Welcome Pinners!!! First I have to say: WOW! I am totally shocked at the response to this post! I’ve had a lot of people ask about the shopping list I used. Here it is! This includes all the things I wouldn’t normally have in my pantry. Things like salt and other spices I didn’t include – so before you start chopping please do go over the recipes and make sure you have everything. It also is for 1 recipe worth of all the recipes on the recipe page. Please let me know how your cooking adventure went! I love to hear from you all! Another great resource is this cook book. It has quite a few recipes as well as shopping lists! Check it out!

**Update** I now have a FAQ page complied from common questions. Check it out! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

More Meals

If you haven’t yet make sure to check out the follow up cooking days with more recipes and shopping lists:
Freezer Crock Pot Meals Round 2
Freezer Crock Pot Meals Round 3

Or check out this great e-cookbook with other great recipes

Please also stop by my Facebook page and say hi! Or subscribe for updates!

I’m joining the freezer cooking “sensation” and filling my freezer with crock pot meals! Lucky for you I’m sharing what I did and how I made 34 meals (many with enough leftovers for diner the following day) in one afternoon for only $146.96. Interested? Want the recipes I use? They are here! *Clarification* I doubled and/or tripled many of the recipes on that recipe page to make the 34 meals.

I did something like this back when both Brad and I were working full time with both boys in day care. I just hated getting home and having the rush of trying to get dinner ready while all I really wanted to do was spend what few waking moments I had left with the boys. It was awesome to only have to boil some water for noodles or throw some rice in the rice cooker and have super healthy yummy dinners.

Buying The Food

I started planning this out last week. I went though recipes that I had, recipes online as well as other blogs that have done a similar task. I came up with 9 crock pot recipes and added taco, spaghetti and hamburger patties as well. I double (or more) all of the crock pot recipes. I I tried to find things with similar ingredients but not so similar that they were the same. I make a spread sheet for a shopping list and consolidate all of the recipes together. You can often save this way by buying the larger cans of things like tomato sauce rather than a ton of smaller individual ones. Then I went through the sale fliers for SaveMart, Raley’s, Winco and Safeway and found what was the cheapest (knowing that I was probably only going to be going to SaveMart and Winco from previous experience).

SaveMart has this awesome sale that on select days a week you can get fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.59/lb. They also had chicken leg quarters on sale for $.68/lb and some boneless pork chops for $1.99/lb. I usually buy my meat from SaveMart when it’s on sale because their prices are so low. But here’s the even better tip… do your shopping at the end of that week’s sale in the early morning. Not only do you get on sale meat, but you can often find it marked down because it’s due to “expire”. Most of the meat I got today was $1.00 to $3.00 off the package price because of this. I filled my cart for only $67 and some change.

Save Mart Shopping Cart

I went to Winco for everything else.

Winco Shopping

Preparing The Food

Once home I lay everything out on the counter (loving my new kitchen right about now…) and wash everything. I try to do all of the same task (like washing) at the same time. I’ve found it saves me some time.

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Landon is a master green bean snapper! He snapped off all the stems and snapped the bean in half – he did most all of it by himself!

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Then I cut up everything. I go though the recipes one more time and note what needs to be sliced, diced or chopped… and do that to the appropriate number of veggies. I note the volume of an average 1 of each veggie so measuring out for the recipe is a lot easier

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Once the veggies are done I repeat the process with the meat. I do the meat last so it has the longest time in the fridge before being assembled into a meal

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Filling the Bags

Then I sit down (yay! a break!) with the box of Ziploc bags and start labeling. I write the recipe title and date and any directions of things that need to be added or special serving instructions on the bag. I try to put as much stuff into the bag as possible, but sometime the liquid wont fit with all the meat and veggies. I make my own turkey stock so I have bags frozen that I’ll just pull out when I pull the main food bag out.

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Then I fill all the bags with the meat first, more to get the raw meat up off the cutting boards but also to hold the bags up so I can fill it with the veggies and other ingredients better.

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This time took me a bit longer than I thought, Brad came home from work, I said “dinner’s ready…. for the next few months, but not today!” He was a great hubby and pulled stuff together (and took my picture) while I finished stuffing bags.

The kitchen is a mess after I’m all done and my legs and feet are killing me, but two loads of the dishwasher and a mop of the floor and it’s back to normal. But if you think about it, that mess really won’t happen again for about 2 months or so. Plus all the time I get to spend playing with the boys instead of cooking. Plus that fact that I only spent a little over $100 for almost 2 months worth of meals. Plus… well you get the idea. It did take me most of 5 hours to do all of this, but that was with the two little ones “helping”. Landon helped a ton and I powered through when Riley was napping to get a lot done. Just know it’s totally possible to do.

 

Not pictured is the spaghetti sauce, hamburger patties and taco meat… whoops! Forgot to take a picture of those!

Have you done something like this? I’m always looking for new recipes that go in the crock pot that freeze well. Share!

Great E-Cookbook!

FromYourFreezer_Cover_final

 

I’m excited to also let you know about a great e-cookbook that is all about crock pot freezer cooking. It’s from the creator of the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken recipe that I used in this batch of meals. It has some great ideas for gluten and grain free crock pot recipes! Check it out!

Here is the much asked for shopping list!

Remember this doesn’t include spices and other normal pantry stuff, so check to make sure you have all you need before you start chopping. This list is for all the recipes posted here, including the one outside link for the Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken!

Freezer Cooking Shopping List



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312 Responses to Freezer Crock Pot Cooking Day

  1. Lori Ann says:

    I started doing this about six years ago. I still do some of it to an extent.
    A very helpful cookbook for me is the “Thirty Day Gourmet”. “Cook once and eat for thirty days!” It has all the recipes figured out up to eight entrees with each entree serving between six and eight people. I’ve taken the book apart and put everything into sheet protectors. It has been thru the “household war” and back! Still my go to book, in fact I have a few friends that purchased their own after borrowing mine. You will NEVER regret the time spent with your babies, and if cooking ahead gives you that freedom, I say go for it!!

    • Jaime says:

      I am so excited to try this! I definitely agree that I want more time with my family :)

      • Jessica says:

        Yay! I do hope you try it. It has been such a blessing for our family :-)

      • Jessica says:

        So I saw your website on Pinterest. I just finished preparing all of the meals. I am a full time mom and full time teacher education student. Thank you so much I am so glad I came across your site! My 12 year old twin sons came shopping with me today, unloaded the groceries for me and helped me prep! :) I cannot wait to taste all of these delicious meals!

    • Trixie says:

      I went to Amazon to look for the “Thirty Day Gourmet”
      and they didn’t have it. Any suggestions as to where I need to look? Thank you,Trixie

    • Croliveira112@aol.com says:

      I cannot imagine putting raw meat and chicken with the rest of the meal in a ziplock to freeze. All that blood running into the other items in the bag on its way to freezing horrifies me. I can see the liquid in the bags surrounding the other items. Contamination? I am so careful to wrap meats separately and then place them in their own bags.

      • Heather says:

        The liquid you see is broth and spices not blood and contamination. Putting all the ingredients together to freeze is perfectly safe because you will cook all of it to a temperature high enough to kill any bacteria. It also gives a chance for the meat to marinade. If it still grosses you out, pack the meat in another ziplock bag and either put it in the veggie bag so they are together or label the meat so you can grab it out of the freezer with its accompanying veggie bag.

      • Bettye says:

        I agree that raw meat never be mixed with the vegies or other products in a freezer bag.

        • Sammy says:

          mixing them together in this bag is no different than putting the raw meat in the crock pot with the other ingredients, its just going to sit a little longer this way. and if this freaks you out, i recomend never talking to anyone who lives/cooks in europe… they are much more relaxed about things like this as well as refridgeration and yet as a general rule healthier than us…

        • Michelle says:

          I have a culinary degree and have cooked/personal chef’d for years. Freezing the meat and veggies together, although may not look appealing, is perfectly safe. You are not eating the vegetables raw. They are cooking to a safe temperature. Never cut your veggies on the same cutting boards as you do your meat. Especially, if you are eating the veggies raw. I think adding the veggies to another bag otherwise is a waste of ziplocks and not necessary.

      • Meagan says:

        Technically the red stuff in meat is not blood. The blood was completely drained out of the animal at slaughter. The red stuff you are seeing is just hemoglobin and iron which gives meat the red color once exposed to oxygen. Also. Putting raw meat with raw veggies to freeze them is perfectly fine. You are freezing them which is too low of a temperature for bacteria to grow. And then putting them in a crock pot which will cook them to a high degree which is too high for bacteria to grow, also killing off all possible bacteria that could have gotten on your meat while cutting it on your cutting board. Sorry for all the technical stuff- animal science major here.
        I can’t wait to try all these recipes.

        • Kara says:

          Interesting. I did not know this. Thanks for this tidbit of information. I was concerned about the meat touching the veggies too.

    • Melissa says:

      When your shopping list says 5 celery, does that indicate 5 stalks or 5 bunches?

      Thanks for letting me know:)

      • terra says:

        I’m sure she means 5 bunches, as you can’t actually buy celery by the “stalk”

        • Jody says:

          You can buy celery by the stock at my store by the lb. It usually comes out to about 20 cents. I love it because no one in my family likes celery but me. This way I can put some on my salad etc. without throwing any away.

          • Katherine Kelm says:

            I was wondering the same thing, but when I checked the actual recipes they say stalks (the total adds up to 5 stalks). You can just buy one bunch and take off 5 stalks and still have enough for ants-on-a-log.

    • Megan says:

      I made the beef stew tonight and it was amazing! Not only did my husband love it but my two year old was screaming yummy and kept thanking me for making it. Safe to say it was a hit in my house. Thanks again!

