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Pinterest Recipe Reviews; Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Part One

As I’ve said before, a great way to save money is to eat meals at home. I don’t mean eat Take Out at home! 😉 I mean cook it yourself. Sometimes that seems nearly impossible because of how hectic our lives can be. I have been spending a lot of time in the car driving, usually at times when I should be cooking or eating dinner. Instead of going through a fast food drive through I’ve been cooking simple quick meals.  Or premade frozen meals.

Here’s what I started with.

At the same time, I’ve been staying up late and pinning a tremendous number of recipes to my “Recipes to Try” board on Pinterest.  Some of them I’ve pinned twice!  I blame that on a desire for better or more elaborate meals.  Many years ago I used to do batch cooking.  Once a month, or every two weeks I bought a bunch of groceries and spent the day cooking meals and then freezing them.  Most of the recipes just needed to be defrosted and reheated.  Pulling the next night’s dinner out of the freezer and setting it in the fridge to thaw is a wonderful feeling!  Unfortunately this method requires hours of free time to do the shopping and cooking.  I’m short on free time right now.

One of the items I pinned recently links back to this site, Six Sister’s Stuff.  The pin is for preparing 8 crock pot meals in advance and freezing them.  Because you are simply doing the prep work in advance, not actually cooking the meals, it’s quicker than batch cooking.  Since this seems to fit my current hectic lifestyle I decided to try all 8 meals.  Here’s how it went.

The Taco Soup would NOT all fit into a gallon size freezer bag!

Love the fact that she provided a printable shopping list separate from the recipes!  Keeping it simple for busy people is a big plus.  I already had some items in my pantry.  I checked those off my list before going shopping.

I started cooking with an empty dish washer, an empty trash can and empty kitchen counters.  I went so far as to remove the toaster.  Because I’ve never made any of these recipes I didn’t know that I’d need a LARGE bowl to mix the Taco Soup.  The soup will NOT fit into a gallon size bag, I used a Tupperware container in addition to the bag.  You will also need a medium bowl to mix up BBQ sauce.  And if you have a juicer you should get that out too.  Now you know!

There was much more chopping of vegetables than I expected.  Instead of one hour it took me just under two hours to make all 9 meals.  (Pork Ribs were BOGO so that gave me a ninth meal.)  I cleaned up as I went along and I took the time to get each meal into the freezer quickly.  If I had done all of the chopping for all of the meals first it might have gone faster.

Finished and Frozen!

The real test of how worthwhile this is will be how the recipes taste.  But clean up was easy, it definitely didn’t require a weeks worth of kitchen clean up!  🙂

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  1. That’s a great idea to have all the prep work done. Crock pot meals are the best for busy schedules! Let us know how they taste 🙂

  2. I’m following you on pinterest now! 🙂
    I definitely need to get back to cooking. Since we moved, we’ve been eating way too much take out and microwaveable food. I miss home cooked meals.

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from. No matter what cooking does take time. But I’m trying to minimize it.

  3. Avatar Duni Buesken (@PeriDotbyDuni) says:

    Can you believe I cook meals every day? Weekdays it’s recipes that take no more than 40 minutes and weekends I try out new ones. I love the idea of cooking in advance, however we only have a small freezer :-/

    1. I can believe it, but I bet you don’t have to drive as far for activities as I do. I have to drive 45 minutes each way for tonight’s activity! Makes me happy that dinner is already made.

  4. This just makes so much sense! My husband and I are on opposite shifts 2 out of three weeks so I tend to live on Lean Cuisines and other quick fix meals. I do however take an hour or so and measure out the ingredients to our favorite muffins and other baked goods. Then in the morning (or whenever) I just add liquid ingredients. Saves a bunch of time. When one of us retire, I’ll definitely do the meals in advance.

    1. Yes it does make sense. It’s just hard to set aside the time to do it. Some people have never done any batch cooking and are a bit overwhelmed by it.

  5. Avatar anastasiac says:

    what a great idea! I should be more organised. I have made a few lovely meals from Pinterest recipes!!

    1. Thanks. Yes it’s easy to pin a bunch of recipes. It’s even better when I make them and they turn out well.

  6. This is such a good idea! I like to make mixes for my baked items ahead of time. I label them and keep them in individual bags in one large tupperware container. When I want fresh baked muffins in the morning, I just get out my mix, add my egg and bananas!

    1. We are still eating them. I’m pulling the Taco Soup out of the freezer this morning. A review of the first few will be posted soon. I do really enjoy pulling dinner out of the freezer though.

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