Yes, freezer meals can definitely save you money! I turned to freezer meals to help me save time and to be able to face the kitchen at the end of an exhausting workday. I needed something quick and easy to prepare instead of having to order in or go to a restaurant, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much money I was saving from my food budget. In our experience at FreezerFit, the average family saves over $3,000 per year with FreezerFit. How much could YOUR family be saving? Check out our savings calculator!
If you’re feeling the pinch budgeting for groceries or trying to get your takeout costs under control, freezer meals could be just what you are looking for! By planning ahead and buying bulk, freezer meals can really help stretch your grocery budget, save time cooking, and still give you the delicious and nutritious meals everyone loves. Here’s what you need to know about how to freeze meals and how they help you save money.
What is a Freezer Meal?
A freezer meal is a meal that is cooked ahead of time, frozen, and then reheated later. This means that all the prep work, like chopping vegetables or mixing ingredients, happens in one sitting days or weeks ahead of time. It also means you can make big batches of food for multiple meals.
For those who lead a busy lifestyle (and these days, who doesn’t?) freezer meals are a great way to save time making meals ahead, requiring minimal effort to heat them up for your family when you’re ready to eat.
To get started with freezer meals, choose an easy freezer recipe from the FreezerFit database, make sure you have all the ingredients, then follow the directions. (Sign up to get full access to our recipe database and more!)
Once you have your recipe, preparing your freezer meals is as simple as 1-2-3:
- label your freezer bags with the name of the dish, the date it was made, and any special instructions
- when it’s time to prepare your meal, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, in a bowl of cold water if you’re short on time, or directly in your Instant Pot or slow cooker
- once thawed, follow the cooking instructions and enjoy!
Keep reading for more preparation tips below.
How Do Freezer Meals Save Money?
Let me count the ways!
First, they cut down on waste because all of the ingredients are used at once instead of being spread out over multiple recipes. This means less food waste and fewer trips to the grocery store.
Second, when you buy in bulk, it’s often cheaper than buying individual items or smaller quantities.
Third, when you prep food ahead of time, it’s faster, so you don’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen cooking each night, which saves you money too.
And perhaps the biggest impact on your family’s food budget: using freezer meals cuts down on the number of fast food and restaurant meals you are paying for! That alone can be huge.
What Are Some Tips for Making Freezer Meals?
Making freezer meals doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Take a deep breath and follow these tips to make freezer meals as easy as shepherd’s pie:
Make sure to plan ahead and buy all your ingredients before starting. I don’t need to tell you what a time-waster it is to get partway through a recipe and discover that you don’t have everything you need.
Make sure to label each container with the contents and date before putting it in the freezer so it’s easy to find later! Make it easy by using these blank labels for your freezer bags. and affix the labels to the bags before you begin.
Cook in Bulk
Cook large batches of food so there are leftovers for future use; this will save time and money by reducing food waste!
Use Quality Equipment
I recommend using: 1) good quality, gallon-sized freezer bags (not those flimsy sandwich bags!) 2) a good quality chef’s knife, and 3) a cutting board.
As you get more experience, you may want to consider investing in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) or a slow cooker (Crockpot). These come at various price points to fit most budgets, but here is the Instant Pot and Crockpot I use. I also strongly recommend buying some bag holders. These make the experience much more enjoyable, make meal prep quicker, and keep your kitchen cleaner.
Divide Into Portions
Divide large batches into the portion sizes you will use so they can be reheated quickly without having to thaw out an entire meal every night!
Organizing your freezer can be tricky, especially since the space is generally smaller than the refrigerator. Here at FreezerFit, we understand how beneficial it is to keep your freezer tidy and make the most of that space for storing and enjoying freezer meals. To help you out, we suggest designating different sections for different foods, using labels, and other tips to keep the space organized and maximize its potential.
Storing ready-to-cook meals, leftovers, and ingredients in an orderly fashion can help you save food before it goes to waste and make meal prepping easier. Even though many people find it challenging to maintain their freezer’s organization, with a few helpful tips you’ll be able to stay on top of it! More details on organizing your freezer here.
Meal prepping is a great way to save both time and money when it comes to cooking food. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Freeze your food to use later;
- Buy ingredients in bulk and on sale;
- Plan ahead by deciding what you want to eat and buying the ingredients;
- Always shop with a list;
- Try recreating your favorite takeout dishes at home.
Doing these things will help you save money, time, and energy when cooking meals. You can find more detailed instructions on meal prepping here.
Slow Cooker Liners
Do you need them? How do you use them?
Slow cooker liners are a great way to make meal prepping with freezer meals easier and quicker. Made from food-safe materials, they line the slow cooker between the appliance and the food, allowing for a much simpler clean-up than having to scrub out the stoneware insert each time. Although using liners can be highly convenient, there are a few drawbacks as well. Find out more details and what we recommend here.
Got Comfort Food? Yes We Do!
If you’re looking for comfort food, look no further than classic dishes like mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and chicken soup. These nostalgic favorites bring back warm memories and provide a delicious meal. For tips on making freezable comfort food and some suggested recipes, try this post.
Additional Benefits of Freezer Meals
Freezer meals don’t just help you save money; they offer other benefits too! For instance, since most recipes make enough for multiple servings, there are often leftovers for lunch or dinner another night during the week—you’re a busy person and don’t want to have to prepare food from scratch every day!
If someone in your family has dietary restrictions due to allergies or health issues, pre-made recipes mean that those dishes can be made separately without having to worry about cross-contamination from other dishes being cooked at the same time! A life-saver to those with Celiac disease or severe allergies. If you have one person on a different diet than the rest of your family, freeze single-size portions for them.
Are There Any Downsides To Making Freezer Meals?
Freezer meals can seem daunting because they require some upfront work—chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, portioning out, etc. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It gives everyone a chance to come together as a family while prepping dinner and teaches kids valuable cooking skills.
Once everything is prepped and ready to go into the appliance, all there’s really left to do is set it up on a timer so dinner’s ready when everyone arrives home—so it’s still pretty easy, compared to cooking from scratch every night!
Do freezer meals really save money? The answer is an unequivocal yes—freezer meals do save money! Not only do they cut down on waste since all ingredients are used at once instead of spread out over multiple recipes, but they also let you buy things in bulk, making them cheaper than buying individual items or smaller quantities. Plus, since our recipes make six servings, you may have leftovers for lunch or dinner another night during the week, which saves even more time (and energy!) throughout the week.
So if you’re looking for ways to stretch your grocery budget while still enjoying delicious and nutritious meals, start making your freezer meal plan today—I guarantee you won’t regret it!