    • michelle floyd says:

      I think this is awesome! I just wonder have you had any issues with things like veggies or potatoes? How well do they freeze? Do you have any meals you make that are not crock pot freezer meals? Thanks so much!

      • Joy says:

        The vegetables that she uses are all fine to freeze and cook. Those that “don’t freeze well”, like celery, get cooked to mushy anyway, so they are fine. For your potatoes, I recommend using a gold potato, not a russet. Russets oxide quickly, which causes them to turn brown before they have a chance to freeze and they get mushy at the long cooking times. Yukon golds don’t oxide as quickly and will hold their shape at the longer cooking times. They are slightly more expensive, $.30/lb more around here, but to me it is worth it for the convenience of freeze and cook meals. Happy Crocking!

  2. claire says:

    I really need to do this before baby #7comes in Nov. I found your link at life as mom.

  3. Lisa Levig says:

    I did this for years and loved the freedom of it. Would sit with the kids when they got home from school and help with their home work.
    I did find that mashed potatoes froze well, look bad when you heat them but the taste was good. Also barbeque ribs are great out of the freezer for a home made TV dinner.

    • Jessica says:

      There are so many great ideas out there! I have also cooked more casserole type dishes and froze them. I’ll have to try the BBQ ribs! That sounds yummy!

  4. Kelly says:

    Love this idea. I’m going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kelly Hess says:

    I came over from Life as Mom, would love to see links to recipes of what’s in all those bags! Great work!

  6. Cathy Page says:

    Jessica – I already commented on FB , so my notes will show up there. I’d love to receive future info about the cooking plans, if there are any. I always love your posts about activities for the kids, too, and plan to refer more of my FB friends with kids and grands to your site. Thanks for using the gifts and skills God has built into your like to bless others. Your joy in living comes thru loud and clear.
    Catherine Miller Page

  7. Renee says:

    I so need to try this. I wonder if I could just double up on some of them recipes. I have to feed a family of 8! I rarely come across recipes for freezer cooking that are large enough for my family.

    • Jessica says:

      You know, I think a lot of them might work. Many of these are stuffed to the brim in the zip lock bags as is. If you served them with rice or noodles and made another easy side dish (like steamed veggies or fruit or something….) I think they could easily feed a family of 8. You may not have the left overs that we have, and of course it depends on how big of an eater your 8 are.

    • Laura says:

      Perhaps upgrade to a 2 gallon Ziploc… http://amzn.com/B003UEJ572

    • Mothering4Him says:

      Can you just plan to use two bags for each meal? I prefer to freeze in smaller quantities vs. going for a bigger bag, in case I am only feeding some of my family that night. Or if I can do leftovers for the children, but want to make hubby something fresh.

  8. Amanda says:

    Late.y I’ve been crazy about freezer cooking but can never find any good recipes. Until Pinterest came around. I just love this!
    Thanks so much. Will definently be using the majority of these recipes!

  9. Heather says:

    I’m SO doing this this weekend! I’ve been looking for a site with a shopping list, recipes and pictures. Thank you!!

    • Jessica says:

      You’re welcome! The shopping list is for 1 recipe worth of the recipes listed (including the link to the Healthy Mama BBQ). If you’re ambitious (or crazy) enough, I double or even triple some of them – that’s how I got 34 meals out of it all. Happy chopping and bag stuffing! :-)

      • Shannon says:

        Out of curiosity, what did it cost? Just round about. I’m thinking of doing this with my sister-in-laws and wanted to give them an estimate.

        • Jessica says:

          The grand total was $146.96 for the 34 meals I made this day (there’s details about how I did that in the post). That was for doubling or tripling many of these meals. I would think that to do just one recipe worth of the 10 recipes I did it would be about $50.00. A lot would depend on sales you could find! Good luck with it!

  10. Jessica p says:

    Will the shopping list and recipes listed provide one freezer bag filled? And then you are getting double by doubling the list and recipes? I just wanted to be clear before I went out and did this, that the shopping list provided will do 10 meals not, all 34. (I am already getting grandma to come watch my toddler while I do this Saturday!)

    Thank you so much for doing this!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Jessica (love the name by the way!)

      Yes, the shopping list is just for 1 recipe worth of the recipes listed. The Healthy Mama BBQ, which is the recipe that is the external link makes enough for two meals and I put the ingredients in the shopping list as she has them in her recipe, but all the ones I have listed is for my recipes are just for one bag worth. I doubled all of them and made a ton of hamburger patties and seasoned taco meat to make the 34 meals, simply because the ground beef was on super sale. If you need more clarification ask! Glad you’re able to use it!

  11. joan says:

    The idea is great coming from a love of canning and preserving. I would suggest investing in a vaccuum sealer like a foodsaver. Those ziploc bags are fine in the short term, even the ones labeled as ‘freezer safe’ still get freezer burn. The vacuumed sealed bags last 4x as long – even longer. They can be washed and reused to a point.
    My husband bought me one last Christmas and I love it!

    • Jessica says:

      I totally didn’t even think about using that. We have one too. I’m just wondering how you would get it all sealed up with the juiciness of some of the recipes. We have trouble with our foodsaver not sealing well with more juicy meats – we’ve only used it a handful of times though. Thanks for the idea – I’ll try that next time and see how it works.

      • Tina says:

        I have the same problem with my food saver and juicy ingredence. Someone told me to freeze the ingredence before putting it in the food saver bags.. The food will last longer in the freezer but would for sure take longer to prepare. The food saver bowls are great for a quick marinade but other then that it just takes up space. 8-/

        • Jessica says:

          My husband is able to make it work more often that I am – I don’t remember what his “trick” was. We honestly use the bags up pretty fast and I haven’t noticed a problem with freezer burn… I might try it the next time and see how it goes though!

  12. Melanie says:

    The link for the shopping list doesn’t work for me could you please give me the link again? Thanks so much very good idea..

    • Jessica says:

      There really is not a link to it, it’s embedded at the bottom of the post, scroll all the way down to the bottom and you should be able to either just copy and paste or download it from there. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you and I’ll see what I can do!

  13. Ashley says:

    Just a quick clarification. Is the approx $100 for just the amount of food for the 10meals or does that include how you doubled the recipes? If so what was your over all total with having doubled recipes?

    Also i LOVE doing extra taco meat and patties ahead of time! Did that for my mom while I was living with her. She would watch my boys while I worked late and she does not get off work till six. Having that stuff already for her was a big help!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Ashley,

      The total I spent (shy of $150) was for all the doubling plus the hamburger, taco and spaghetti sauce, it was for all 34 meals I ended up with. You have to hit the meat sales right. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Anna G says:

    I tried this on another blog, but my family thought the meat was dry and food bland. Anyone try these recipes? How’d your teens like it? I love mass producing meals and freezing, but am afraid to do this again. I make casseroles and freeze, but my new top fridge bottom freezer doesn’t hold the glass pyrex like the old fridge could :-(

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Anna,

      I don’t find that the meat is dry and bland – maybe other’s can chime in see what they say. I think a huge part is making sure it’s not over cooked and you use decent quality meat. For the chicken I found that using the prefrozen boneless skinless chicken breasts resulted in more dry meat. The other thing is the nature of the slow cooker meals for most of these is they are very stew like. We serve all of these over rice or noodles. An idea for the frozen casseroles (we do this too) is to get the disposable foil pans and make it in there.

      • Amanda says:

        Another thing you can do for casseroles is line a pan with foil with overlap before assembling your casserole. Then cover it with more foil, making a foil “pouch.” Freeze it, and once it’s frozen you can just store your foil “pouch” and use your pan for something else.

        • Jessica says:

          I like that idea! I hate the idea of all my dishes being in the freezer or spending all the money on those throw away flimsy foil pans. I’ll be trying this out for sure!

  15. Laurie K says:

    What I like most about finding this by way of Pinterest is that it came at the exact right time. I found out a friend of mine, whos husband lost their job recently, has been going to the dollar store to buy food for her family for the past few weeks. This has lead to her not eating much and the kids being hungry even after eating. She was embarrassed by her situation and I knew that I needed to do something. So, yesterday I asked her to help me get all of this cooking done. That I had found a site a while a go (just a little fib) but didn’t have the time until know to put it together. She came over for coffee and food prepping but had no idea that I was giving her half of our effort because there was “just no way we would be able to eat all of this food before it got freezer burnt.” Of course she saw RIGHT through that and so began the I’ll pay you back debate of 2012. (there was no resolution to this 4 hour debate as I will not let her repay any of that…She helped me prep, kept me laughing, and gave me her time. It feels like I owe her;-) I just thought you would like to know how, without knowing it or us, you helped out a dear friend (more like a sister) yesterday. Thank you for your time and effort in your blog, it hasn’t gone unnoticed!

    • Jessica says:

      You seriously have me crying right now. Thank you so much. It really is my goal to bless others with things I’ve found that help my family, and though the main focus of my blog is activities to do with my children anything that makes my life easier I like to share in the hopes that someone else can utilize it. Your sweet words have come at such the perfect time for me as well. Thank you again so much, and thank you for being such a kind friend in helping your friend out in her time of need.

    • Amy Floyd says:

      what an awesome idea for blessing someone!

    • Tishawn says:

      This is just beautiful! Blessings to you, your friend, and Jessica!

    • Christine says:

      That really is an awesome story, made me teary too. You are a very thoughtful friend, so often, we just think “how can I help?” with no idea of what to do. It is hard for people to accept cash offers of help.

