Last week, I took a few days off from my day job (but because I had vacation built up that I had to take or I'd lose it). I decided to scratch something off my bucket list, and tried my hand at freezer cooking.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, this is when you prepare X amount of meals (a week's worth, a month's worth, whatever you need) in ONE DAY. I decided to do a week's worth, because I'm not a coupon queen and I'm not made of money. So, I found 5 recipes online that sounded like something Mr. LL and I would eat and that also came with freezing before cooking instructions.
Now, all the bloggers that are experts on freezer cooking advise to do your grocery shopping on a different day than your prep day. Well, I was strapped for time (I had a website to launch!), so I broke this rule. It isn't the end of the world, but it does make the process much more exhausting.
I actually only ended up spending my max grocery budget for a week. I always strive to spend $60-70 on groceries a week, max, but I budget $100 just in case (I included pet items and toiletries in my grocery budget).
I had made a game plan, per the advice of freezer cooking bloggers, and it really helped. Since it was Monday, I realized it was dumb to put all five meals in the freezer so one of them I just made for the night instead of prepping it to be frozen (it was taquitos that had to be basically fully made before frozen anyway, so it made since to just do the final step of popping them in the oven to crisp up and have a delicious homemade meal).
We ended up only eating three of the five meals I prepped/made that day. It is just the two of us, so we were able to have leftovers from the two meals I pulled out of the freezer and some lunches too. This week, I don't have to do nearly as big a grocery store run, which is nice, because I have two dinners ready to go in the freezer. And the meals will keep for three months from the day I put them in there!
One of our favorite meals from the recipes I tried was these mozzarella stuffed meatballs. The day we ate it, I pulled the pan out, unwrapped it, and popped it in the oven. Toward the end of it's baking time, I made a pot of pasta with some red sauce. It was delicious, and Mr. LL said it was like something his Italian grandmother/aunts/great aunts would make and bring to a family get together (HUGE complement). Here' a link to the recipe from New Leaf Wellness.
Even though the day of prepping all these meals is a lot of work, and anything BUT lazy, I still look at freezer cooking as lazy cooking. One afternoon of work to be able to just throw something in the crockpot or oven and have a delicious home cooked meal every night of the week? Yeah, my little, lazy heart digs this idea. Will I be doing it again? Sure...maybe. I was lucking in that I had a four day weekend, so I was able to work on things and have some extra time, but most weekends, I'm pretty booked up. If I make it a priority, maybe.