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Frugal Friday: Filling the Freezer for Post-Baby, Part 1

on February 20, 2015

297When I was pregnant this past summer with my youngest, Ashlyn (now 6-1/2 months!), I decided I was going to make post-baby meals ahead of time to make life easier. It took a lot of work and planning, but it was really nice to have a freezer full of over 30 meals to choose from. I kept a list of these meals on the fridge with the date made, use-by date, defrosting instructions, and preparation instructions. I also later painted my deep freezer with chalkboard paint for easier inventory.

There were many recipes that I will definitely make again and some that I won’t for various reasons. I thought I’d pass along over the next few weeks the recipes I tried with just a few comments as to my opinions. The easiest way I found to prepare these meals was to simply double up a recipe, using one for dinner that night and one for the freezer. If I found a cut of meat (especially roasts) on sale, I would buy a couple and throw them in a freezer bag with whatever else I wanted.

For what it’s worth, Aldi freezer bags worked fine. The only thing you want to make sure is that you have a good way to organize your deep freezer. I’m still working on that. A couple bags did get ripped because I was digging around looking for something.

Here are some of the recipes I did make. I’ll star my absolute favorites that I know I’ll make again.

1. Brown Sugar Meatloaf 

This was really good, and my husband liked it. This is a great meal to double and freeze half. I just love my mom’s recipe for meatloaf, though (even though my husband thinks it’s too saucy). I will make this again if I plan on freezing meatloaf. If I plan on just having it for dinner I’ll make my mom’s (which is the best meatloaf ever!) 🙂

 2. *Burritacos 

Yummy! This one is already doubled within the recipe, easily allowing you to freeze one for later. I would either exchange the pepper jack cheese with monterrey jack or do half-and-half, because it was a wee bit too spicy for my fam.

 3. Chicken pot pie

This was really good, and I like the fact that the sauce is homemade (i.e., no canned condensed soup). I might make it again for dinner, but not freeze it. For some reason, it didn’t taste as good to me the second time around, but that might just be me. . .

 4. Mexican stuffed shells

I really liked these and would totally make them again, but they were not my husband’s favorites. He absolutely loves Mexican, and it was a desecration in his mind to mix Mexican with pasta. 😉 I don’t think I actually froze any of these, but I totally would have if Dave liked them.

 5. *Breakfast Burritos 

These were great! I am definitely going to do these again. I think we actually have a few left over still (and they still taste good).

 6. Shepherd’s Pie

Again, this was a really good one, but it was not my favorite after frozen. Not quite sure why. This is also another one, where I love my Mom’s a little better. But, this was super tasty fresh!

 7. Chicken Pesto Calzones 

We were not a fan of these, but it could have been the pesto I used. I also didn’t use grilled chicken breasts (just chicken from a whole cooked chicken).  I may try it again with different filling. Pesto is not for everyone.

 8. *Sausage Spinach Tomato Soup 

Delicious, easy, and pretty healthy. The first time I put the whole pound of ditalini pasta in, and it was too thick, in my opinion (though my husband liked it that way). The second time, I used half a pound, and that is what I would probably do again.

 9. *Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast 

This is definitely one of my favorites! So easy and delicious. Bone-in pork roast is really cheap too. This is one where you can buy several roasts on sale or reduced-price and have a few easy to prepare and cook recipes in the freezer.

10. *Slow Cooker Turkey and Black Bean Chili 

 Delicious, healthy, and easy.  Another good one to double/freeze half.

Next Friday, I will try to post part two. Do you have any tried-and-true freezer recipes that I could add to my to-try list?

{On Fridays, I attempt to pass along a frugal tip I have learned or am attempting to learn. I love a good deal, and I love to help our family stay within the budget by being frugal in every area of life!}

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6 responses to “Frugal Friday: Filling the Freezer for Post-Baby, Part 1

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  2. […] week, I posted part 1, listing 10 recipes that I made to fill my freezer with meals to eat after my third baby was born. […]

  3. […] past couple weeks I posted parts 1 and 2, each listing 10 recipes that I made to fill my freezer with meals to eat after my third baby […]

  4. Kelly says:

    I am due in 7 weeks and have visions of take out food and garbage so I had been planning to do this, your blog gave me the motivation to get started this weekend, now I’m pooped but have a freezer full of things to help. We have also been doing Blue Apron and THAT has been a life saver for us and even helped getting hubby cooking with me. Thanks for the recipes. I’m not sure what I did wrong with the pot pie but I ended up with THREE instead of one :). good thing everyone loves chicken pot pie in our house. I also did a few pots of soup because the freeze so well.

    • Holly says:

      Kelly, congratulations on your baby! Hopefully you can get some rest before he/she comes. I am so glad my blog helped out–that’s why I enjoy blogging (although, with three kids myself, I hardly have time!). I’ve never heard of Blue Apron–I’ll have to check it out. And I don’t think it ever hurts to have extra chicken pot pies! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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