This is Day 15 of the 21 Days to a Stress Free & Debt Free Christmas. I’m so excited that you are joining me for what I hope will be a really helpful series designed to walk with you step by step through the Christmas season in a way that ensures you keep your sanity and that you don’t overspend.
Today, we’re going to discuss holiday freezer cooking & meal prep.
One of the things that can be so draining about the Christmas season is that it’s long. Even if you’ve thought about and planned your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day meal, there are still a lot of other meals that need to be prepared throughout the busy Christmas season. When you and your family are bouncing from one activity to the next and then trying to squeeze in shopping, meal time is probably the last thing on your mind.
That’s why freezer cooking has quickly become a huge sanity saver for me. It’s really helpful all year round, but it’s especially helpful during the Christmas season. A holiday freezer cooking/meal prep session may prove to be exactly what you need to help you get through this busy time of year. You can prep your regular weeknight meals or think even further ahead and start some freezer cooking for your Christmas meal.
Here are some things to think about when you schedule your holiday freezer cooking & meal prep session.
1. Make a plan for your time
Look at which recipes you can easily prep ahead of time. If you can’t freeze or prep the entire meal, then think about whether there are certain side dishes or ingredients you can prep or stick in the freezer. Include your Christmas meal in this as well. Are there any veggies you can chop ahead of time? Or are there any casseroles that you can assemble now to make things easier? You probably won’t have time to prep for everything in one session, so choose the recipes based on what will help you most.
2. Plan your shopping trip for your ingredients
If you aren’t a list person, then you need to become one for this freezer cooking session. Once you’ve looked to see what pantry and fridge & freezer staples you have on hand, then make your list to see what you need to purchase. Keep your Christmas budget in mind, so look through your grocery store sale flyers to see which stores have sales on some of the items you need.
You may want to shop at 2 different stores. Check out some coupon match up sites to see if there are any coupons you could use as well.
3. Don’t forget your supplies
If you are new to freezer cooking, then you may need to purchase some supplies such as disposable metal pans, Ziploc freezer bags*, or plastic reusable containers*. Make sure you have whatever supplies on hand that you’ll need to store the items you will be freezing.
4. Start with a clean work space
There is nothing worse than trying to cook in a dirty kitchen. Make sure your space is free of clutter so you can spread out and get going!
5. Clean up as you go
In addition, I find that it helps a lot to clean up as I’m going. I start with everything out and then put things away or in the sink/dishwasher as I’m going.
6. Have some fun
Put on some fun Christmas music and have fun with this. Reward yourself after a job well done.
If you’ve never considered freezer cooking, then I hope you’ll give it a try! I think you’ll be surprised at how much it helps relieve some of the stress of your mealtime.