Freezer Cooking Day: Official menu + planning ideas

by Melody on October 12, 2011

Welcome to another round of This Beautiful Frugal Life’s Freezer Cooking Day Extravaganza!

In Round One, my friend Sarah and I cooked together and did one big old full day of cooking.  While this was fabulous, we have just had a hard time finding time in our busy schedules to squeeze in a whole day, so we’re doing a slightly shorter version this time around.  We will be cooking for approximately half a day and doing a few less meals.

We chose Friday November 11th to cook.  Sarah’s mom has the day off to help watch her kids and my husband is off work, so hopefully we can hammer things out in record time (or at least it won’t take ALL day).  We would love for you all to cook along with us on the same day, but I know that probably won’t be a possibility for some.  The purpose of this series is to give you the tools and information you need to cook on whatever day you choose.

A quick recap.

For the next 3-4 weeks, I will be posting a menu, ingredient list, planning and preparation ideas and (hopefully) answering your questions along the way to get us ready for our big Freezer Cooking Day in November.

Tips on planning your day:

  • Between Sarah and I, we have four kids under the age of four.  There is NO way we would ever be able to focus on our cooking and prep, feed our children and get them down for naps and still have the house standing.  If you have young kids at home, I highly suggest hiring a babysitter!  If it’s not possible to find someone who can dedicate themselves to watching the kids, maybe join up with a few friends for your cooking day and trade off duties as the day goes on.
  • Be as organized as possible.  I will do my best to give you all the tools you need, including a timeline for prep and cooking for the day of, but double and triple check your ingredient list before you get started.  You will have enough to do without running to the store for any last-minute items.
  • Don’t take on more than you think you can handle.  My menu plan is fairly basic and planned around similar ingredients, but if you feel like it’s too much for you, don’t do it all!  Start with just two or three recipes.  If this series is successful, I’ll definitely plan another and you can jump in with both feet next time.
  • I’ll do my best to pick up all my items on sale/with coupons over the next few weeks, but anything left on my list in the few days before, I will just grab at Walmart or Winco. You may feel the need to add a little “cushion” to your grocery budget this month to help cover all the ingredients.  I have pulled from the following month’s budget as well, because making freezer meals this month will hopefully save me money next month.
  • Most of the recipes I chose can be adapted for meat preference (turkey, chicken, ground beef) or no meat at all if you prefer.  Feel free to make any changes you like to the recipes to suit your family’s lifestyle.

The official Freezer Cooking Day Extravaganza menu plan:

We looked at two things when planning our meals and recipes for this round of cooking.  We chose recipes that would utilize the fabulous price we got on Zaycon boneless skinless chicken breasts recently.  We also tried to plan one meal per cooking medium: stovetop, oven, crockpot and no-bake.  Hopefully, this will help in planning and make the day run smoother without having to juggle dishes in and out of the oven or battle for burner space.

We will be making four of each dish and then splitting everything.  If you are cooking by yourself, you could double or even triple the recipe.  I find it saves so much time to make multiple pans of each dish at once, this cuts down on prep time and cleaning.




The official ingredient list will be up in a few days.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.  I’m excited to fill up my freezer again!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah October 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm

You make it all sound so EASY!! Thank goodness I have you to plan and I just get to clean up the mess!!


Melody October 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

You and I both know it doesn’t always go exactly to plan, but we can at least start out with a good plan. 🙂


janae October 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

yay! I’m excited to join you this time Melody! It will be great to stock of the freezer for the crazy months ahead!!! Thanks a bunch!!


Lora October 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Yea! I’m excited to do it this time too! I’m going to try to convince my friend Nancy to join me. Since we’re gluten free I’m going to substitute one additional meal. I think we’ll do my amazing crock pot Taco Soup recipe. Do you think that would freeze well? (It has chicken, tomatoes, beans, green chilies, etc.) Also – what do you freeze things in?


Melody October 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I think that would freeze perfectly, it has very similar ingredients to the White Chicken Chili. I usually freeze soups and pastas in Ziploc bags and freeze them flat. Anything that is similar to a casserole, I freeze in aluminum pans that I reuse. I generally just get these at the grocery store or Walmart.

Glad you’re going to join us!


Lora October 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

How do you cover the aluminum pans? Do you use the lids that come with them or wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil?


Melody October 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

I cover them with foil and use the lid that came with them. If I can’t fit the pans with the lids in the freezer, I use saran wrap and then foil.


Lora October 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Awesome! Thanks much!

Catherine October 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Yay! I half-heartedly attempted to cook with you last time, but apparently, half-hearted is not enough! I was wondering if there’s anyway you can compile the recipes in a pdf or other electronic document? It would help me out a lot but I realize it might not be possible. Thanks.


Melody October 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I can definitely try to add that to my list, shouldn’t take too much time I don’t think. I’ll do my best!


Susie October 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I ordered the Zaycon chicken for the first time. I am very excited!


Connie November 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I just learned of the chicken from Zaycon. How much does it usually run? And I see that they are having a burger event soon? Is it good stuff? Worth it??


Melody November 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm

At this last sale, the chicken was $1.49/lb. It typically runs anywhere from $1.49 – $1.65/lb. The ground beef event is currently live. I placed my order this time, but I haven’t tried it. Everyone I know that has tried it has been super happy with it. It is 97% lean and has never been frozen.


Megan November 17, 2011 at 8:19 am

I made the Crockpot Cream Cheese chicken for the first time this weekend! It was SO GOOD! I see you have it on your freezer meal plan–does it really freeze well?? I’d love to make a huge pot of it and freeze some but I’m concerned the consistency wouldn’t be quite right…


Melody November 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

Well, I froze it but haven’t tried it yet from the freezer. 🙂 Glad to hear it tastes good as I haven’t actually eaten any yet. I have frozen a type of cream cheese chicken before (not exactly the same recipe, but close) and it came out just fine!


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