    • This is beautiful! What a blessing you are to your friend! :) x

  16. Stephanie says:

    Love your site! I do this with a few recipes my family loves. One is a crockpot stroganoff. I buy whatever beef is on sale(petite sirloin, roast or stew meat), cut into 1″ chunks. I use 1-2 lbs, depending on the sale and amount available. I then mix this with 2 cans of crm of mushroom soup, one envelope of onion soup mix. You can add mushrooms too. This cooks for 6-8 hours on low, or 4-5 on high. I then mix in 1 cup of sour cream(I freeze this in a small ziplock bag so we are sure to have it). Serve over noodles or rice. (I’ve recently switched from prepackaged soup and mix and the kids can’t tell the difference. We have also switched from sour cream to Greek yogurt too.) This easily feeds my family of 7, but that may change as my boys continue to grow:)

    I also mass produce meatballs and cook all at once, then freeze for quick meals. Love my KitchenAid mixer for this task! Great for mixing meatloaf too.

    When I can get chicken on great deals, I buy lots and divide it into ziplock bags and add various marinades. Great for quick summer dinners or fast chicken meals in the crockpot. I’ve also done this in small amounts for my husband’s grandmother who hates to cook much meat, but this way she can have just the right size for one serving. LOVE freezer meals!

    Thanks for sharing! Love to add more healthy, easy meals to our dinner times!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      That does sound yummy and easy! We have diary and wheat allergies so we have to get creative when cooking meals. I think it’s been at least 3 years since I’ve had stroganoff, but now I think I want some! Thanks for sharing your recipe. You sound a lot like what we do. I only buy meat when it’s on sale then I buy the max they let me to last until it’s on sale again. Depending on where you live, also check out Cash and Carry. It’s a restaurant supply store that sells meat in bulk, but at amazing prices.

      • Christine says:

        Some in my family also have dairy alergies, what do you do to get “creative” with the recipies that call for dairy products?

  17. Michelle Mangelson says:

    I’m going to try this out. My Husband and I both work full time and we have 4 kids still at home. We grow a garden and freeze and bottle. I cook from the crock pot all the time, but it might be faster and easier to have the meals already in a bag. The book I use is Super Fast Slow Cooking by the Goose berry patch. All the recipes call for 5 ingredients or less. My Family has loved every recipe I have made from this book.

  18. Lisa says:

    When you are putting the bags together, and everything is already chopped, how do you measure how much one carrot or one zucchini is being that they are different sizes?

    • Jessica says:

      When I was cutting everything up I grabbed 1 “average” sized of whatever I was cutting (carrot, zucchini) Chopped or shredded or whatever needed to be done and measured what 1 of each thing was (cut in the various ways). Then I just did a little math to convert each numbered item into a meaured amount when I filled the bag. I can totally post the amounts I came up with, but I originally chose not to because the zucchini I bought might have been larger or smaller than the ones others did and didn’t want them to run short. Let me know though and I can!

  19. Candace says:

    As a single girl who works several jobs this is a great help. I don’t always want to go home and cook but I want a home cooked meal. I think doing all of the meals might be a little much for me but I’ll do about half. For one person that will still be more than enough food for several months.

  20. Mandi says:

    Apparently I am not finding the link for the shopping list. :( It has been a long week and I may not see it. LOL Is there anyway you can send me a link.
    Thank you in advance,
    One tired mom of four. LOL

  21. Mandi says:

    OK So sorry apparently my computer wanted to run slow this morning and just uploaded the list. LOL Thank you for everything you do with your website.

  22. angel smith says:

    I have a quick question. What is your little boy snapping beans for? I don’t see that any of the recipes call for green beans. Going to be doing this with a friend on the 10th and don’t want to leave anything out.

    • Jessica says:

      We were snapping beans for the “Garden Soup” recipe. It calls for the peas, but he’s allergic to peanuts and believe it or not peas are in the similar family as peanuts and he reacts to them as well. I just subbed in green beans instead. I didn’t even think about it! Good catch :-) You should win a prize or something!!! I often just throw random stuff (food stuff that might taste good) in the bags that aren’t in the recipe too!

  23. Terri says:

    I just watched my friend Stacy prepare several of these crock pot freezer meals and was amazed how easy this is to do. I can’t wait to print my shopping list and start packing and freezing!

  24. Stargazer says:

    Vegetables and fruits should not be washed until right before preparing your dish. Washing them ahead of time then storing them in the fridge causes them to rot much sooner.

  25. Sandra Thirion says:

    Hi
    I am from South Africa and my family is not big into crock pots, but after reading all you input – I am going to try this. Thank you for inspire me!!!

  26. StampHappy says:

    I just just had a freezer cooking day (my first) over the weekend. I used a few of your recipes. Anxious to taste them! I ended up with 22 dinners, 36 egg muffin sandwiches, 36 breakfast burritos, 14 oatmeal breakfast muffins & about 10 alternative individual meals for one of my daughters who can’t eats some of the meals I made (very restricted diet we can’t all follow). I also made a crockpot of homemade yogurt. I spent under $120! Thanks for the inspiration! :D

    • Jessica says:

      Yay! I’m so glad it worked out for you. There is a ton of other freezer cooking you can do (as you obviously know!) Not just crock pot meals! Glad you were able to make a bunch and save a ton!

    • Amber says:

      Stamp Happy- I was wondering if you could share your recipies (or the links to them)… I like the idea of adding breakfast!

  27. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes and the shopping list! Makes my life much easier. I’m not sure if anyone has asked this yet, but how long do the meals keep good for in the freezer? Do you worry about freezer burn at all? I only ask cause we are expecting our baby in 2 months and I’d like to know how far in advance I can prep these meals. Thanks!

    • Erika S. says:

      I was actually about to ask the exact same question (down to the “due in two months” part!). Did you ever get an answer to this?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! I don’t have any problem with freezer burn, the oldest ones usually stay in the freezer for up to 4 months and I’ve not had an issue yet, just make sure you get all the air out of the zip lock bag.

  28. Kristin W. says:

    I cannot wait to try this….I have been looking for ways to save money and I will gladly spend 5-6 or 7 hours in the kitchen for one day to do this…Just one question. On your grocery list it says it makes 11 meals but I could double or triple it. If I triple this list do you think it would be around $150.00 maybe a little more or a little less? Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! This is such a perfect way to save money! I would say if you doubled you would be well under 15/, but you might be over if you triple. When I did it, I doubled all plus bought a ton of ground beef to make hamburgers, taco meat and spaghetti sauce. Those meals are heavy on the meat and would be more expensive if you know what I mean. I think with the heavier veggie content of the crock pot meals coupled with some good meat sales you might get close to 150, but it’s hard to tell for sure. Sorry!

  29. Cynthia says:

    Hi, great post. I have a question. Do you take the prepared meals right from the freezer into the crockpot or do you defrost it first? Does it change the cooking time? Probably a silly question. :/

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! Not a silly question at all. I totally throw them in frozen as long as the bag is shaped in a way that the lid will close with the food being a solid chunk. It does affect the cooking time, but only by a few hours. I find it’s just on the longer end of the time span listed on the recipe.

  30. Odie says:

    can you please send me the shopping list? for some reason im not able to view the list! thank you! im def gonna try this !!!

  31. KARI says:

    i cant get the shopping list to show up am i doing something wrong

  32. sammi says:

    is putting uncooked raw meat and all other ingredients, a reciepe for food contamination or not???

  33. Perla says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you had a seperate freezer or how big your freezer is. My husband and I live in an Apartment and we don’t have a really big freezer. How big are the bags and how many do you think I would be able to fit in a standard freezer?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! We do have a chest freezer in our garage. I would think that (depending on what other things are in your freezer) you would be able to get at least 6-7 bags worth.

  34. Hannah says:

    I am a new mom and my son is one year old. I want to try this so bad, but we currently live with my parents and I’m not sure I could do it all myself! I am a terrible shopper, I will admit. You have simplified it as much as you can. Thank you!

    P.S. I am so glad I found you on Pinterest!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Hannah,
      I’m glad you found me too! :-) If you want to try it, just start small. My first time I did like 6 meals. It only took me about an hour and I was able to do it all while the kiddos napped. Hopefully it will work out for you!

  35. vashti says:

    MY GOODNESS! you are a machine! amazing, found you via Pintrest and as a very busy mother of 2, living in Africa with no oven but a crockpot, i WILL be all over this in the near future. thank you so much for this post.

  36. Maggie says:

    This is such a great idea! I’m a busy mom of a puppy! I don’t have a household to keep me busy but a full time job and grad school keep me busy morning to night. I use my crock pot often but have never tackled this much and the frozen side of it! I have always wanted to.. would make life so much easier in the evenings when my husband and I come home late from work/school.

    I haven’t done the “from freezer to crock pot” meals yet, so this may be a dumb question. But do I need to defrost the bags before putting them in the crock pot? Or can I just dump and go in the morning?

    Thanks for this post! This is great!!

  37. Hope says:

    So I made everything and it all seems to be well so far but today I ran into something….I made the creamy chicken recipe and the half and half is curdling in my crock pot!! I’m not sure if it’s safe to eat tonight???

    • Jessica says:

      It’s not bad, milk separated when it thaws from being frozen. Perfectly safe to eat. Give it some stirs after it’s all warm and bubbly and the separation will go away!

  38. Jill says:

    Always great to see other people’s ideas. I am expecting my 3rd over Christmas and I am in the prepare the nest mode. I usually make ahead a few meals but I am going to try and get at least 2 months done as I am sure I am not going to want to go out much this winter with a baby. My favorite recipe book is “Fix Freeze Feast.” They are not all crock pot meals as my oldest doesn’t usually like things mixed up. But I have tried almost everyrecipe in the book and my picky daughter will eat them all.
    There is also some great shopping/prep tips in the front of the book.

