Grocery Geek: The Freezer Cooking Edition

Shopping for a large freezer cooking day can seem cumbersome. But the payoff comes for the days and weeks following when the shopping is done and the meal is already prepared.

This week I embarked on a “feed-the-freezer” frenzy. After completely emptying it with the pantry challenge — and cooking a lot in said challenge — I was ready to take a few nights off meal prep. Since I wrote a cookbook on the topic of make ahead and freeze cookery (wait for it…), I already had several cooking plans WITH grocery lists that made that grocery shopping easy peasy.

My kids chose the cooking plan, and thankfully, it was one featuring many ingredients that were on sale at my local stores. I just divvied up the grocery list amongst the stores and headed out.

Here’s how it broke down:

Costco

This Costco trip included freezer cooking ingredients as well as dinner and lunch items: bananas, 4 loaves bread bread, 4 pork tenderloins, 4 pork roasts, 2 packages turkey meat, 2 dozen tortillas, 12 pounds cheese, 4 pounds butter, 2 gallons olive oil, gatorade, chocolate chips, spices, canned tomato products, vinegar, dishwasher soap, granola bars, tortilla chips, tostada shells, pickles, juice, and fruit leather.

Total spent: $250

Sprouts, Albertsons and Ralphs

At Ralphs, there was a buy 10, get $5 off promotion, so I bought some household items as well as “extras” for snacks, field trips, and hockey season. Every day stuff included kleenex, ice cream, gelato, laundry soap, balance bars, fruit snacks, hot dogs, lettuce, and bananas.

Freezer cooking items include spices, meat and chicken, bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, limes, ginger, jalapeno, and sour cream.

Between the three stores, I spent $170.00

Abundant Harvest Organics

Last of all came my produce box. Total spent $38.00

After a month-long pantry challenge, it seems sort of odd to be spending so much at one time. However, I bought enough food to last us a month! I prepared 28 meals on Monday and froze them for later in the month, so I know for positive we have enough, plus there was still some carry over from last month. In examining the receipts, I’d guesstimate that I spent about $200 for the meals I froze.

For the rest of the month, we’ll still need to get bread, lunch meat, milk, cheese, and yogurt. And we’ll have our weekly produce box to pick up. Other than those things, I will probably just shop ahead for March if I see some good sales.

Total spent for February: $460

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Comments

  1. I love looking at the produce you get in your produce box!! So pretty. I also went a little crazy this week with the groceries after not buying much in January. I spend $110 at my favorite Amish bulk food store and Walmart. I bought mostly baking supplies and oil, and a whole bunch of avocados and citrus. I love this time of year when citrus is delicious and cheap! Details of my shopping trips are here: http://www.simplifylivelove.com/2012/02/bulk-shopping-price-matching-to-stretch-grocery.html

  2. I have only bought one canned good since the pantry challenge started and we still have plenty to choose from. That’s sad! But we will endure and not give in! I have not found the time to freezer cook yet. These nine hour work days leave only one day a week for cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. (We go to church Sunday mornings and evenings so that pretty much leaves little time for big chores.) We have bought fresh fruits and veggies every weekend along with bread, eggs and milk. Today I bought 2 roasts that were marked down at Wal Mart and stuck them inthe freezer. They are so expensive here that we haven’t had one in a few months. Thank goodness for deer meat; our staple meat for the winter.

  3. Havent done any real shopping in a good long while.. In January, I did do some stock up on pork & chicken but that was it for most groceries besides eggs, milk, bread, sandwich meat & cheese.

    This month, the Schwans man came along & I spent $50 on stuff I dont really need, and I’ve stopped at the fruit & veggie store once for oranges & bananas. I also stopped at the Schwebels Bread Outlet yesterday, picked up 2 loaves of white bread, 1 loaf of whole wheat whole grain bread, 1 pkg of english muffins, and 1 raisin bread for a total of $6.20. I also got milk ($2.89) at Target a few days ago. So far thats all I’ve spent on food for Feb. We still have plenty in the freezer & pantries to carry us along for a while.

    I picked up my farm eggs yesterday (4doz) but I payed for them in January so they dont count. ;)

    I do want to go to Costco & start picking up some long term food storage items. 50# long grain rice is $17.29 ((.346/#) and 50# of sugar is $28.89 (.578/#)

  4. I feel like I’m on a “pantry challenge” alot! But we are seriously low in all areas and I plan to do a major Walmart trip in the next couple of weeks. I have had cooking days to stock the freezer in the past, but it’s been awhile. Now that I am working a lot more outside the home, I realize how nice it would be to have dinner ready when we were ready to eat!! So, this post has inspired me to do a huge shopping trip and “feed the freezer” again! Thanks!

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