Preparing 38 Dinners – Save Money & Time on Dinner
Hello hello lovelies. I am super excited to share with you an update about how my freezer cooking is going. A couple weeks ago I started freezer cooking. I wrote about my financial savings and time savings in the first post here. This week I’m talking a bit more about the dinners prepared as well as how they taste.
I added 16 dinners to my original 22. For a grand total of 38 delicious dinners. Additionally, all 38 dinners only cost about $125 and I didn’t click a single coupon. Before I do that here is a little bit about the program I use.
Links in this post may be affiliate links which means if you purchase from one of my links I am paid a small commission on your purchase. It does not cost you extra. Furthermore, I only recommend products I myself would buy.
The program I am using to help plan my freezer cooking is Once a Month Meals. They make shopping for, preparation, and cooking easier with detailed amounts and instructions with each recipe.
While I personally do not follow the exact prep instructions, they do offer them along with labels you can print and tag each bag with. I follow the instructions on the recipe cards for prep, I look at them directly on my phone. This saves printing them.
A week or so ago, I had to travel about an hour away from where we live for my side gig. Luck would have it we were right near a place that has fantastic deals on meat.
I ended up getting 5.5 pounds of ground chuck and almost 6 pounds of chicken for only $20.14 total. Hello awesome savings.
When we got home I went through the recipes on Once a Month Meals. This time picking out quite a few recipes that had more prep work.
I went shopping the next day picking up random ingredients needed for my meals. I spent $33.18. This means my grand total for 16 dinners was $53.32.
For all 38 Dinners I have spent $122. I have over a month’s worth of dinners sitting in my freezer right now and I only spent $122 on it.
Out of the 8 recipes I decided to make 5 of them required cooking in the prep. This means I had to cook portions if not the entire meal before freezing.
While it means I have saved a lot of time every day in the cooking of the foods I ended up spending about 3 hours in the kitchen doing prep work.
Total time spent is still less than what I spend preparing and cooking meals daily. The first round I spent 4 hours cooking 22 dinners. For the second batch I spent another 3 hours in the kitchen making the 16 more dinners. That’s a total of 7 hours preparing 38 dinners.
If the prep work takes about 20 minutes for each meal that means prep time could be up to 13 hours for all 38 dinners. That is 6 hours of time saved preparing meals and using this method.
It’s important to understand the amount of time you spend preparing your meals for the freezer depends on which recipes you choose.
How does it Taste
Everything so far is good. We’ve enjoyed several of the recipes so far. Some of our favorites are below. Each recipe name is a link to the recipe.
These are fantastic little sliders. I don’t use slider buns and instead use sweet rolls which make a fantastic blend of flavor. We are not mushroom people in our house so we don’t add those while preparing.
This is a massive favorite of ours. It is insanely easy to prep taking less than 5 minutes for a double portion and bakes for about 30 minutes. I spend so little time in the kitchen with this meal and it tastes fantastic. I add a bit of parmesan cheese to the veggies after serving.
This tasted wonderful though you need to serve a veggie with this plate. The portion size is great with a big helping of veggies. The flavor in this is amazing. We plan on eating this again.
This is absolutely delicious. It takes a lot for prep but it’s worth it. The nice thing about this is the serving size is just perfect. It doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed like many pasta dishes can.
Additional Notes about the Dinners
I highly recommend taking a good look at your schedule as well as your motivation levels when planning your meals and prep times. You can choose mostly meals that require very little prep work and do it in just a few hours.
I plan to stick to recipes I can bag and freeze with just one or two that require cooking. This batch ended up waiting for things to finish cooking this last time around. I prefer to spend less time in the kitchen at this point due to my schedule.
One more thing I noticed is how my kitchen is staying cleaner than it used to. Most nights after dinner it’s just a few dishes and one pan.
I love reducing the amount of clean up involved in our kitchen and freezer cooking does exactly that.
Freezer cooking improved our life greatly. I spend far less time in the kitchen both with cleaning and cooking. I reduced my spending at the grocery store by planning out my meals with what I get on sale. Finally, we are eating smaller portions and reducing the amount of food waste.
If you are looking for a way to save massive amounts of time, eat delicious food, stick to a diet, or just save some money on your grocery bill, Once a Month Meals absolutely helps to accomplish all of this.
Have you tried Once a Month Meals? Leave a comment below. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this to your favorite food boards. Share this with your friends to let them know how they can save money on groceries.