    • Jessica says:

      I’ll have to look into that! Thanks. My oldest doesn’t like things mixed up either. But he does ok with most of these, I just separate them out when I put it on his plate.

  39. Jenny says:

    I just made 3 of the meals this afternoon…one is in the crockpot and the other 2 are in the freezer! Can’t wait to try out the Bean Stew that’s cooking…it smells heavenly! I’ll be making more of the meals, I just didn’t have time to go to another store for the few things I couldn’t find at Aldi…

  40. Amy says:

    Just tried this for the first time. Thanks for the inspiration! We had chicken taco soup tonight and it was fabulous! It was more filling than I expected, too, so we have enough left over to feed my whole family (2 adults 2 toddlers) again. I can’t wait for our next crock pot dinner night!

  41. Jen says:

    Hi, how many portions are in each recipe??

  42. Madeline says:

    I am so excited to have found this post!! I need to re-vamp my dinners and keep my budget low for a few months to help us save extra money!! I can’t wait to try this and I know my hubby is going to LOVE reaping the benefits! I can’t thank you enough for doing the prep work for us and now all I have to do is execute! I can’t wait!

  43. Shelley says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing! I’ve been on the hunt lately for ways to stock up on dinners that are easy! Plus I have a friend that has a baby due any day now and this would be a great “gift” =)

    • Jessica says:

      They do make great gifts for new mommies! Just make sure they have a crock pot (though many of them could be cooked on low on the stove with regular stirring I’m sure!)

  44. Lauren says:

    I only have a 2qt crock pot will these still work in it? Should I shorten cooking time for them? This is amazing!

    • Jessica says:

      I think you’ll find that some of them will work, but it’s not the cooking time you’re going to have issue with, it’s fitting them all in the pot. If the contents of a full zip lock bag would fit in your crock pot then you’d be good for most of them. In my FAQ page I think I recommended a 4 qt or larger.

  45. Shannon says:

    Thanks for this! Great inspiration and I love having meals already made. I’ve done this a lot with oven meals, but never tried the crockpot kind. Also, wants to let you know that rice freezes beautifully and reheats in the microwave. I make big batches of it and freeze small portions. :). Here’s the how to http://www.home-ec101.com/freezing-rice-a-how-to/. …found you on pinterest

    • Jessica says:

      I’ve never tried freezing and reheating rice! We eat a ton of it due to wheat allergies (Hubby and oldest son). I am going to try that! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  46. Cynthia Hebert says:

    This is great! I did this a few years ago when my son underwent chemotherapy for cancer treatment. I spent a Sunday afternoon preparing many of his favorite dishes and some I found in a cookbook for people going through chemo in 2 person servings and froze them. Since he and his wife had an especially small freezer, I kept them in my big freezer and took a bag over each week. I made about 10 different dishes and soups and his wife was so thankful to have something to just pop in the freezer after a long day at the therapy center. Sometimes he couldn’t eat but she could!
    He is cancer free now by the way and for that this mom is very blessed and thankful!

  47. Leah says:

    Found your site via pinterest! We too are fond of both Winco and Lucky’s (savemart). Another thing you can do ahead that a friend introduced me to is cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot. For around $8-10 I buy a twin pack of whole chickens, roughly 4-6lbs each. Give the chicken a cleaning and remove the bits in the cavity, pat it dry, season all over, and then place in the crockpot on top of a layer of crumpled foil, add a thin layer of chicken broth or water (does not cover foil), and cook on low for 8 hours. I usually add thinly sliced onion and minced garlic, and then also thinly sliced bell peppers when I make the second chicken. One chicken will make enough shredded chicken for four meals for our family of four (two of those aged nearly four and two). Once it’s done cooking, I shred it and portion out into bags and freeze. We use it for a variety of enchiladas, bbq sandwiches, bbq chicken pizza, casseroles, stews, chili, chicken tacos, quesadillas, pasta dishes, burritos, etc.

    • Jessica says:

      Great ideas! Thanks for sharing your tips! Though you can’t do it in a crock pot, we also buy a freezer full of turkeys around thanksgiving when they are super cheap and do what you suggest here just using turkey!

  48. heartsy says:

    I too have found your site via Pinterest. This is a fantastic idea! I’ve yet to freeze any meals, but have thought about doing so for over a year now.

    Can any of these meals be made meatless? We don’t eat meat, in fact our diets are primarily plant based so I’m not sure if this would work for us. I suppose I need to look at those shopping lists, but would also love meatless suggestions! :)

  49. Hey, I think I’m your 100th comment on this post. :)

    This is such a great idea. I would love to try this for our family this winter. I’m going to look through your FAQ & make sure I have everything ready to go before I begin. Congrats on this amazing feat!

    ~Steph @ Silver Boxes

    • Jessica says:

      You ARE lucky number 100! I’m still amazed at how much attention this post got! A little unknown fact is I almost didn’t post it! I didn’t think people would really care about my mass food prep! Haha! Glad you’re going to give it a try! Let me know how it goes!

  50. April says:

    I love your post!! My mom and I did these meals this week, I love looking at my full freezer. Thank you for your great ideas!!!

    • Jessica says:

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you were able to use them! I love the full freezer too… though mine is dwindling down… I think another chopping session is in my future!

  51. Kim Phifer says:

    I am in SOOOOO much need of help Jessica and out of all the places I have looked it seems that you might have the answers to my prayers. First thing is first i nneed to tell you my situation first. Bare with me please this might be long to read but please read cuz i really need help. Here it goes. I have been a single mom since the day i got pregnant. I have a beautiful 10 month old perfect blonde hair blue eyed baby girl. I have not been away from her for more then 30 minutes a day in her llife. I am soooo lucky to have a great friend that got me a job that I can make good money and also work at home. I am only able to work about 5-6 hours a day to make ends meat so i work 7 days a week. I have not been able to make myself a home cooked meal in months no joke. I just throw what ever I have in the fridge or pantry together and call it good. I have never used my oven. I was hoping that you could help me figure out some meals that I can make for one person. I need to eat better so I can be healthy, lose my baby weight, and also to teach my daughter how to eat healthy. soon she is going to be able to eat what I make for dinner and I want it to be healthy stuff. I want her to get used to eating a good home cooked meal at the dinner table every night with mom. I can not find any where not on the internet, not in the library, no where that has meals for 1 person. I cant even find meals for two people that can be frozen like the system that you have here. I dont want to have to cook every night. I have a very busy life. Every day Im so busy. Im a stay at home mom but I have a lot of errands. I also was wanting to know if you have any ideas for organization? I am a clean freak but I can not seem to get my house organized. In a week I am having garage sale to get rid of a lot of stuff. I want to have every thing labeled and EVERY THING to have a place to be put away. My bedrooms I would really like to have organized also. I need to have every thing organized cuz it makes every thing easier to get cleaned and so I can also get every thing done in one day that I need to get done. Im sure that you are very crafty or some one on here reading this is or you guys know some where that i can go to find every thing that I need. My life is just so crazy and I am going crazy. I want to be able to spend time playing with my daughter, going for walk, or just watching a movie. I hope that you can help me or know some one or some thing that can help me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help or your direction.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi! It does sound like you are busy! It’s great that you are wanting to make a change for yourself and baby. What I would probably do is find recipes that you like and either half the recipe and eat the left overs for dinner and lunch or cook the full thing and depending on the recipe freeze half so all you have to do is thaw and eat. You could also freeze them in individual serving sizes so you only thaw what you need that day. There are a ton of sites out there with recipes that freeze well like that. I hope that helps some!

  52. Thanks for sharing!! I love crockpot recipes and things that make life easier! Esp with kids!! I’ve been roasting veggies with chicken lately and dh is getting tired of it..

  53. Jessie W says:

    Hi,
    I’m a college student and looking into making these for those weeks that get hectic from lots of exams. Since I’m only cooking for one, do you think I can halve recipes, or would that affect the cook time too much? Also, when I cook, do you think it best to cook the entire bag, or can I do single size portions ?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Jessie,
      I would for sure halve the recipes, these make enough for a family with left overs usually. You could halve it, eat what you want and freeze the cooked left overs in single sized portions so all you have to do is microwave those left-overs… I don’t think that it would affect the cooking time too much. It will probably just be on the shorter end of the range and might even be done a little before. The beauty of slow cooker cooking though is you really can’t over cook it. About the worst that happens is the veggies get super mushy. Let me know how it works out for you!

  54. Heather says:

    Hi Jessica!

    I am so sorry, because you have probably already answered this question a hundred times…but I didn’t want to read thru all of them to find my answer! Just want to clarify…the shopping list you provided lists most ingredients needed to make ONE of EACH recipe? And you double or triple those recipes, so you double or triple the ingredients on the list when you shop?? Also, ONE recipe makes enough to eat for ONE meal serving a family of four?? I am going to try this for the first time and I want to make sure I do the right thing! THANK YOU!!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Heather!
      No worries – the shopping list is enough to make one of each recipe. I just listed for one recipe of each to start simple for those doing it for the first time. Each recipe makes enough for our family of 4, many with left overs enough to have another dinner or lunches. I do have a FAQ page at http://www.lovingmynest.com/food-love/crock-pot-freezer-cooking-faq/ that has a lot of other commonly asked questions you might want to check out too! If you have any other questions feel free to ask!! I hope you benefit from the meals!
      Jessica

  55. Yuri says:

    Hello! I think you we’re my sons teacher (Bryan a). I’m a huge pinner and I’m excited I found this. Can’t wait to try it out:)

  56. AMY MUELLER says:

    IM SO NERVOUS!!!!!!! Lol.. I am going to 2x the recipe… My husband is in the Air Force and I dont get much time to spend with him so I feel like this will help out……OH…….WE ARE ALSO BROKE!!! lol. So we shall see if i can get all this for $150 (good thing at the moment we live in a tax free state, DE) We should deff have left overs becasue its the 2 of us and our 3 small boys. :) I cant wait!!!

