Now that this is the 3rd time we’re planning on doing a massive freezer cooking session, I think we have the system down. Planning out a full menu for a few months just doesn’t work for us, so we’re picking the recipes we like (or might like), and making them, putting them in the freezer, then planning as we go.
The first few steps of freezer cooking planning are the same, but after things are placed in the freezer, we’re just going to look at the freezer inventory and pick recipes for the month as it comes up.
I don’t like using the oven during the summer, so we’re picking recipes that can all be grilled or put in the crockpot. I know summer’s more than halfway over, but it stays hot here until about mid September, and we’re planning for enough food to get us into October, when we’ll make more “comfort” food. I’ve also selected more simplified recipes, so that we don’t need that many ingredients. We actually have a good bit of the ingredients for these recipes in our pantry. Most of the recipes are from Fix, Freeze, Feast, with maybe a few adaptations – for example, I don’t like chicken thighs, so the Chicken Peanut Satay we’re going to do is going to use chicken breast.
I’ve already done most of the planning, and I have a shopping list, but we have budgeted the large grocery bill in August, so I’ll be shopping and preparing the first weekend in August. Some of the recipes have the estimated per serving price listed in plan to eat, but not all.
Have you done once a month cooking or the freezer cooking that we do? How has it worked out for you and your budget?