Taking an afternoon to power prep some freezer meals saves tons of time in the long run! When it’s time for dinner and you’re hungry and tired, the prep work is already done and there’s no sink full of dirty dishes. Having food ready to go saves money on groceries and eating out. Homemade meal prep is also healthier and a great way to stay on track.
10 Helpful Tips for Successful Freezer Meals
- Choose meals that you like and have tried before. You don’t want to end up with a freezer full of meals you don’t care for or your family won’t eat. Give recipes a test run and if it’s a winner, make a note to make multiple batches on your next prep day.
- Start with 2-3 meals and make double or triple batches (or more)! Keep it simple at first and just work with a few recipes. As you get more efficient at meal prepping, you can make a month’s worth of meals in an afternoon!
- Use the assembly line method. Set up an assembly line to prep your food. For example, chop all your vegetables then prepare all your meat. This saves time, produces less mess and less clean up.
- Once prepped, store in freezer containers. Make sure to stock up on storage containers, bags, or foil containers before starting. Once you’ve prepped your meals, add to containers. Health tip: avoid putting hot food in plastic containers or bags until cool or use glass.
- Never put hot food in the freezer. If you are cooking meals before freezing, make sure the food is completely cooled before you freeze. This will help prevent freezer burn. You’d hate for your meal prepping efforts to go to waste!
- Freeze meals flat in bags. If using freezer bags, freeze the bags as flat as possible. This allows you to stack the meals upright and save space.
- Date and label your meals. It’s hard to tell what something is once it’s frozen. And nobody wants to make a mystery meal. Label your meals along with cooking instructions (350 degrees, 45 minutes, etc.) Also put the date you froze the meal. When you add new meals to your freezer, rotate the older meals to the front and use those first.
- Create a meal plan so you remember to take meals out of the freezer the day before. The safest method for thawing foods is in the refrigerator. Create a meal plan for the week so you know what you need to take out the day before.
- Share with a friend. If you really want to have fun with it, you and your friend should both double your recipes, and swap one batch with a friend. It’s fun to try new recipes without the extra work!
- Utilize leftovers. If you have leftovers, use them up for lunches or freeze cooked food for a convenient meal later on.
Make your power prep day fun and something you look forward to. Crank the music up, listen to a book or podcast, put on a movie or favorite show. Get your family involved or invite friends over for a fun and productive afternoon. Spending a few hours in the kitchen will go a long way when you don’t have time to cook during the week. Remember, you’ll get more efficient the more you do it!
Let us know your best meal prep and freezer meal hacks below!