  57. AMY MUELLER says:

    ….to continue lol… Im sorry, I wish I could talk to you in person.
    When it says 1- chicken… is that a whole chicken (so if I was 2x it, id get 2 whole chickens?). Also…. Are we sure this isnt going to be a $300 grocery list hahaha, i trust you I promise. Just nervous about the amount of fresh produce…16 bell peppers…32 carrots…4 BAGS???of golden potatoes. 16 zucchini…

    Holy cow I am so nervous. PLEASE HELP

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Amy!

      The chicken is 1 pound (lb), you don’t need a whole chicken – that would be WAY too much. :-) and the potatoes is 2 individual potatoes, not 2 bags :-) It seems like a lot, but once you start putting the bags together, you’ll see how they all fill up. If you’re still nervous about it, you could go through the recipes (don’t forget the link to the healthy mama bbq)and tally up the ingredients. Feel free to email me jessica@lovingmynest.com if you have other questions! I would make sure you find good sales. Right now bell peppers are on sale at for .58 each, but I’ve found them as cheap as .25 each when on sale.

      Hope this helps some! :-)

  58. [...] werden. Aber man muss sich ja noch Ziele stecken können… Inspiration hab ich schon: “Loving my nest” hat dazu einen tollen [...]

  59. Question on the chicken and sweet potato stew — how did the Yukon potatoes turn out. I’ve always been told that raw potatoes don’t freeze well (and the one time I did, they turned gross/brown) — so just asking!

    So nice of you to share, by the way!

    -Shawnee

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Shawnee,

      We didn’t have any issues with the potatoes. They absorb the liquid when cooking so they have a bit of color from that, but where by no means gross. :-)

      Jessica

  60. Erin says:

    I LOVE this method and my favoirte cookbook is called Once a Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson. She groups together 14 recipies that are different but have similar ingredients, gives a shopping list and even step by step assembly instructions for cooking day. I always cook with a girlfriend and get a babysitter for the day. We can double everything, cook together, let our kids play out of our hair and each take home a month’s worth of dinners!!!

  61. Angela says:

    Hey, awesome blog! So I thought I’d leave my favorite recipe for a meal I added to your already delicious list. This is a favorite for any southerner!
    It’s Chicken N Dumplin’s – with only 6 ingredients it’s super easy and cheap.

    Ing:
    -3lbs of chicken breasts or tenderloins
    -1 stick of salted/sweet cream butter
    -1 onion chopped
    -2 cans of Cream of Chicken
    -Enough Chicken Broth to cover (I find it’s about 1 box)
    -1 can of refridgerated biscuit dough (the 8-10 biscuit size). My favorite is the Publix brand Butter-Me-Nots (DO NOT FREEZE THIS!)
    *Optional – add some black pepper, celery, or mushrooms to taste

    Recipe:
    Cook Low for 6hrs/High for 4hrs — 30 minutes before it’s done, break biscuit dough into little quarter-sized “dumplings”, throw them in the crock pot and finish cooking.

    Not a ton of healthy veggies but a great comfort food for the winter!

  62. [...] most ‘famous’ post (set of posts) is about my freezer crock pot cooking… I love to do batch meal prep – as in 20-30 meals at a time. It’s a lot of work [...]

  63. Marlene Benson says:

    This has been such an interesting read.I love all the added info from comments.I am a grandmother who still works outside the home. We are empty nesters.When I come home I want to spend time with my hubby,dog,and quilting…not cooking.Ive gotten into the habit of buying take away to free up time in the evening. This is hard on the budget but you can’t buy time. I am going to try this. I’m sure I’ll love the convenience and deliciousness.Thanks a lot

  64. Karen Heller says:

    When cooking the chicken for the CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP how do you cook it? Not good with food. Thanks

    • Jessica says:

      I just put the chicken in the zip lock bag raw, and put it into the crock pot that way. If you were making this without freezing it I would just put the raw chicken breasts in. They will cook with the soup!

  65. Tosha Sweat says:

    I was wondering if you posted your recipes anywhere that we could view? I’d love to see your ideas! I just started working full-time and I have a soon to be 3 year old in daycare and a third grader. My husband is active duty and is transferring to VA (6 hrs away) in 2 weeks. Like you, I do not want to spend an hour in the kitchen when we get home at 6…I want to have dinner pretty much ready so we can enjoy our time together. I have found several crock pot recipes today through food.com and pinterest but any further ideas/suggestions would be great! We need to save money and most of all, save time! Thanks!

  66. Another great cookbook that I use alot for this type of cooking is “Everything Meals for a month”. You should check it out. I love it!

  67. brittany says:

    Thank you for posting your ideas.

    I tried this using the grocery list you provided. I only spent $75, I did find that when we were preparing the recipes some things weren’t on the list that I needed…like spices and stuff. So I have modified the shopping list for myself. Most of the meals were really good. We are a busy family and this has saved me a lot of time! I did have to tone down some things to the kids taste, but overall this has been a lot of fun to do.

    Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi!

      I’m glad you only spent $75! Did you double it or just use it as is? I doubled pretty much all of it which is why I spent $150 – but it’s good to know that someone else got close to what I did in the shopping! I intentionally didn’t include spices and stuff – most of them are things that I assumed most people would have in their pantry already and didn’t want to them to think they needed to buy a new container for just 1 tsp of something they already had. I’m glad you enjoyed putting them together!

  68. Lisa says:

    Will all these meals feed a family of 6? I would love to try this, what a great idea. :)

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I think most of them would! I have the serving suggestion size on each recipe, but most all of these feed our family of 4 for at least two meals and sometimes more.

  69. Julie says:

    Have you checked food.com for recipes? They have a forum called Once A Month Cooking (OAM for short) that has tons of suggestions.

  70. Denise says:

    I can’t wait to give this a try. We also deal with allergies over here, dairy and tree nuts. Its great to see some crock pot meals without a bunch of cream of whatever soups. We have also found that cutting out the processed food has really helped her allergies. I’ve never really used my crock pot much because I’ve always been more of a meat and two veggies kinda cook. But my two and a half year old only eats her veggies when they are in a soup lately. We’ve been eating minestrone soup for lunch almost everyday for weeks! I’m thinking this kind of cooking will be soupy enough for her to not end up just eating protein and carbs for dinner! I’m also prego with baby number two and dealing with raw meat has been a major issue. I’m thinking I can get everything done and then get my hubby to chop the meat for me. Then he won’t be complaining of all the vegeterian meals we’ve been having. Thanks so much for sharing!

  71. Vehla says:

    CourtneyYay! Oh my goodness- I am at work and I just squaeked out “Yay!” out loud and I am sure that everyone here thinks I am crazy. Soo excited! I would like the letter “A” for AceMan. And now I am going to have to go out and buy some pink and purple and green fabric and try to make one for Emerson because I am sure she will want one too! Thanks so much Paige!

  72. Briauna says:

    So I get to try this next week and I want to put some together for my cousin, but she only has a small crock pot. Im gonna put them into storage bags instead of freezer bags, would 1/2 the recipe work for a small crock pot or would it work better in 1/3 or 1/4?

    • Jessica says:

      It kind of depends on what you mean by small. If she has a 4 quart then most of these will fit. If you think about a gallon bag – it’s 4 quarts. So if all the ingredients fit into a gallon zip lock bag then they will fit in a 4 quart. If she has something smaller than 4 quart then I would think it would be easiest to just half the recipe. I don’t know that half the recipe will fit well into storage bags though since those only hold 1 quart. If it were me and she had a smaller than 4 quart I would half the recipe and put them in gallon sized bags. If she had a 4 quart then I would just keep them as is. Hope that helps!

  73. chantal says:

    I am truly inspired. Great idea!

  74. Erin says:

    This is amazing! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. Thanks so much for putting together such a great list. I always want to make crockpot meals, but I can never find any healthy, delicious meals to make. It’s so nice to see a post with fresh vegetables and no canned soup! :-)

  75. Kat says:

    What a fantastic post!! I’ve been really wanting to get into doing this especially with winter upon us, I don’t want to have to rely going to the grocery store every week to buy groceries especially if the roads become really bad; give me peace of mind knowing I have ready-made meals sitting in the freezer! Plus it saves so much money!

    Thank you so much for taking time out to come up with this and to even create a shopping list!

  76. Chantal Dubois says:

    OK, tried my own mini version of this today. Final tally was $26 for 7 meals with enough veggies leftover for soup in my crock pot today. I had my daughter (21 yr old, old enough to hold a knife LOL) help with the prep work. I think it was totally worth it!

  77. Samantha Martin says:

    I could not load the shopping list. Could you help me with this? Thank you. I am inspired by your story. I am currently trying to get a hold of my life and organize and make it easier. This seems like a great way to start. Thank you again.

  78. Miranda says:

    Hi! Thanks for sharing! Do you mind if I ask about how much space your finished product took up in your freezer? I’ve been thinking about trying something like this, but our freezer is quite small, and I don’t want to end up with more than I can squeeze in there. Thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      We do have a large chest freezer in the garage that I put these in. Each zip lock bag ends up about about an inch or two tall when laying flat, so you can figure out how many bags would fit for your freezer space that way. Hope that helps some!

  79. maria laura gerez says:

    muy buena tu idea!!! gracias por compartirla, voy a ponerla en practica. un beso y feliz navidad!!!

