The meals I made last enough was just the perfect amount to get us through Thanksgiving. I even had 4 meals left in the freezer to serve up the week after, which was perfect, because who has time or energy to shop & cook when you get back from vacation? So this weekend I embarked on my mission to make December’s meals. I needed 15 to bring us up to the weekend before Christmas. Here’s what’s on the menu:
Soup: Vegetable Chowder
One-Dish Meal: Chicken Pot Pies
Main-Dish Component: Italian Beef
The pot pie recipe makes 3 meals (6 mini-loaf pan pies), and all the rest make two. You do the math and say, “Hey, that’s only 13 meals?” Yes, it’s true. I cheated this month. I bought a bag of frozen ravioli, and some garlic bread from the store. *gasp!* No, really, I like to have pasta on the menu, and Miss A loves ravioli and tortellini and that sort of stuff, and honestly, it’s a PITA to make, so, I bought it instead. Plus, after 6 hours of cooking, who wants to do homemade ravioli on top of that?
Anyway, the one thing I love about this whole process is seeing all the colorful meals come together. So I took some pictures this time. Just look at all those great fresh colors!!
|This is what my freezer looks like. The top two shelves are the meals.|
And, people asked me last month if this method of meal preparation saved any money. Well, I added up my bill from yesterday. I spent about $135 total on ingredients. $80 of that was at Earth Fare on organic produce and antibiotic/hormone-free/free range chicken and pork. Seriously, to get all that for under $100 shocked me. I did have some great coupons (as Earth Fare always has great coupons) but I was still expecting it to be more. The rest I picked up at Publix (again with some great coupons). So that comes out to less than $10.50 per meal per family. So, to feed 2 ½ people a meal for $10.50 a night is pretty good. And, if you decide to buy all your stuff at cheapy wal-mart (which I typically do, but this month I decided to buy better quality ingredients) it would be about 20% less (as a guess). So, I do think it saves money.
Also, I’ve noticed I’ve been less wasteful this way too. For instance, when a recipe calls for something like, 3 cups of broth…well, one of those big cartons is 4 cups. So, typically I’ll have a cup leftover, shove the carton in the fridge and hope I get to it before it goes bad (which, never happens). Well, now I’ve been saving the leftovers in freezer bags (much like I did with the chicken stock last month), which again means we’ll be saving money in the long run.
Man – I really wish we had room for a deep freeze. Even a small one.