Sunday, April 24, 2016

A's Senior Pics

C & her Cello

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

20 Crock Pot Freezer Meals for less than $120

I have a real love/hate relationship with freezer meals.  I love them for their convenience.  I really don't enjoy cooking, so throwing something in the crock pot and pretty much being done with dinner is a wonderful thing.  What I hate about them is the smell of food filling the house for the entire day.  Drives me nuts.  I joked with my hubby when we were building our house that we ought to have a special smell-proof crock pot room.  Am I alone on this?

I used to belong to a freezer meal group a few years back.  We would all make one or two meals, times them by the number of people in the group, and then swap.  It was awesome and I have missed it.  So I searched Pinterest for some good crock pot meals and menus.  I was looking for one that created several different meals and gave a shopping list as well as the recipes.  I came across FullofCrock and found my winner.  She gives 10 different recipes and the shopping list to make two of each.  Variety baby!

The full shopping list can be found HERE I followed her list almost exactly except that I only used half as much meat for each meal and bought the lease expensive cuts I could find.  I have four girls and we don't eat a whole lot of meat.  You might have to adjust the quantities to fit your family.  There were also a few spices and things that I already had on hand.  I did my shopping at Winco spent $118. (I forgot to by a rotisserie chicken and had to run back to the store for it, so that's the only thing not pictured.)

You can find the recipes HERE.  Putting all the meals together is fairly time consuming.  I did them by myself and it took me close to three hours.  If you make them with a friend it will go faster and probably be more fun, although I did rock out to some sweet tunes while I worked.

The end result is a crammed-full freezer.  The 20 bags took up three out of four racks of my side-by-side!

Since I made these meals several weeks ago, we have had time to try them all out.  I can honestly say that they are all quite good.  One thing I didn't care for was the texture of the chicken curry.  I think it was because of cooking the potatoes in the crock pot the whole time and they got mushy.  For my second go round I plan to take the potatoes out and add them to the crock pot for only the last couple of hours.  Another recommendation I would make is that you get what you pay for when it comes to meat.  I was trying to be uber frugal and bought the least expensive cuts of meat I could find rather than what she recommended on her recipes.  It definitely makes a difference of whether you have tender meat or chewy.

So if you give these a try, happy cooking!  Hopefully none of you have an aversion to the smell of cooking food in your house like crazy old me! ;)