  80. Sarah says:

    Do you know where I can find a vegetarian version? I love the idea but haven’t been able tO find one. Thanks.

    • Jessica says:

      I had another person ask this a while back, I don’t know of any place with something like this that has vegetarian options, but the conclusion the other person and I can to is many of these could have the meat substituted for your favorite vegetarian protein (tofu, beans…). Also you could easily apply the idea of this with your own favorite crock pot recipes that are already vegetarian. Hope that helps!

  81. Terrell says:

    Here’s something’s that’s helped me… I’m going from a household of 5 to 3… Now it’s so hard to cook a little so I read somewhere if u have left overs to freeze soups, stews, anything liquid really in non-stick sprayed muffin pans and freeze! When frozen put into zip bags and grab either defrost in fridge or microwave a few minutes for a cup of soup… Love the site… T

  82. Me says:

    This is NOT clean eating. Clean eating doesn’t involve taco seasoning packets loaded with MSG or meat loaded with chemicals, GMOs and antibiotics. You have some good ideas, but you are misleading people.

    • Jessica says:

      You are right – however I never implied it was “clean” eating. If you have issues with seasoning packets then feel free to substitute your own, as you would probably do with any recipe.

  83. Regina says:

    This might have been mentioned by someone else, but it is worth mentioning it again. I saw where you had to prep all your meat. If your grocery store has a butcher you can have him do all that slicing & dicing. Just let him know what you want for each package- say 1 in cube chicken, 1/2 thin chicken strips- fajita style, thick pork chops filleted or pocket cut in. I used to do all my meat myself, b4 I learned the meat counter offered this service for FREE. Now the butcher preps 75% of my meat for my prepping day which cuts way down on my prep time.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Regina,

      You might be my new best friend. At the risk of sounding dumb – I had NO clue they would do this. I hate chopping meat. The raw slimy… eck. This would also save a ton of time in the whole prep process – and a chunk of time that’s hard to do with kiddos running around (hard to stop and hand your kid a snack with raw meat all over your hands). Thanks so much for sharing!

  84. Michelle says:

    Found you on pinterest and can’t wait to try this. We have 3 kids and are super busy so this should be useful.

  85. pat Bender says:

    This is good old fashioned frugality, I am 64 and I remember my husband,s grandmother walking to the store buying a pot roast coming back and roasting it, she would cook 5 lbs of potatoes and vegetables, then she would line up old tin trays she saved and make a whole bunch of “TV” dinners and freeze them. Around 4pm she would put one in the oven on warm and have it by 5. She had the best survival skills of anyone I know and lived on social security only. She also bought cake mix on sale, made 24 cupcakes and froze them too! She lived during the depression, this way a way of life for them.

  86. Mary says:

    You mentioned white rice. We use minute rice a lot so I was wondering if that would work, or should I buy a regular bag of white rice?

  87. Judi says:

    Just found your link on Pinterest a week ago and resolved to try it for the New Year. I just finished up and I am pleased with my organized freezer full of great meals – can’t wait to try them! Thanks so much!!

  88. Jennifer says:

    I just came across a link to your site on Pinterest and I am excited to try freezer meals. My boyfriend pretty much exclusively cooks in the crockpot. I had him arrange a meal in it a few months ago and he LOVES it! I can’t get him to do anything else. I think it has to do with the fact that he is the dishwasher… I am in grad school and will be out of the house 3 nights a week after work so I look forward to getting some meals in the freezer for him to whip up easily when I’m not here. A new year with a green smoothie every morning and meals in the freezer sounds like a perfect start to 2013.

  89. [...] there was this Pinterest inspiration about a Freezer Crock Pot Cooking Day from Loving My Nest. Can you imagine getting all of your slow cooker prep for 34 meals done in one day and she does it [...]

  90. Jamie says:

    This all looks fantastic! I think I will use the food processor to aid in the chopping. Also, I very rarely, if ever eat beef. Can I substitute other meats in lieu of beef?

    Thanks, blessings!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Jamie,

      The food processor helps a ton – you know the sad thing is mine broke the first round of carrots I started chopping :-(. If you have one, use it! It will save you a TON of time! As far as beef goes – by all means sub! I usually just buy the meat that’s on sale – sometimes I use chicken, pork, beef… whatever’s the cheapest. Substitute whatever meat you would like! :-)

  91. Tammy Cooper says:

    Fantastic Idea! But a little organization goes a long ways. After coming home from the store with all the ingredients on the shopping list I was still missing about half of the ingredients, mainly a lot of chicken broth. I also had a lot of green bell peppers but one of the recipes calls for red bell peppers. I guess I’ll know for next time. Still going to save me a whole lot of time and stress in future.

    Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Tammy!

      You do have to be organized about it, that’s for sure! About the chicken broth I don’t add the broth to the bags. You totally could, but I make my own chicken/turkey stock and pre-freeze those in 2 cup portions. So any recipe that calls for Chicken broth I just note how much on the outside of the bag and add the frozen broth with the meal to the crock pot on the day of cooking. And about the bell peppers – I never pay attention to the color, I just get what’s cheapest. The day I did my cooking they had red bell peppers on sale for 5/$1 I used ALL red. I do the same with meat. I buy whatever is on sale and use that. Hope it all turns out great for you!

  92. [...] Loving My Nest - She shows what to buy, how to prep, etc. It’s cheap, easy, and healthy! [...]

  93. Christine says:

    Thank you so much for these recipes & shopping list. This is my first attempt to freeze meal ahead of time. I have all except one recipe frozen now in the freezer:) just need clarification of the type of dried bean used in the bean stew. Is it green beans or mixed bag of dried beans?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Christine,

      I’m so glad this worked out for you! The beans I used in the bean stew are dried beans. You can also used canned (like kidney, white, pinto…) I believe I used dried pinto – I just use whatever I have or whatever is on sale. Mixed dry beans sounds lovely too!

  94. Karen says:

    I love to use my “advance culinary skills” (Crockpot cooking) I do not have little ones at home, but I have 2 grandsons close by. I make freezer meals in quart size bags (serves 1 or 20 and in gallon bags (serves 4 to 6). I try to drop off a gallon bag to the new moms in our church about once a week for the first three months. If they need a meal on a really hectic or stressed day, it’s in the bag, so to speak

    • Jessica says:

      Bless you Karen. That is such a wonderful blessing to new moms. It’s hard those first few months to get back into a routine, especially if they have other children as well. That’s so great for you to help out like that!

  95. Kaylee says:

    Found your blog on Pinterest! I followed your lead and made all the recipes for me and the BF. We are in our mid 20s, no kids, but we work full time and then tutor every evening, so having meals ready ahead of time is key! Thanks for the recipes and food list. It made actually doing this fairly easy!!! I wrote about my experience over on my blog: thepinkhardhat.blogspot.ca

  96. susie says:

    I need some guidance plz! We desperately need to get on a budget for a family of 6. Times are really tough for us. How do you make al of that for 150.00 bucks? Thanks so much!
    Susie

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Susie,

      The best advice I can give is only shop sales. I look at the sale flyers each week and if they’re having a super sale on ground beef, I buy like 2 months worth of it to last until it’s on sale again. Also, ask your meat department what day/time they mark down their meat. Then go shopping at that time. You can get perfectly good meat for REALLY cheap. You’ll just need to cook or freeze it that day. I hit the jack pot on sales with this round of cooking. Hope that helps some!

  97. Christine says:

    Ok….. I should have looked at the recipies first… found the answer to the dairy substitute question there. Thanks

    • Jessica says:

      :-) Glad you found it! Just for dairy allergy information purposes – you can make your own “Cream of ____” soups by heating your non dairy milk with thickener (corn starch…) and adding mushrooms or whatever you’re making a cream of to the milk and let it simmer and thicken. Not a time saver by any means, but works for those recipes that calls for things you can’t eat!

  98. Paula says:

    I just found this on pinterest today and can’t wait to get started. I’m working on two bags of the chicken and sweet potato stew and was wondering if you added the basil to the bag for freezing or add it when it’s done cooking? Thank so much. I’m looking forward to trying all the other recipes too!!

  99. Charlene says:

    Hey – love the way you do this. Very similar to the way I do. . . .the planning out, the master shopping list, the shopping. I didnt read through all your comments,so someone may have noted this already, but I found these clips that hold freezer bags open when filling. I got mine at a kitchen supply place at my local flea market but this is a link to show you what they look like. This leads to Amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Jokari-169306-Storage-Opener-Holder/dp/B0040LU3Y8

    • Jessica says:

      Those are awesome! I actually put my bags into gallon pitchers and it holds them up pretty nicely – these would be super awesome though to get a bunch of and do them all at once! Thanks for sharing!

  100. karel says:

    Wow! You are quite the organized cook. I’m definitely bookmarking this for when I start back to school.

  101. Anne Dovel says:

    We’ve been doing these for my sister’s family as she’s expecting and been very sick. I’m anxious to dig into some of your recipes too! Thanks for taking the time to post your process! Looks very familiar, but I only did 9 meals at one time!
    Anne

  102. [...] thought I’d share this cool link I found to a page of recipes for Freezer Crock Pot Cooking. Prepare a month or more of meals in one shot and then use the slow cooker each day and have more [...]

  103. Erin M says:

    Does your stuff tend to get freezer burnt from sitting in the bags (just wondering because it appears they are not vacuum sealed.)

    Im a recent college grad with a 2nd shift job its hard to find time to cook and prepare for myself and my boy!

  104. katelyn says:

    I wondered..did you spend 150.00 for only the first 10 recipes, or for all 34?

