People everywhere let out a collective sigh of exhaustion just thinking about planning, prepping, cooking, and serving dinner every single evening after a long and busy day.
The good news is that preparing freezer meals once a week is the ideal sanity-saving method for making dinnertime less stressful for you, and just as delicious for the family.
Below are some of our quick tips for beginners interested in preparing freezer meals and cutting down on weeknight dinnertime stress. Also, did you know Xtrema 100% ceramic cookware is oven, stovetop, microwave AND freezer safe?
Clear out space in your freezer
Even if you only plan on preparing freezer meals for a week at a time, you’re going to need some extra room in your freezer. A deep freezer is ideal, but not absolutely necessary. Just make sure your space is extra organized, with plenty of storage room for your meals.
Set aside a shop and prep day
The key to preparing freezer meals successfully is scheduling a few hours out of your weekend to shop and prep for the week. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can do this all in one day.
Lots of frozen meal preppers like to set aside Sundays for grocery shopping and food prep. Be sure to also set some time aside for menu planning, so you know exactly what ingredients you need and how to group them together in specific meals.
Always cool meals before freezing
You might be a hurry to get those meals into the freezer as soon as you’ve cooked them, but be careful not to freeze anything while it’s still hot.
If your food goes into the freezer while it’s still hot, the outer edges could freeze much sooner than the inside. Plus, the hot food will raise the total temperature of your freezer, possibly preventing some of the food from fully freezing before it goes bad.
Freeze your food properly
- When freezing liquids, make sure to leave a little bit of room in the container or bag for expansion.
- Wrap solid foods in foil before placing them in plastic freezer bags
- When you use foil baking pans, make sure the top is tightly sealed.
- Portion your servings so you don’t have to freeze more than one quart of food per container. Your food will freeze more evenly this way.
Don’t forget to label your containers!
Labeling your meals before freezing is always a good idea, but it’s especially important if you use opaque packaging or containers. If you have to open up a foil packet or the lid of the container to check inside, you might compromise the meal.
Use a Sharpie or grab some freezer tape at the store and jot down the name of your meal, the date you froze it, and even the baking temperature and time if you’re feeling extra ambitious.