Saturday, October 1, 2016

How I Stocked Our Freezer for Only $200! {*Updated with shopping list and recipes included*}

*Updated with Shopping List and Recipes Below*
Hi Everyone!

As my due date is fast approaching (only 22 more days left!), the thought of menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking with a newborn (and 4 other kids) was really starting to worry me.

That's when i decided it would be a great idea to make a bunch of freezer meals, in an effort to alleviate some of the stress.

First i made a list of meals to make and then i wrote up a grocery list based on those meals. Next it was time to go grocery shopping and boy was i surprised when my total was only $200!

Here is how i was able to make 22 meals and 9 smoothie packs for only $200!

This is my list of Freezer meals *Note i pretty much made 2 of each meal*:

  • Lasagna (2)
  • Mac-n-cheese (2)
  • Teriyaki Chicken (2)
  • Cheesy Taco Bake (2)
  • Chili (1)
  • Pinto Beans (1)
  • Tuscan Chicken Pasta (2)
  • Beef Stew (2)
  • Salsa Chicken (2)
  • BBQ Pork (2)
  • Shredded Chicken (2)
  • Mississippi Roast (2)
  • Lactation Smoothies (9)
*Update*Shopping List:

  • 6 packages of ground beef
  • 2 packages of beef stew meat
  • 2 boneless pork shoulders
  • 2 jars of BBQ sauce
  • 2 jars of Salsa
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 4 cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 limes
  • Pineapple juice (i bought a 6 pack)
  • 2 pot roasts 
  • 2 packages of brown gravy mix
  • 2 packages of ranch mix
  • 2 boxes of elbow pasta
  • Brown sugar
  • 1 gallon of milk
  • 1 carton of almond milk
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 bag of celery
  • 2 packages of beef stew seasoning
  • 1 bag of potatoes
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 2 containers of cottage cheese
  • 2 packages of cream cheese
  • 2 small bags of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 bags of frozen strawberries
  • 2 bunches of bananas
  • 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 boxes of bowtie pasta
  • Butter
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 bag of dried pinto beans
  • rice
  • about 18-20 pieces of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • flax seeds

What i already had on hand:

  • flour
  • garlic powder
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • soy sauce
  • pepperoncini peppers
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • quick oats
  • peanut butter

This is what all those groceries looks like:

BBQ Pork - This one is super easy! It only requires 2 ingredients Pork and a jar of BBQ sauce. The pork that i bought has 2 large pieces in it, so i put one in each bag. Then poured BBQ sauce on it and sealed it up. *When ready to use, pour into crock pot (still frozen) and cook on high until easy to shred with a fork.*

Salsa Chicken - Chicken Breasts, Salsa, Corn and Black Beans is all it takes for this delicious and easy meal. Put 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts into a Ziploc bag, then pour in a jar of salsa. Next, add a can each of corn and black beans (both drained). Mix and freeze. *When ready to use, pour into crock pot (still frozen) and cook on high until chicken is easy to shred with a fork*

Shredded Chicken - Put into a ziploc bag; 3-4 chicken breasts, a can of tomato sauce, lime juice, garlic powder and a sprinkle of oregano. *When ready to use, pour into a crock pot (still frozen) and cook on high until chicken is easy to shred with a fork.*

Teriyaki Chicken - Chicken, soy sauce, brown sugar and pineapple juice. *(Recipe here)*

Mississippi Roast - Pot roast, brown gravy mix, ranch seasoning packet, pepperoncini peppers, and a stick of butter. Put all ingredients into ziploc bag (except stick of butter) and freeze. *When ready to use, pour into crock pot and add stick of butter. Cook on high until the roast is tender.*

Mac-n-Cheese - Elbow pasta, cheese, milk, butter, flour, salt and pepper. *(Recipe here)*

Lasagna - Lasagna noodles, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Brown meat, then drain the fat off. Then, add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat. Layer your pan with a row of lasagna noodles, then pour on top of the noodles half of the meat/sauce. Pour some parmesan cheese into the cottage cheese to make it less watery. Once done with that pour our cottage cheese/parmesan cheese combo on top of your layer of meat/sauce. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese and then add another layer of noodles. Pour the rest of our meat/sauce on your noodles and cover the whole thing with mozzarella cheese. *When ready to use, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes covered, then remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes*

Beef Stew - Beef stew meat, carrots, celery, potatoes, and beef stew seasoning. Chop up the carrots, celery and potatoes. Put all ingredients into ziploc bag, along with some water. *When ready to use, pour into crock pot (still frozen) add additional water and cook on high for about 4-6 hours. If it's not thick enough add a cornstarch/water mixture to it*

Chili - Hubby makes this with beans, ground beef, and with several other spices.

Pinto Beans - Super simple! Pinto beans, water and salt to taste! Put dried pinto beans into a big pot, cover with water. Boil for at least 4 hours. Add salt to taste. Once cooled down pour into ziploc bag and freeze. *When ready to use thaw and then warm them up in a pot.*

Cheesy Taco Bake - Ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, lime, garlic, cheese, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. *(Recipe HERE)*

Tuscan Chicken Pasta - Chicken, bowtie pasta, Parmesan cheese, butter, garlic, cream cheese, and milk. *(Recipe HERE)*

Lactation Smoothie Packs - Banana, frozen strawberries, quick oats, peanut butter, almond milk and flax seeds. *(Recipe HERE)*

So that's it, here is my receipt from the grocery store. You can see my subtotal for all of the above meals is $194.18, with tax it came out to $205.83.

All this took me one day to complete! Now i can sit back and relax, knowing once the baby is here i don't have to worry about cooking/planning/shopping for awhile!! :)

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