  105. Kat says:

    Hey it looks like there are green beans in the picture but they are not on the shopping list or on the recipes. Did I miss something?

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Kat,

      No you didn’t miss anything – Landon has an allergy to peas so the peas in the garden soup recipe I subbed with green beans. :-) Sorry for the confusion!

  106. [...] yogurt covered frozen berries, banana peanut butter “ice cream,” etc. I will be using crock pot freezer meal methods as well, probably as a once or twice a month project, pre-making the meals to be placed in the slow [...]

  107. Keala Brown says:

    Thank you for the work put into this blog. I love to read well-thought-out instructions. Yours are easy and enjoyable to read, and that’s rare. This post especially was so much more than just a few recipes, and I love that you got your little ones involved.

    My own baby is now 14, but I remember the days when their “help” was the hardest part of accomplishing anything! (Especially when my now 24 year old was enamored with “mopping” the kitchen floor when he was about 4 and I had another toddler and a newborn; and yes, the dish soap he used made it slippery.)

    I love your organization, and I was actually excited to read your plans and say, “Hey! I do that, too!” You do a better job at doing all the washing first, then all veggie prep, etc., and you’ve inspired me to shape up and do it right! After all, with this kind of cooking, “right” just means the most efficient way, and I’m wasting my time and energy when I hack the jobs all up.
    My blog is only a few months old, and so far, probably half of my followers are still people who know me personally, but it’s a mix of my life’s passions: family, cooking, and writing. You can check it out if you’d like. I don’t have activities for young children, but it’s all about family.

  108. Cookie says:

    Hi Jessica! Found you on Pinterest! My, oh my! I am so blessed to have come across your Freezer Crock Pot Cooking. This is an inspiration and I’m actually doing this for my family now. I’ve tweeked mine a bit because I’m not just sticking to Crock Pot recipes. I love Asian cooking which involves a wok most of the time so I just have all my ingredients ready for pan-frying. :) Blessings to you and yours always! <3

  109. Terri says:

    I love love love this idea! I work in Seattle and commute one hour each way, plus go to school F/T and run a candle business! I’m hoping to do this and stock up to make life a little bit easier!

  110. Lisa says:

    I found this on pintrest and look forward to giving this a wirll. As another mom said I may double some since we have a family of 10 but the idea is the same. Thanks

  111. Leah says:

    Just had a blast reading all these related posts!
    How awesome are you to have put all this together! =)
    I do have a question and pretty sure it has not been covered though I didn’t read every comment…
    First, I’m a potato person and noticed none of them had been added. Any reason? I’ve cooked and frozen a ton of stuff but not chopped potatoes.
    Also wondered what size slow cooker these meals are appropriate for, I believe I have the smaller (a big family but only half will eat any of this) 4 qt.

    Again, thanks so much for sharing this! Glad to have found ya!

  112. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your process and recipes – I am so excited to share that I have stacked up over two months of dinners (each recipe makes 3 for us since our family is smaller). It is nice to come home after work and have dinner waiting for us.

    One of our favorites is salsa chicken – boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs and a jar of salsa. After 4 hours on low, shread the chicken and return to the pot. Serve with rice or tortillas.

  113. May says:

    Thank You sooo much for your post! I do not have any children but we are expecting! Also, I have a very hungry husband! Sometimes we both work really late and I feel like we stay up all night cooking, eating and then cleaning. I WILL be making our meals two months at a time now! Thank you so much!

  114. Mindy says:

    I don’t have children, it’s just me and the hubs, but I will definitely be trying this. We’re military, so I’m always looking for ways to cut grocery costs without us eating too much processed foods.

    P.S. The pic of your son snapping the peas is really adorable!

  115. megan says:

    One thing i always do with meat is that Harmons, a grocery store by me, about twice a year does buy one get one free pot roast sales. Usually april or may and august or september. We stocked up on those this year. We got about 90 dollars worth of meat for 40 compared to if we’d gone to other grocery stores around our neighborhood. So I always look for seasonal sales with meat, then plan my crock pot meals around that. My husband can’t believe all the deals we get on that.

  116. Morgan says:

    I was curious if these meals were serving sized for a family of 4 or larger. I ask because we are a family of 7!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Morgan!

      If you check out the recipe page it says what the serving size is. I think that many of these would work for a family of 7, you would just have to add a few side dishes.

  117. Danielle says:

    Do you recycle your plastic ziplock bags? How many do you go through at any given time? It seems like a nice idea but the waste worries me.

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t recycle the ziplock bags, I probably should, however I usually put the food in frozen and the only way to get it out is to cut the bag off of the food, making the bag unusable again. You could buy reusable freezer containers and wash those – that would be a great way to still have the meals ready and not have the waste.

  118. Adriana says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for all these ideas! I am a single mom of 3 and have found that I have to work 6 days a week just to make ends meet. I often don’t even cook bc I am exhausted by the end of the day. So I end up spending an enormous amt of the budget on already prepared food bc I don’t have the energy to cook, help with homework, etc. before bedtime. Based on some other people’s comments, this has the potential to save me a 2 or 3 hundred dollars! What that translates to is: maybe I can shave off a couple Saturdays from my work week and have more time with my precious kids!!!!!! God bless you for posting this!!!

  119. Brandy says:

    The link to the shopping list does not work, this is what it says The content on this site violates the acceptable usage policy.
    Can you email it to me please?

  120. Sarah says:

    I am a beginner with this and have MANY questions!! Do you place all of these frozen meals straight into the crock pot, or do you thaw them out first before placing them in crock pot?

    • Jessica says:

      I do place the frozen meal in the crock pot. If you planned ahead you could take it out the day before and leave it in the fridge and let it thaw, then cut the cooking time down some, but I’ve always just done it frozen!

  121. Debi says:

    I found some “freezable deli containers” on amazon and they come in different sizes. They cost a bit upfront but can be used over and over with the bonus that the contents slide into my round slow cooker with no problems. I used a sharpie marker to write on the lids for the meals we always eat and removable labels for the new to us recipes. We really enjoy your tortilla soup recipe so I may have to triple that next time.

  122. Denise says:

    I’m inspired. I love to cook and I don’t mind being in the kitchen preparing meals every night for my family. However, the summers here in southern Cali especially in the later part of the afternoon are very hot and unbearable to be in a stuffy kitchen. That is the only time of the years I loathe cooking. This solves that problem. Also, crock pots don’t heat up the house. Another super win. Sounds like I’m going to do some spring cooking. Thank you!!

  123. kristy says:

    first, wow nd awesome!! u r the wo-man! i came about ur website via pinterest. im goin thru a divorce, ten yrs of marriage thrown away cuz my hub “wants his freedom”. needless to say i take many an issue with my now predicament of being a single parent uh-gain, downsizing myself nd three sons from a four bdrm house to a rather small, yet quaint, two bdrm basement apt., nd of course my personal fav…”when life gives u lemons, make lemonade” spiel i remind myself of whether im personally changing the brakes on our van, running around like a drunken headless chicken at 4am looking for that one darn nike air jordan high top sneaker (not shoe) that was misplaced during hasty packing just so the teenager can fit in at school cuz this is hard for him, too, you know, or during the occassional late nite self-pity party. honestly, regardless of all that nd then some, its the tiny, no extra space for even a packet of sugar kitchen that keeps me up at night. as i said we downsized nd here we dont even have the use of a stove. i love magic, never wanted to b a magician, yet i cant remember the last time i’ve had to pull many a rabbit outta my hat just to simply pull off decent, full-filling, nd healthy meals by way of microwave, crock pot, nd mini-george foreman for one very healthy teenage man (not boy), one pathologically hyper middle schooler, “the baby” who’s four, nd moi. thankfully we kept our upright freezer, which resides in the living room/dining area. so back to why i’m here, i’m rummaging thru my friend’s pinterest slow cooker recipies board nd i see “34 crock pot freezer meals for $100 some odd dollars”. naturally my interest was piqued! i must say, ur posting, whether all ur own idea or not is a lifesaving meal plan that i feel must b shared! during economic times like these nd situations like mine or worse that people need pick-me-ups. ur “freezer crock pot cookbook” is now a new mantra for me!! THANK YOU for sharing

  124. sonya says:

    on ur shopping list, I have to ask when u put carrots -16 and celery 5 and so on does that mean 5 bags of celery and such or just 5 sticks n 16 pieces or carrots. b/c i’m going shopping today for everything and didn’t want to over buy

    • Jessica says:

      I sent you an email yesterday, but just to clarify for anyone else wondering, it means 16 individual carrots and 5 individual stalks of celery, don’t buy 16 bags of carrots (unless you have a bunny in the house!)

  125. Lori says:

    So, the only thing you really eat is soup and stew? Doesn’t that get old?

    • Jessica says:

      Well if that’s all we ate it would get pretty old! We don’t eat these every single night! I make them maybe twice a week. I use them for the days that are really busy and I don’t have time to cook.

  126. I am very new to freezer meals and really don’t know anything about it. When prepping all these meals did you store raw meat with the veggies and everything together?

  127. sarah says:

    If a recipe calls for browning the meat before putting into the crock pot would you brown the meat then freeze it?

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Sorry if that wasn’t clear. You really don’t “have to”, since it will be cooked, but for ground beef, it helps it to have a ground beef texture rather than a meatloaf-ish texture. :-)

  128. jenna says:

    I made meatballs cooked and froze them on a cookie sheet then put in a bag to go to the deep freezer. then i got thinking im just gonna throw them in a crockpot with tomato sauce and paste plus herbs to make your own spaghetti sauce. then i broke down the noodles so they fit better in the crock pot cook it on low 6 hours and there ya go!but in the future i will put it all together thaw the night before and throw in the crock pot that day!

