my actions for a TV show, a la Rachael Ray.

So, while I'm not a food blogger, I'd like to offer to you, my valued readers, how I made twenty freezer meals in two hours for $100.

Please know that I precooked nothing. Nothing at all. I dumped all the ingredients into a freezer bag, labeled them (well, the first three, then the Sharpie dried out). I chopped the onions, peppers, carrots, cabbage, whatever, as I needed them.

Seriously, I did it without cleaning my kitchen, but it might have been nice to have some space while I was working


And, it's important to note that I totally made up some of these recipes based on what I had in my kitchen already.

It's also important to note that I had much of the meat already because I buy it then go out to eat. I can't explain it either.

It's also, also important to note that while I play a foodie on the blogosphere, I am not one it real life--my recipes may be lacking, but you are creative persons. I have faith you can make it work!

Dump these in the crockpot and cook em for about six hours. Let's all hope for the best.

~*~

    1. BBQ CHICKEN 
      4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    ground pepper
    chunky applesauce (gross, I used regular ol' smooth applesauce)
    BBQ sauce (just squirt some in--however much you want)
    brown sugar
    cumin, 'cause everything's better with cumin

2. MAPLE CHICKEN                        
      Chicken thighs (or tenderloins)
    some Dijon Mustard or regular mustard with some Italian dressing because that's what you have
    Maple Syrup
    sliced oninos

 3. Pork Loin
     A pork loin that was in your freezer when you bought it on sale this summer
     one sliced onion
     Cumin
     Garlic
     onion powder
     parsley
     broth that you found in your freezer after making a roast last month

4. Chicken Tacos                
Taco seasoning packet (then fill the packet with water and
Ranch seasoning packet
chicken breasts
sliced onion
Rotel
olive oil

5. Orange Chicken                          
some chicken
some olive oil
2 oranges, sliced in half
orange juice--like count to six while you're pouring it
half a bottle of terriaki sauce that you thought was soy sauce in the fridge
           
6. Beef Bits                          
cubed beef (stew meat) or meatballs
Dry Onion Soup packet
1 can of whatever kind of cream of soup you like
broth--however much it takes to cover the meatballs or less than that

7. Meatloaf or sloppy joes (with meatballs)
2 pounds ground beef (or turkey) OR, meatballs (seeing a theme, here?)
chopped green bell pepper (not much, we like the flavor but not the taste)
garlic powder
mustard
ketchup
brown sugar
cabbage
black pepper
(eggs and oats for meatloaf)

PEPPERS for Stuffed Peppers (If I weren't using meatballs, I would have made this into stuffed peppers--yum! But we wouldn't have eaten the peppers; we'd have just enjoyed the taste.)

8. Lasagne
            Pasta
Cottage cheese
Marainara
Mozzarella
Meatballs

9. Hobo Meals
            Hamburger Patties
            Broth
            Gravy
            Onions & peppers, stirfry frozen (or not)
Carrots
Cabbage

10. Pork Chops
pork chops
mustard
garlic powder
EVOO
cream of chicken soup and some water or milk to clean out the can

11. Chicken Parmesan
Chicken
Marinara
Parmesan

12. Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
3 lbs potatoes - peeled, thinly sliced (This sounded good that the time)
shredded cheddar cheese
ham
2 cans cream of whatever soup
 milk to rinse the cans out
 garlic powder
pepper

13. Ham and Cheese casserole
Tator tots
4 eggs
 with  2 cups of milk, beaten together
 cheddar cheese, shredded

ham, chopped
 (or not)
 parsley

 salt

 pepper

 paprika


14. Swiss chicken
1 package stuffing mix
4 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
some swiss cheese
cream of whatever soup and milk to rinse the can out

15. Turkey and Tortellini
turkey Italian sausage
Marinara
Totellini
Onions and peppers

16. BBQ Pork
pork chops
15 ounce can of pineapples, undrained
BBQ sauce


17. Enchilada
Chicken tenderloins
Enchilada sauce
sliced onion
sliced pepper
black beans, drained and rinsed
Corn
Rotel 
           
18. PORK CHOPS 2-3 pounds of Pork Chops
 Romano (already grated) cheese
local honey (local is the best!)
soy sauce (except I used the rest of the teryaki sauce
 Basil
 garlic
EVOO

19. Bacon Wrapped Pork or chicken
            Ribs or chicken
            Bacon
            Brown sugar
            Pepper

20.  Cheeseburger casserole
            1 lb hamburger or ... leftover Taco meat that was in your freezer
            Diced tomatoes
            Ketchup
            Mustard
            Pickles
            Onions
            Tater tots
            Shredded cheese





Meat:


24 chicken breasts or 72 tenderloins
Pork roast
Meatballs (or stew meat or round steak), 3
Patties, 6
Pork Chops, 16
Ham (buy the spiral ham bits and pieces--OMG! YUM!)
Italian sausage
Ground beef (or meatballs) (I had a gob of meatballs--I used them all! D1 doesn't eat red meat, so this will make it easy for her to pick them out and easy for me to fork them off of her plate and into my mouth)

Fruits & Veggies:
Rotel, 2
Oranges
Green peppers-3 (I only used one ... not sure what happened here ...)
Shredded cabbage (or cabbage) (by the shredded, trust me)
Marinara, 3
Onions and peppers stir fry (or, you can forget to buy these and just slice up your own)
Carrots
Onions, 5
Potatoes, 3 lb (seriously? Not sure why I thought I'd slice these myself--do yourself a favor and buy some kind of frozen potatoes)
Crushed pineapples
Black beans
corn
can of tomatoes, 2 

Starch:
Pasta, 2
Tater tots, 2 (or one really large one)
Stuffing mix

Dairy:
eggs
Cottage Cheese
Parmesan cheese
Cheddar cheese, 4 c
Swiss cheese, 1 c
Milk
Romano Cheese (I couldn't find this--I used Parmesan instead. Same dif, right?)

Pantry:
Soy sauce
Honey
Enchilada sauce
Broth (do not buy stock--that's poison. Broth is real, yo.)
Brown gravy mix
Applesauce
BBQ sauce
Brown sugar
Mustard
Ketchup
pickles
Syrup
Mushrooms
Taco seasoning packet
Ranch Dressing
Orange Juice
Worcestershire
Dry onion soup
Cream of Mushroom, 3 (for some reason, I really needed 4)
Garlic Powder
Oats (unless you make meatloaf, you won't need these--I used meatballs because I had a weird collection of meatballs in my freezer)
EVOO

Spices:
Pepper
Basil
Mustard
Garlic powder
Salt
Onion powder
Coriander (this was $8! No way! I didn't use it)
Parsley
Chipotle
Cumin



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