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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A series of sorts - homemade items for my freezer meals

Since I've started helping out with Cooking Days at our church.  We just had our first meeting the end of September but we're planning on meeting monthly to prepare meals for freezing for our homes.  I don't participate and that may sound weird, but it's mostly because the cost of the meals we do on those days is still beyond our budget.

I do it myself at home, but I am organizing it for the big church Cooking Day.  I can come that day then and participate for a couple of hours but don't have to stay the whole day because that's usually our family work day.  Also there is a different person who doesn't have time during the week to organize, but can definitely run it on the actual day.  She is the initiator of the whole idea.

But for me, in order to make this freezer meal thing (which I love) work, I need to find out if there are some recipes that we love that I can make cheaper.  I try to avoid canned foods as much as possible, but on our massive cooking day (6 or 7 families) cans are easiest and still cheaper for most of them, who are two-income families. 

When a momma comes home at the end of the day, the last thing she wants to do is figure out what's for supper.  This way with a load of meals in the freezer she can pull something out in the morning and turn on the oven when she gets home, and then snuggle with that baby she's missed all day, or if she doesn't have children, spend time with her hubby.

The two moms I babysit for are the starters of this whole thing, but though they can give a Saturday once a month, they don't have a lot of time to organize stuff. 

We found that we have to have a list of meals, and then cook all of them.  For example, last month I had 38 meals, and let everyone pick which ones they wanted.   That did not turn out so well.  Figuring the receipts was a challenge, but mostly we were making 38 meals and it took a day and a half.

So now, we have a list of 15 meals, if someone wants a full month, they just double their recipes.  In two weeks, the last Saturday of the month, we will be making 7 recipes (two families want double recipes, 2 want one recipe of each, and the last one is two people splitting the recipes (1 takes 7 and the other 8 or they could divide each recipe in half)).

There are quite a few things that I want to experiment with and see if it's possible to make it.  The reasons are two-fold: 
  1.   saving money
  2. healthier eating
So here's a list of things that I want to learn to make:
  • refried beans
  • egg noodles
  • pork and beans
  • baked beans that freeze well
There will be more as we go.  I also want to make 3 or 4 standard freezer meals lists - one each for pork, hamburger, chicken and ham.  So that when there is a sale on one of these, I can make freezer meals right away from the meat.  I think it will be a more efficient use of my time, as I won't first freeze, then thaw the meat and then refreeze it.  I will make it straight into the meals.  But I'll have to know what my shopping lists will be for each one.

All of this is to bring glory to God by providing for my family and having time to serve Him as well.

Keep pressing on

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