Friday, October 19, 2012

Freezer Meal Club

It's been a while since I mentioned food on here.  I can assure you it's not for lack of eating.
I am I really excited to tell you about a new group some friends of mine started.  The idea is brilliant (I wish I'd thought of it myself) and I want to share it with you in case you want to start one too.
Several weeks ago, a good friend of mine came to me asked if I was interested in being in a freezer meal group.  It would consist of several friends that would create freezer meals and then get together and share them with each other.  The idea is to have a variety of meals available in the freezer so dinner time is easier.  Plus it's just fun to get together.
Here's how it worked:
We had a group of 7 women.  Each of those women made 7 meals that were able to feed at least 7 people for a total of 49 total servings.  That way we would have a meal for each day of the week.  The reason for the portion size was because some families had 3 people and some had 7 so at least 7 portions was most ideal.  For my family of 4 it meant that we would have dinner and then leftovers the next day.  The meals would be a main dish and would just have the main components {for example if you bring Asian stir fry you don't need to provide the rice, etc.}. 

We picked a trade day and met together at lunch time.  For lunch we each brought our prepared freezer meals and some of our freezer meal cooked and ready to eat.  We sampled each of the dishes and talked about what we brought and gave our advice for reheating and possible side dishes.  I was wonderful to share great food together and then leave with a weeks worth of meals.

I am not very experienced in the world of freezer meals and I have only made a casserole once in my life {true story} so I was very nervous and wasn't sure what to bring so I went with what I know and that is Mexican food.  I made 49 beef brisket, black bean and veggie quesadillas.  I liked the idea of something that you could pull out one at a time and heat up for lunches or quick meals on the go.

The other meals were:  Lasagna, chili, creamy chicken enchiladas, creamy basil and chicken pasta and poppy seed ham & cheese melts.  {One friend wasn't able to make it at the last minute so we were short a meal but that just meant that we got double of what we brought so we were still covered for the full week}.

So basically I made 49 beef black bean and veggie quesadillas.  I portioned them out so that each bag had 7 quesadillas.  On swap day I brought 6 bags of quesadillas {I left the 7th bag, my bag, at home} and a plate of cooked quesadillas.  We tasted each others food over a nice lunch and at the end I left with a pan or bag of each of the dishes I listed above. 

Over the past month I have been pulling out the dishes to cook for dinner.  Most just required reheating in the oven or even microwave.  For our family size most dishes provided us with a dinner, lunch for my husband the next day and then dinner again the next night.  The ham & cheese melts and my own quesadillas were packaged in a such a way that my husband would pull one out and take it to work for his lunches.

Before the swap I was stressed out and nervous.  I didn't know what to bring and I was worried about making so many portions of food, but afterward I was so happy we did it.  It was very simple to make a large amount of freezer meals since the meals were all the same.  It wasn't like some crazy freezer cooking day where you make a million different meals and have a billion different ingredients.  I'd guess that the time I invested in it {minus actual cooking time} would be about 2-3 hours and I've gotten nearly 2 weeks worth of food in return.  I felt like there was a wonderful variety of delicious foods and I of course loved the social aspect of the whole thing.  It's been fun to call my friends and say, "We had your chili tonight!  It was wonderful!"

We haven't discussed yet if we will continue with the group {we wanted to test it out first} but I have to say, I really enjoyed it and am working hard at finding more great recipes that I can use if we do it again.  Either way I am totally on the freezer meal train.  My life has been so much simpler this month.  I haven't even called my mom crying once!  Haha! 

You can check out my Food Inspiration board on Pinterest to see some of the recipes I've been looking at for the future as well as my Stuff I've Actually Made from Pinterest board {complete with reviews}.  Tomorrow I'll be back with my recipe for Crock Pot Black Beans and Veggies and tell you how I prepped the quesidillas for the freezer.

So I have to know - what do you think?  Have you done a Freezer Meal Club before?  How did it work for you?  Do you do freezer meal days or are you cooking a whole meal every night?  Feel free to link some of your favorite freezer meal recipes and share your tips on making dinner work for you and your family.  I'd love to learn more!


  1. Alicia, My wife has a wonderful meatloaf that freezes amazingly. If you're interested, I'll have her email it to you, or something. I know that Debra has been looking into freezer meals lately, so I'll send her a link to this post; I'm sure she'd love to do something like this.

  2. I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate Shelf Reliance into freezer meals. They have great recipes that they came up with already but there is so much more you can do with the "Thrive foods" from S.R.
    Love this idea of freezer meals!

  3. I had a "soup exchange" a few years ago that was a big success! Basically, we all made a quart of homemade soup for each person in the exchange. I think we had 12 people, so that meant 12 quarts. And the night of the exchange, I provided the bread and salad, and we sampled the 13th quart, so we all had a taste of what was to come! This is another great idea!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...