Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time Saving Tips

This summer my work hours away from home will probably require more of me than during the school year.  It will be fun to have a chunky paycheck, especially since we have big plans for a Disneyland trip in the off season and we want to have a cash vacation rather than using credit.  But it requires a lot of planning so that while I'm at work  I know everyone has food to eat or at least the ingredients to make food for themselves.  I like to spend at least one of my at-home days each month, baking and stocking up my freezer.  Advanced preparation and planning is the only thing that saves me on the days when we are too tired or busy to put together a complete dinner.  Here are some tips to keep your freezer stocked with homemade frozen foods that are convenient but a whole lot better for you than the stuff in the freezer case at the grocery store.

  • Make muffins for snacks.  Muffins freeze great!  Just make sure they are completely cooled before you freeze them.  I put each muffin in it's own sandwich bag so the kids can just grab one at a time as needed. 
  • When you are making a casserole for dinner, double it and freeze the extra one.  I line the second casserole dish with foil and then put the casserole in it.  After it's frozen, just lift the foil and frozen meal out of the dish and that way you haven't tied up one of your casserole dishes for weeks by leaving it full and in the freezer.  When you are ready to reheat the meal, put the frozen foil block back in the same dish and continue cooking.  I also make a copy of the recipe and tape it to the top of the frozen dish so I always know what's inside and how to reheat it.  
  • Freeze homemade rolls.  Bread is a great filler during a meal.  I freeze whole pans of pre-cooked rolls and just take them out early in the day to thaw for dinner that night.  
  • Desserts can be made ahead too.  Fruit pies, brownies and cobblers can all be frozen and reheated.  
Planning ahead will save you so much time in the long run.  When you come home tired from a full day of work or running the kids around to all their various activities you can still put a great family dinner on the table without a lot of extra effort.


Roxie700 said...

I do a lot of the same things you do except I use foil pans that I get from the Dollar Tree to freeze my casseroles. I love that those are ready to put into the oven like an expensive frozen meal. Add a simple salad and bread and the meal is great.
I use a crockpot for meals too. Like the expensive frozen freezer meals in the grocery store. I make them all ready for the crockpot and put them into a freezer bag. Then I can put it into a crockpot and have the meal ready when we are ready.

Rustown Mom said...

The tip about the foil is genius! I have several casserole dishes, but using them in the freezer takes up needed space. So I will definitely be using your tip!