Frozen dinner extravaganza!

28 Aug

When hubby & I spent a Sunday afternoon preparing dinners for friends who just had a baby, he wondered why we didn’t do the same thing for ourselves.  We both work full time and often late nights and then get home and try to scramble to pull something together to eat which means either: something fast and unhealthy or something fast, healthy but expensive.  As you might have noticed in my previous blog posts, we like to save money wherever we can.

Last Sunday, I spent a couple hours surfing the internet for other wonderful blogs that featured recipes that were delightful as frozen dinners.  Once I finished that I grabbed the stack of weekly flyers and started putting together my shopping list and price matching items (which is something I’m learning to love doing – it takes a little bit of time but it saves money!).  I headed to my local grocery store and started buying items off my very large grocery list.  I had planned to make 12 frozen dinners (and get subsequent lunches out of those as well) and a breakfast bake that would provide 5 breakfasts for hubby & I.

I tried to pick recipes that I would be able to utilize items I already had (EVOO, spices, sauces, etc) so all I needed to pick up was lots of veggies, meats and starches.  I found that most of the recipes didn’t have near enough vegetables – although we’re trying to be more economical we also want to be healthier so I found myself throwing in random handfuls of veggies where ever I could!   Below is our journey to our frozen meals – as we unfreeze and eat them I’ll blog to let you know what we think!
Before – check out the spread!  This is almost everything and it’s a little intimidating to look at it all on the counter but we jumped right in!

The spread!

Before I share where I got the recipes from I wanted to provide a few tips that helped us along the way!

  • Make sure you label your freezer bags with a Sharpie before you put the food in them!
  • Do as much prep work as you can first – cut all the veggies, cook the meat that needs to be precooked (trust me this will make the process move much smoother!)
  • After you have put the food into the freezer bags, stick a straw in the corner and close the rest of the bag.  Suck all of the air out with the straw and seal.  Just like vacuum seal!

Here’s what we made!

Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne (this made 2)

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells

Chicken Fajitas

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells

Salsa Chicken

Classic Stuffed Peppers

Fall Chili (this made 2)

Beef Stew

Rosemary Pot Roast

Baked Oatmeal Casserole
Here’s our freezer once we’d added all the meals – all together it took us four hours to prep, cook and put together all of these meals.  What else is awesome is that because each portion will be at minimum dinner and lunch the following day it means that each meal will be approximately $3/meal.  Amazing!!  This might seem like a lot but hey, who doesn’t have to cook for almost two weeks?!  This girl!

Annnnnnnd done!


7 Responses to “Frozen dinner extravaganza!”

  1. recipeshappen August 28, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    Everything looks SO good! And your kitchen is beautiful!

    I love doing freezer meals; unfortunately I have just my refrigerator-freezer, so very limited space. I can do a meal or two sometimes, though, which is great when I make a large batch of something.

    I also usually have some homemade cookie dough frozen, and meat I get on sale.


    • creatingourdreamhouse September 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Thank you! I’ll be sharing more pictures of the kitchen in an upcoming blog too! We are stuck with the same dilemma – we don’t have a deep freeze 😦 I can fit about 20 meals in there by freezing everything flat! I’ve been checking out your blog too – it’s great! Looking forward to reading more!

      • recipeshappen September 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

        We can commiserate. 😛

  2. Janet Wilcox August 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Ashley that is incredible!!! I should be doing that too!!



  1. The first frozen food review! « DIY – It's Better! - August 29, 2012

    […] promised, here is the first review from our frozen dinner extravaganza!  We forgot to take something out of the freezer this morning to thaw (oops!) but luckily the […]

  2. Review – Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells « DIY – It's Better! - September 2, 2012

    […] picky eater?!) so this recipe scared me just a little bit.   This recipe was a part of my first frozen dinner extravaganza! The recipe wasn’t overly complicated to make – although next time hubby noted […]

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