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Simple Saving Savvy: Intentional Tuesday Tip: Freezer Cooking YOUR Way ~

Simple Saving Savvy

Practicing Wise Stewardship & Blessing Others Out of Our Abundance

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Intentional Tuesday Tip: Freezer Cooking YOUR Way ~

Freezer cooking has been around for a long time. Alot longer than the internet and mommy bloggers. The difference is that now with a computer (or two) in every home and a mommy blogger on every corner, you hear (and see) alot more about it.

For some it can seem intimidating. Some just don't feel they can sacrafice a days worth of time to spend doing nothing but cooking. Some don't want to tackle the job with young children at home. Whatever, your reason for NOT freezer cooking...I'm here to tell can do it.

The key to being successful in this area, like any other area of intentional living, is to figure out what works for YOU. What works for Suzy Homemaker down the street may not work for Career Kathy. And what works for the Empty Nester may not be feasible for the Homeschooling Mom.

Here's an example. The photo below is my idea of freezer cooking for my family....

No casseroles in that photo but what you see speeds up my cooking process and saves me a ton of money.

When I find bell peppers on sale (these were 3/$0.99 at Aldi last week), I buy several. Then I chop, put in these little Ziploc containers and freeze. When I need them for a casserole, soup, skillet dinner, whatever, it's as simple as throwing them in the microwave for a minute to defrost. Not only does it save me the time of actually chopping the bell pepper, but I've not spent $0.99-$1.50 each by buying them only when I need them.

I use the same concept with pinto beans and rice. Canned beans of any kind usually run on average about $0.78 per can. You can find them as low as $0.58 on sale. I can buy two pounds of pinto beans at Aldi for $1.29 or $1.78 at Crest.

After cooking, that two pound bag of beans will yeild about 15 cups of beans. I freeze about three cups per quart size ziploc freezer bag and that's the perfect amount for adding to casseroles or chili. Again, I throw them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes before I'm ready to add them to my recipe.

My family eats a ton of rice. I used to buy Minute Rice or Success Rice. I always used coupons so I thought I was getting a great deal, plus it was convenience. But even with coupons I was spending about $1.20-$1.50 per box which would only last my family 1-2 meals.

At Aldi, I can buy a 3lb. bag of rice for $1.49. I cook it according to the instructions on the package and freeze in ziploc quart size freezer bags. Before freezing, I rinse in cool water to remove some of the excess starch before placing approximately 3-4 cups in each freezer bag. This process usually yeilds about 8 ziploc bags (or meals). I think you can see the savings for yourself.

With the rice and beans, because the cooking process is lengthy, I can do other things (like laundry, clipping coupons, etc) while I'm waiting.

I also exercise this same process with other ingredients I use on a regular basis. To name a few, I make my own bread crumbs, poultry broth and I'm even starting to roast my own green chilies.

So my encouragement for you today is to be intentional in your own kitchen. Think of a couple of ways you could save yourself money and/or time that work for you. They don't have to work for anyone else, it's not their kitchen!



Blogger Sofia said...

I started making my own baby food and freezing. It took about 5 hours (with a 9 month old around me to entertain and watch out that he doesn't get into trouble) but i made one month worth of variety baby food- sweet potatoes, apples sauce, pears, carrots, baby soups, etc.... It not only saved me ton of money, but also it was the most natural food, i knew what exactly was in food - most importantly - my son loved every one of them! Talk about convenience - pop into microwave and it is ready to feed!

January 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger DeDe said...

Great idea with the beans and rice!
I also like to fry up ground beef or sausage, then drain it, let it cool and place it in zip bags. It helps me out when we have had a super busy day and want to throw a quick meal together.
I also cook up a huge batch of pancakes from scratch, and then let them cool. Then store them in gallon zip bags in the freezer to pull out and microwave for a quick breakfast.

January 26, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

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