Freezer Cooking – The Apron Strings Way {Intro}

Once a month cooking. Freezer cooking. Batch cooking. Bulk cooking. Most have heard these phrases. This style of cooking can mean something different to each one of us. I’m sharing today about how this method of cooking has helped me become a better wife and mother, especially in the area of preparing and providing balanced, quality meals for my family.

Freezer Cooking - Apron Strings other things

When we take a little time and put a little energy into meal planning and preparation we can give our families the best of what God provides for us. God has given us an abundance of healthy foods. Just think about the variety. Genesis 1:29 tells us the God gave us every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They are ours for food. In Genesis 9:3 He gives us everything that lives and moves – they will be food for us. Just as He once gave us the green plants, He now gives us everything.

We read in Luke about the women who traveled with Jesus and His disciples in order to provide for their sustenance and their needs. Food preparation was important enough to be mentioned in the Bible – isn’t it something worth some thought and effort? Maybe you are feeling unappreciated and all the work goes unnoticed. This might be true at times, but what I’ve seen in my household is they are more likely to notice when I am not prepared and providing good, well-balanced meals.

Am I saying that freezer cookingย  is the way everyone one of us should be providing meals for our families and will solve all your cooking woes? Absolutely not. This once-a-month cooking system is a tool that has worked for me, made my life easier, made my days less stressful. You may have a plan in place that works for you. Your family’s lifestyle or dietary needs may need a different system. That’s great! The important thing is to have a plan.

Why Freezer Cooking?

  1. It saves us money. Using my menu plan for the month I build a shopping list for ingredients and supplies that are specifically needed. My big shopping trip before the beginning of the month stocks my pantry and provides what we need for breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper meals for the next 4 weeks. I’m naturally an impulsive shopper and staying out of the stores definitely saves me money. All I have to do is pick up fresh produce mid-month and get our fresh milk weekly from a nearby farmer. We live a ways from town and making fewer trips saves in gas money too!
  2. Efficient use of time. I spend about an hour one afternoon each month menu planning, one day shopping, one day cooking and have a full month’s worth of meals accounted for. Less than 3 days’ work with lasting effects for 30 days? That’s efficiency!
  3. Less stress. I am a full-time wife and homeschooling mom. There are 7 people living in my home who expect to be fed even when I’m tired and spent at the end of a day. Having a plan in place, necessary ingredients and supplies on hand, meals already prepped takes away much of the stress I used to feel at 5:00 and hubby was on the way home and children were whiny and I had no idea what to fix for supper.
  4. Makes more hours in my day. Using my freezer cooking plan actually creates more time in my days. I do not spend time each day thinking about what to fix, searching the cupboards for inspiration, slaving over a hot stove, washing piles of pots and pans. Much of that has already been taken care of. It takes only a minute or two each morning to check my list of meals and take needed item(s) from the freezer to thaw. Simple breakfast and lunch meals keep the stress level down and supper is a breeze. Most days I pop the main dish into the oven about 30 minutes before mealtime, call my supper helper in to help me get a salad, veggie. rolls or other side dishes ready, then ring the dinner bell!
  5. Saves on clean up. Washing up the dishes and pots and pans is one of my least favorite household chores. On my big cooking day there are a lot of them to wash. I’m so grateful that my husband and children often pitch in to help with the clean up after I’ve been on my feet cooking all day. But the really great thing is that all the rest of the month there are fewer dishes to wash, almost no pots and pans, not so many utensils. I’m all for that!
  6. Healthier options. Let’s face it. When you’ve been out running errands all day, when your little indians are on the warpath because they are starving, when the cupboard is bare and you have no idea what you’ll put on the table for supper, a quick not-so-healthy option is often your go-to solution. Maybe it’s driving through the local fast food joint, maybe it’s picking up fried chicken at the deli, maybe it’s a box of mac and cheese or some other pre-packaged convenience food. While these options may be quick, easy no-brainer meals, you have to admit they are not the healthiest choices. Having real food meals at-the-ready in my freezer means most days of each month my family is putting real food in the bodies. Now that’s convenience food I can live with!
  7. Focus for the Organizationally Challenged. Yep! That would be me. I have a hard time planning ahead, but I truly want to provide for my family in the very best way possible. My OAMC system helps me do that. I’m no superwoman, just an honest practical woman. I needed help and this is the tool that helped me.

You may have a system all together different than my freezer cooking plan. The important thing is to have a plan, and to work that plan in a way that benefits our families. I’d love to hear about how you plan and organize your meals. Please share in the comments how you work your meal plans. We can all learn from each other!

You can read more about my Freezer Cooking system in these posts:

If you’d like to learn more, here are some great resources for you:

Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing more on the nuts and bolts of Freezer Cooking – the Apron Strings Way in the weeks to come.

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Comments

  1. This is timely for me because I’m really thinking about doing this. I want to have options for the nights when I’m too tired to cook. #6 on your list makes so much sense to me.

    • I’m so glad this post was helpful, Jennifer. Being tired is exactly why I started on my freezer cooking journey. I hope I will be able to offer you help and tips along the way ๐Ÿ™‚ give it a try, it might be just the thing to ease your work load a bit. Blessings!

  2. I want to do more freezer cooking. I just don’t have many recipes. I do freeze hamburgers and soups and garden vegetables. I just don;t freeze “meals” very often. It would be a big time saver though.

    • Freezer cooking is one of my all time favorite things in my Homemaker’s Tool Box. Stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more recipes and ideas in upcoming weeks!

  3. Thank you for linking to me. Great tips in here. (Love your new design, too!)

  4. I always say that I’m going to freeze more meals, but I never find the time. I’m guilty of making unhealthy dinner choices because dinner time comes around before I’ve made any plans.

    I’ve followed you on Pinterest for inspiration to do this more often. Thanks!

    • I’ve been guilty of the same thing, Amanda. The dinner hour sneaks up on us, doesn’t it? I hope you find encouragement here, to have a plan of some kind – that’s the first step! Keep at it, once you get started, you’ll find it makes life so much easier you’ll never turn back. So glad you stopped by, thank you for your sweet comment – I’ll be seeing you around pinterest!

  5. Love this! I’ve never done a big freezer cooking day, but I’ve always thought it was a great idea. I loved reading your many reasons why it works for you.

    Thanks for sharing with the Thrive @ Home Thursday link-up. I’ll be featuring this post in this week’s post!

    • Thank you, Amy – I’m thrilled to be featured on Gospel Homemaking! Freezer Cooking is a great tool for many, I’m happy to share how it works for me. Blessings!

  6. I am pinning your post for future reference. I just did my first batch of freezer meals. Just learning all about this. I am already seeing the benefits for our family! Thank you for sharing how you do it. Also thanks for sharing the Bible passages. I have been looking for when mankind started eating meat. I was talking with a friend about it and I thought it was after the flood not before. I told her I would keep looking it up. And you helped me find the verses. Thanks a bunch! Stopping by from Modest Monday link up.

    • Hi Melissa ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you’ve discovered Freezer Cooking! It has been a wonderful tool for me and my family. I’ll be adding more on this topic soon – hope you’ll join me! Have a wonderful week.

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