Since I like to use my crockpot, I’m taking advantage of cooking in a crockpot by planning ahead and putting together some crockpot freezer meals such as this recipe for Freezer Crockpot Beef Stew.
Now that I’ve transferred to a new city for my full-time job, I don’t have the convenience of being able to stop by a grocery store during lunchtime to pick up a few things for that evening’s dinner.
Crockpot Freezer Meals
Beef prices have risen recently because of the high cost of gas and transportation. Rather than buy sirloin tips for my stew, Shoulder London Broil was on sale this week, so I bought several steaks and cut them up and cubed them myself at home.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, or work part-time or full-time outside the home, it’s hard to get your home organized. Even if you’re a grandmother, you might be thinking you have it all covered at home since your pantry is organized immaculately and everything in your kitchen has its place. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re still busy working all day and driving kids or grandchildren to practice, running errands or taking care of your household in the evenings. Another thing you can learn to do to simplify your life is to plan your meals and cook in advance.
Meal planning and bulk cooking are both wonderful techniques you can utilize and modify to fit your families needs. The idea behind this is simple. The principle is that you cook and or prepare your meals ahead of time and then preserve them by either freezing refrigerating them. It can also help stretch your food budget dollar further, since you can cook one large meal and get two or three other meals from it with the proper planning.
Start by writing down a list of your favorite meals and plan on preparing a grocery list that will coincide with your menu. Since you’re learning to cook in bulk, your shopping list will have to change accordingly so you’re sure to have enough ingredients on hand when the time comes to do the cooking.
The most important tool in meal planning and bulk cooking is your freezer. Freezer bags are a great space saver if you have a small freezer. You can fit many in the same space of a few storage containers. Be sure to incorporate lots of quick and easy meals that your family can warm up and serve themselves in the event you’re not able to be at home for dinner or you just need to grab something that’s quick.
You’ll also learn to love your slow cooker. Experiment with different recipes and variations on your favorites. They also make easy work of cooking whole chickens or roasts which can be frozen or refrigerated for later use very easily.
You’re only limited by your own imagination when cooking in bulk for the week ahead. Factor in the time you save by not having to do a lot of after dinner cleanup or dishes, Whether you’re cooking for one, or cooking for a family, you’ll be glad you took the time to simplify your life and master this important organizational skill.
Be sure to check out my recipe for Crockpot Beef Stew Louisiana Style (with molasses!)
Freezer Slow Cooker Beef Stew
© Frugal New England Kitchen