  129. erica says:

    I am not sure if this was answered elsewhere but what size crock pot are you using for these recipes? I would love to spend a day or two and get these awesome meals prepared for when our bumbling baby boy arrives this July. Thank you!

  130. Billie says:

    Here’s another tip to make it even easier yet… The first time is going to be a LOT of work, just as you have described, however right now as most people are growing their own veggies or hitting the farmer’s markets, you can save time and money. Chop and freeze veggies in bulk. “Flash freezing” is when you cut up say green peppers or potatoes, lay them flat on a cookie sheet with some space in between. Freeze them for an hour or so and then put them into a freezer bag. You can do this while you are eating your month’s worth of goodies. Then next month when you are ready to make more freezer meals, no shopping, no chopping :) Just add your “cup” of onions or whatever from the freezer bag they are in to the “meal” bag and waa-laa you are done!

    I also freeze and bag cooked, chopped chicken and cooked hamburger. I cook ten pounds of hamburger at a time, and I know this might sound strange, but I boil it in water. It’s easier to break up chunks with a wooden spoon this way, and when you dump the water the grease gets dumped with it. I also add onions to the water, but you don’t have to. If you don’t want to ‘dump’ the water, save it and use as broth base or put on dog food. This also made it easier for the kids to fix dinner. If they wanted tacos or spaghetti, it was already cooked so no mess. Just thaw in microwave, add taco seasoning or to spaghetti sauce, warm up and you are done!

  131. Kalina says:

    I just gotta say… I skimmed through this and now I feel like I need a nap!

  132. Sara w says:

    I made my first foray into freezer meals just before having my third (like a week before :))and it was awesome! Here’s my blog post from it-I’m a little bit irreverent, but hopefully won’t offend anyone. I am going to do a second round in the middle of summer so that back to school isn’t so harried. http://www.sexandtheknitty.blogspot.com/2012/08/feel-freezer-burn.html

  133. Teresa says:

    Quick question do you thaw out the bag before you empty the ingredients into the crock pot or do you cook from frozen?
    Thanks

  134. Pat says:

    I would use a seal a meal to package the meals.

  135. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much!! My best friend and I just did this together, we doubled each of your first round. One minor thing that I am not sure if you know about, your shopping list says that 5 sweet potatoes are needed for 1 recipe, when I believe it should be 2 according to your recipes. Thanks again, we can’t wait to try them all out!!

  136. Cyndi says:

    Great ideas! However, you can’t put frozen meat in a slow
    cooker without putting your family at jeopardy. Here is the FDA link.

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/a181017c-cc51-4261-bfeb-f78cfc24c022/Slow_Cookers_and_Food_Safety.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

    I would just put the meat in a separate bag and thaw it before you use it with your bag of veggies etc.

  137. sharhonda says:

    Hello Jess,
    You are a life saver!!! I’m a single mom that is very young I have children that I have to cook for but because I am on oxygen I am not suppose to cook. I am so happy for your site THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!
    I notice you had leg quarters. I am confused on how many bags to get. Are you cutting the meat off the bones?

  138. sharhonda says:

    Cyndi
    I am not sure why it states its unsafe but I’ve been doing it for years. My mom have been doing it and her mom. The temperature is high enough that bacteria will not grow and its at a continuous cooking state.

  139. Katie says:

    Ok, this was AWESOME. One of my best friends from college just had (beautiful and healthy!) twin boys, and of course has NO time to cook dinner. Eight of us got together and made them about 70 crock pot freezer meals (everything here, many tripled, plus several from other websites) and split the cost of getting them a new top load freezer for the garage to put it all in! Theres just the two of them eating the food, so it’s three months in and they haven’t eaten all of it yet. Including the freezer, we spent $450 (just over $50 each!) for an AWESOME baby gift (and we made a big party out if it!). Thank you SO much for this!

  140. Colleen P. says:

    Can I just say-UH-MAY-ZING!!! And the recipes are all gluten free, or easily made to be gluten free! You have no idea how you have made my day! Also have to shout out to Katie up there-now THAT is truly a baby gift, a freezer full of home-prepped meals? AND a freezer!? Beats a crocheted baby blanket any day of the week!

  141. Michele says:

    I have started doing the “Make Ahead” meals for my busy busy family. My husband and I work full time and we have two little boys (ages 2 and 1) who can eat as much as me.
    I shop the adds and snap pics of prices at Sams/Costco for comparrison. We bought a large deep freezer (thankfully) so we could take advantage of the meat sales (when there ae any). Recently, after spending less than $300, I had enough meats to make meals from September thru the end of February. I think another $200 on sides or extras and I will have meals for 6mths. With our busy lifes, this has been a lifesaver!

    I made a calendar that tells my Hubby what is for dinner (so no guessing in the evening anymore)and he either starts the meal or gets it defrosted for me to cook when I arrive home. Nothing takes more than 30min to cook, kids eat it up, and we keep variety.
    ONE NOTE…I have not had ANY luck with freezing fresh veggies. Carrots get mushy and potatoes turn black. For these I would buy frozen or cut up and add same day of cooking. Zucchini, squash, peppers, etc seem ok. I learned that buying in bulk isn’t always best (check sales) but if you get large cans of enchilada sauce (cheapest by the oz here) freeze in muffin tin so you can use what you need per recipie. Saved us $$ doing it this way.

  142. Sarah A says:

    Where did you get your large mixing bowls?!? Those would be so handy!

  143. Jeanne Johnson says:

    I have been doing this for 2 years…the reason ..because most frozen food meals have no flavor and you can count the bits of meat…mostly pasta …and who knows what else is in them…and I wanted to lose weight but stay healthy…I don’t use sugar or flour…haven’t for over 10 years…I never ever fry my food…I don’t shop frozen except for corndogs…the only thing I buy in canned is diced tomatoes and tomatoe sauce…I buy the marked down meats and shop all my veggies at the 99c store…I make my own recipe for salsa in 2 gal size jars kept in the fridge…I have lost the weight I wanted to…from 193 to 135…im healthy and 83 and still dancing to LMFAO on the net…I do my own gardening and plan to grow more of my own food..NO GMO…OR any of the stuff they put in food today….getting ready to do some good recipes today…good luck to everyone and this is really a healthier way to live…

  144. Kimie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to try these recipes! Just curious what other meals you make ahead and freeze (non crock pot meals). Also, what size zip-lock bags do you use?

  145. Kate says:

    :D :) ;) ;D ;>) ;>D :>):>D

  146. Marsha Fulton says:

    I think this freezer meal thing is a great idea. I even love that all of you ladies are so excited about your savings on meat and veggies. But what about those consumers that don’t eat hormone injected, factory raised meat? I’m going to try some of these recipes with hormone free meat and organic / pesticide free / local and in season veggies and hope that it saves me time, though I anticipate it won’t save me money. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog and these recipes :) — Marsha

  147. Jenee says:

    Jessica, I see you have not posted any replies and this is a LONG thread. I have read through & see there is no need to thaw the bags out but in one of your comments you said something about putting the frozen bag in the crock as long as the lid fits. Am I reading this right in you put the frozen food IN the bag IN the crock? and it doesn’t melt the bag? All great tips and I am getting together w/ a friend to do this before we get to thick into the holiday MADNESS!

  148. Robin Houston says:

    I am confused on something and need some wisdom! I am stuck on the issue of why it isn’t recommended to reheat food in a crock pot, but one can take a prepared meal from the freezer to crock pot and cook and it’s ok. Please advise!

  149. Skylar says:

    So, I never comment on blogs, but I had to come back to this one to say that all these recipes taste delicious! I’ve tried other make ahead freezer meals from other websites and I always had a few that weren’t any good. My husband and I just finished the last one tonight and I have to say there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch! I just did the recipes from the first link you had, so I’m excited to see the links for Round 2 & 3. Thanks so much!

  150. Chapter 7 lawyer Fort Myers Fl says:

    Hey there, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

  151. Aleah says:

    AMAZING!Thank you I passed your link on to all my friends.

  152. Katherine Kelm says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for your site. I tried your recipes and everything is now in bags in the freezer — but all that chopping took me days, not hours, and I only made one of everything, not three! I can’t imagine getting it done in so little time; I’m in awe. Anyhow, I can’t wait to see how they taste! We already tried the spaghetti. I ended up nearly pureeing the veggies for that one because my blender got a little over-excited (and I took to heart your comment about considering the “vegetable aversion” level of my family; my son loves veggies but my husband has to choke down most green things). Sure enough, hubs found it palatable and couldn’t believe it when I told him what was in it. “I’m eating zucchini?!” he exclaimed. LOL! Thanks again.

  153. michele says:

    When you thaw out your bags, is it room temperature or directly into the crock pot to thaw out.

  154. Thanks so much for this article Jessica! I utilized your recipes and linked to you in the posts on my own blog. My friends are so excited to join me next time I cook ahead!
    I did 54 meals for $70 (some meals repeated of course, and breakfast, lunch and dinner).

  155. mandy says:

    I see the shopping list but where can I find the recipes so I know what to put in each bag?
    Love this idea!

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  164. Tamika Anderson says:

    I really had hoped that finding this would be the answer to feeding my family healthy meals. I lack the organization to put meals together and keep a variety.
    Unfortunately, this meal plan has a lot of canned items. My family cannot eat canned beans and most sauces. I wish it was a bit more homemade…I hope to tweak it a bit with proper bean soaking and homemade saucues.

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  167. Deborah says:

    Your site is wonderful. I am definitely planning to do my shopping and meal prep next week. Thanks for taking the time to do all this. Deb

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