March is National Frozen Foods Month! In honor of that, we’ll focus on the benefits of make ahead freezer meals. There are many benefits, so in today’s Make Ahead Freezer Meals Monday post, we’ll focus on five of them.
During the last week and a half I had the opportunity to teach two Make Ahead Meals 101 home classes. Along with teaching the basics of cooking ahead and sharing my quick start plan to fill your freezer fast, I always share the many benefits of having prepared meals on hand, in the freezer, ready to eat.
Benefit #1: Cooking ahead saves time, energy and money. When you make a large batch of a dinner recipe, you can take advantage of cheaper bulk prices at the grocery store. With ready-to-eat meals in the freezer, you’ll spend less money on eating out, too. Energy is saved when you do the majority of the prepping, cooking and cleaning up in one session as well. In the two hours it would take me to make one dinner from start to finish (including clean up), I can prepare up to TEN meals to add to the freezer.
Benefit #2: Cook once; eat multiple times. I just did that this weekend when I made Make Ahead Taco Meat and Make Ahead Meatballs. With each recipe, I cooked one large batch that made FIVE meals each. So cooking once produced TEN meals total!
Benefit #3: Enjoy homemade, nutritious meals without stress. When my meals are made ahead, it is much easier to simply reheat and serve them. No fuss, no muss = less stress, for sure! And less stressful preparation means we enjoy our meals together more as well.
Benefit #4: Healthy meal choices and portion control become much easier. We like to cook up a big batch of grilled chicken, and use that lean meat as part of a healthy dinner or lunch. Sweet potatoes make a great healthy side dish as well, so we cook those ahead, too. It is also easy to freeze soup or vegetarian chili into single-serve portions for dinner or lunch. Why go through the drive-through when you have grab-and-go convenience right in your own home?
Benefit #5: Always know what’s for dinner I don’t know about you, but nothing adds more stress or irritation than being asked “what’s for dinner?” and not having a response. After a long day at work or taking care of household chores, I don’t have the mental energy left to think about this let alone the energy to prepare it. So when dinner is in the freezer, ready-to-go, it reduces this source of anxiety and we’re all much happier around dinner time!
We are so used to the benefits of make ahead freezer meals that I continue to use this method of cooking that I began using almost ten years ago. This past weekend was a “cooking ahead weekend” for me. Here’s what I prepared:
Make Ahead Italian Meatballs (recipe HERE)
Have you cooked ahead recently? What did you make?
Happy Make Ahead Monday!