Freezer cooking is a time and money saver, but you have to be organized in order to make it all work. Having a jumble of unmarked meals strewn all around your freezer, is not a very good idea, when you spend all that time trying to save yourself the hassle of constant meal preparation as well as the time and money it requires.
A simple plan, a permanent marker and a small amount of organizing skills will help you maintain an organized and easy to use freezer.
The first step when preparing meals is to keep things together that go together. Seems easy enough, but when you prepare a sauce separately that goes into another part of the meal that you also freeze separately, it can be difficult to determine which things go together. Items look significantly different when frozen.
To keep things easy, keep a permanent marker nearby your cooking area. When items are put into freezer bags, casserole dishes or whatever you use, write the contents on the outside of the bag. You might also wish to write bag 1 of 3 for “Chicken Noodle Deluxe.” on the bag indicating that there are two other bags necessary to complete that meal.
You might also wish to write the directions on preparing the meal right on the bag or casserole pan. It makes cooking so much easier.
However, lately I have avoided doing that. I have a binder where I keep the complete recipes for preparing each of my freezer meals. I typically assign them a number and record that number on the items I freeze to make it. This method was easier for us, because often the kids are the ones who grab the stuff out of the freezer for me, and if they know I am preparing item #58 and they need the 3 bags that go with it, it just makes it easier. They don’t have to scan meal names, and sometimes I don’t have a name for a meal I prepare.
Whichever method you choose, be sure and stay on top of it and record any information you may need. There is nothing worse than trying to determine if a sauce is for chicken, beef or tukey and which meal it was intended for when you are in a time crunch and need to get dinner on the table.