Freezer Cooking Will Help You Save Money On Groceries

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Freezer cooking is a great way to reduce your grocery spending. You might spend a chunk at one time, but it will save you over the course of the month. Here’s how:

Freezer cooking is a great way to reduce your grocery spending. You might spend a chunk at one time, but it will save you over the course of the month. The 411 from Good Cheap Eats.

About 18 years ago I heard a radio program about once-a-month-cooking. I was married without children, but I worked a full day job as a high school teacher. I loved to cook and eat. The idea of having a freezer full of dinners already made and ready to go was so enticing. We wouldn’t be tempted by fast food if we had better stuff at home!

I started the practice shortly after that and it became a way of life. One of the things that I noticed, besides the time savings and my full belly, was that I saved money on groceries. If I shopped well, my bulk purchases were cheaper than many small packages of the same ingredients. I also wasted less since I was using a whole container of an ingredient, something that was hard to do with just two of us.

Best of all, I stayed out of the stores and avoided all those unnecessary purchases.

Over the years, having a freezer stash has been one of my saving graces. With six kids, a busy homeschool, and a home business, my time is stretched thin. Yet, when the freezer is full, we rest easy — and eat well — without succumbing to pricier alternatives than a good old fashioned, home cooked meal.

Want to get started freezer cooking?

Are you a freezer cook? Why or why not?

Freezer Cooking Will Help You Save Money On Groceries

Save Money on Groceries

This is part of the How to Save Money on Groceries series. Scroll through the archives to get tips and tricks for reducing your grocery total at the checkout stand.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    I would not say I am a freezer cook. I have gone on the internet and seen countless pictures of freezers filled to the gills with bags and aluminum foil covered throw away containers with weeks and weeks worth of freezer meals. My hat’s off to the people that take a day or two to cook all of that. The payoff is certainly big! My two daughters are grown now and only one lives at home with my husband and I. I do not work so I have plenty of time each day to prepare meals. When I have leftovers, I put them in the freezer and sometimes, I will accumulate several days worth of leftovers and when that happens and I want to spend some time clearing out my freezer, I end up not having to cook for several days which is always nice. I do sometimes, prepare a tray of breakfast sandwiches or French toast or I’ll bake some muffins and freeze these. I pack my husband’s lunch so it’s really nice when I have something I can just defrost from the freezer overnight and pack in the morning. For mom’s that work or very large families, I can see how freezer cooking would be a huge benefit to everyone.

    • Would you describe yourself different now? With all the breakfasts you make for freezing, I’d say you’ve found a style of freezer cooking that works for your season.

      • Stephanie M. says

        No, I don’t think I would describe myself as different now. I still don’t take a day and cook several meals to freeze. Once in a great while, if I have some cheddar cheese and heavy cream that needs to be used up, I’ll make some mac and cheese and put in the freezer, especially if I’ve already have a different dinner planned for that day. But still, my freezer usually has several meals already cooked in there but not because I took the time to make them just for the freezer, but because they are leftovers and I want to serve them on a different day. Many times, I have sauce with meatballs and sausage in there, or meat sauce, or soup. But I love to make breakfast freezer meals; they really help me get breakfast in my husband’s lunch bag with a nice variety to choose from and not having to worry about making it in the morning. Today, I made a dozen raisin bran muffins and a dozen surprise muffins. I still have 3 pieces of a breakfast casserole, a breakfast bowl and 3 pancakes left in there from a few weeks ago. I also have 2 turkey sausage patties and tomorrow, I will be making more.

  2. My daughter and I have started freezer cooking, mainly to get some meals prepared ahead of time for her and her family. She has 2 children, one of them a toddler, is working, going to graduate school and has just started clinicals. There is very little time to cook. She and her husband are determined to eat as healthy as possible, so home-cooked meals are very important. The first time was just the two of us and the second time we did a session, we invited one of her friends. We carefully selected recipes we know we like and first tried freezing them in a small quantity to be sure they were good. After our second session and planning menus ahead, she found that she had enough meals for 9 weeks. (We do have the advantage of a deep freeze.)

    If you would like to see what we made and how it all worked, check out our blog (we post lots of quick and easy recipes also).

  3. Crystal says

    I’ve never been able to manage a full day of cooking like a once a month plan, but I try to double and freeze some dinners as I make them. I also like to cook/freeze ground beef and chicken, freeze batches of pancakes and waffles, and freeze scoops of cookie dough for fresh cookies whenever the kids ask. It definitely helps our budget to buy meat in bulk from Sams and then put it in smaller packages and freeze for later meals.

  4. TSandy says

    The problem is space in my two freezers is prime real estate. If I had unlimited freezer space sure I’d love to freeze meals. I’m begging hubby for a third freezer now (unsuccessfully). I do pre-cook some meats to speed up meal prep. The majority of my freezer space is taken with frozen nuts, grains, flours, meats, and fruits. I buy everything in bulk and if I could spare the freezer space this would be a great idea. I get what you are saying I just wish I had more freezer space.

    • Do you guys hunt or buy big meat orders? Curious how you fill your freezers if it’s not meals.

      • TSandy says

        Yes I buy bulk meats. My local organic buyer’s group does twice a year pork, beef, and lamb sales. I also order Zaycon chicken (both chicken breasts and boneless thighs). I also buy all my organic grain/flour directly from the farmers who grow it. ( through that same organic buyer’s group. (They do every two month group buys.) My flours and grains are the second biggest use of freezer space. The grains/flours are in 25 lb increments and since I bake everything we eat that’s another huge space committment. Then freezing fruit and nuts (blueberries, cranberries, apples, peaches, rraspberries, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and almonds) takes up the rest.

        Everything I buy is in bulk now and most of it comes directly from the people who grow/raise it. Taking my family off all processed foods and baking/cooking everything we eat totally transformed my kitchen and storage needs.

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