Several people have asked me if I have a separate freezer. And if I have more than one refrigerator. To keep all that food for 7 people.
The answer is deceptive.
First of all, I don’t have a fancy bigger than normal fridge. And I only have one refrigerator. I decided to just take the pics this morning with no clean up and no rearranging. Get ready for real!
I have no problem cramming food on top of other food in the fridge. We make do with what we have.
Man, I need to clean out that little freezer up there.
Yes, I have a separate upright freezer. But it’s misleading because I didn’t have one until just a few months ago. And I’ve freezer cooked for longer than that.
The truth is, when I was pregnant and we were buying nothing but processed pre-packaged food I needed way more room in my freezer than when I’m actually freezer cooking. We would shop for two weeks time and have the hardest time fitting all those freezer boxes of corn dogs, ravioli pans, burritos and bags of precooked chicken.
We don’t freezer cook like some people do. I don’t do the Once-A-Month-Cooking extravaganza that some people do. I think I would like to, but money does not permit that for us right now. Before I go shopping I clean out the fridge and believe me, by the time I go shopping that fridge is one empty place! Then when I get home I put all that meat, still in it’s grocery bags right into the fridge. I leave out all the fruit and bread until the next day. On cooking day I take that ground beef, ground sausage, and chicken and cook it up. Once it’s cooked I separate them into smaller ziplock bags and flatten them before I put them into the freezer. Same with onions, celery, strawberries, and everything else that gets chopped, sliced, or cooked. Flat ziplock bags stack well and make lots of room for everything else. And I don’t make entire meals for the freezer – I make meal components that make dinnertime a lot quicker.
When we got that upright (thanks Mom and Dad!) I was thrilled. When we come across sales we stock up when we can and have items in there for the future. My neighbor gave us 19 pounds of onions awhile back and I chopped and sliced for a couple of hours one day. We’ll have onions for months! Same with the strawberries that were on sale (Matt sliced those up and froze them!), though they won’t make it another 2 weeks around here.
So, yes, we have an upright freezer and I love the extra space. But no, you don’t have to have one to freezer cook. I’m telling you, you can plan ahead, cook ahead, and have fast food any time you want. You can do it! Start small, next grocery shopping day buy a five pound pack of ground beef, plop it all into a big skillet (or use a large pot if you don’t have a skillet big enough) and brown it all at once. Drain it and set it on a plate in your fridge to cool, label five ziplocks with the date and “ground beef”. Divide it equally into the five baggies, flatten them, and set them in your freezer. That’s it. Do just that the next time you shop. Then when you need a quick meal the hard part of it is done. Try just that. You’ll be addicted! Consider it a challenge! If you’ve never freezer cooked, try it and let me know what you think next time.