Even if you have a small freezer you can do it. When you plan out your weekly meals, plan to make a double batch of one meal to freeze. That way next week instead of eating out because activities run late you can just defrost what you already made for a wholesome homemade dinner. You can plan a freezer cooking day and cook for a whole month at a time but this makes for one very long weekend.
Definitions used below:
Place items on a cookie sheet, without touching each other, and freeze until outside is firm. Pile into Ziploc for freezer storage.
Ziplocs- Reuse Ziplocs by storing dry, clean bags in the freezer to save costs. I keep the gallon and quart bags in separate containers in the freezer door. For messy items, place into snack or sandwich bags then fill a larger bag with the smaller ones. This also makes labeling easier.
Reuse Containers- 32 oz yogurt, butter containers, sour cream containers work well for freezing items. Plus, they don’t cost you anything.
What I Make in Large Quantities and Freeze:
Brown Long Grain Rice- It takes an hour to cook 1 cup or the whole bag so I cook the whole bag and freeze it into family size portions. I put it into the fridge the night before I need it.
Dried Beans- In a large stockpot you can cook 12 cups of dry beans in the same time as 1 cup. (2 cups cooked is about 1 15 oz. can of beans)
Meatballs- Flash freeze already baked meatballs. Great for snacks (warmed up), different recipes or added to pasta sauces.
Chicken- Anytime I bake chicken I bake more than I need so I can chop and freeze the leftovers. Chopped chicken defrosts easily and is great for many dishes, pizza toppings, quesadillas, salads, pasta bakes, etc.
Meats- Pretty much any meat can be cooked in bulk then chopped and frozen for later use.
Breads- Zucchini bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread, sweet bread, it doesn’t matter. When making heavy breads double or quadruple the recipes and freeze the extra loafs. I like to double wrap them in 2 sandwich bread bags instead of wasting Ziplocs.
Pasta Sauce and Salsa- When the tomatoes are ripe in the summer make double batches of sauce and freeze it in 32 oz yogurt containers. Don’t fill to the tip-top as they will pop their tops when they freeze.
Soups and Chili- Make a double batch of your favorite soup and freeze a meals worth in the 32 oz yogurt containers.
Rolls- Most recipes make a dozen or more so freeze the leftovers in a gallon Ziploc.
Pizza Crusts- I make sure they are small enough to fit into a gallon bag (usually a double batch makes 16 crusts). I cook the crusts for 5 minutes at 500 degrees and allow to cool completely before bagging and freezing.
Crackers- handmade freeze well which is nice because they are time consuming to make.
Tortillas- handmade or store bought
Cheese- Chunks or home shredded in the food processor.
Peanut Butter Balls- Flash freeze then place into Ziplocs. Great healthy snacks and easy to eat frozen.
Cookie Dough- If you don’t want to use eggs, mix 1 T flaxseed in 3 T water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add to batter instead of 1 egg. Flash freeze dough balls or baked cookies.
Stir-Fry Veggies- Chop double the amount you need for one meal, flash freeze the rest and store in a Ziploc.
Lasagna, Meatloaf, and Casseroles- Freeze in baking pan or bake first, cool, cut, and store individual pieces for lunches.
Waffles and Pancakes- Cool completely on a wire cooling rack then place in Ziplocs. To warm, place on cookie sheet in 350 oven for 5-10 minutes flipping to make sure both sides warm. If frozen waffles won’t separate easily, use a butter knife to separate or put waxed paper between waffles/pancakes.
Milk and Yogurt- Place the carton into the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost milk in fridge and shake before using. Yogurt can be eaten frozen or defrosted. Place a frozen yogurt in your lunch box so yogurt will be cool at lunchtime.
Eggs: Scramble eggs then freeze in ice cube trays or Ziplocs. I scramble 2 eggs at a time and freeze them in snack sized Ziplocs as that is the quantity most of my recipes use.
Potatoes, Mayonnaise, Lettuce, or Veggies you want to eat fresh later, they won‘t stay crisp.