freezer meals.jpg

Crockpot Freezer Meals

As busy moms, we are always looking for ways help simplify daily life. In September, a friend suggested we try prepping crockpot freezer meals. We both had plenty of Pinterest pins with options. My cousin joined our efforts, and the three of us got to work with planning a Crockpot Freezer Meal Session!

We decided to make 4 different meals, and take home 4 bags of each meal. That’s 16 bags of each meal (48 meals in total)! We spent $120 each. We learned a lot from our first session. By the time we did our a second session in December, we made a few changes that helped save time and money. For our second session, we selected 4 meals, made 9 bags of each recipe (36 total), and spent only $100 each. We took home 3 bags of each recipe for a total of 12 meals!

We’ve found this system to be a great way to simplify dinners during our busy weeks. While it takes planning and organizing to get it done, we love having ready-to-go dinner options. Plus, the house smells amazing all day, and we feel like Supermoms! We learned helpful tips and tricks along the way through trial and error. I hope this guide helps you along the way!

Step 1: Select your meals. If you are a Pinterest user, create a board specifically for Crockpot Meals. Search for “crockpot freezer meals” you think you and your family would enjoy. Keep the recipes simple! The fewer ingredients, the easier it will be. It’s also helpful to have similar ingredients between the recipes. Once you selected your recipes, print them out.

Step 2: Make a recipe and shopping list spreadsheet. Use your printed recipes to enter the meals and ingredients. Meals along the top, ingredients along the side. This helps see shared ingredients and know the total of each ingredient you need to buy. Categorize your shopping list during this step as well. Buying in bulk saves money when making several meals. You multiply the ingredients needed for one meal times the number of bags you are making. For our Winter Session, we made nine bags of each recipe so we had three each. Your spreadsheet is SUPER HELPFUL to stay organized at the grocery store! Check out our winter session spreadsheet as a guide.

Step 3: Split up the grocery shopping. Head to Costco or Sam’s Club for the best savings when buying in bulk. We found it helpful to have two of us go to Costco while the other bought harder-to-find items at a grocery store like Trader Joes or Walmart. Save your receipts so you can total the costs.

Step 4: Prep Day! Get your house ready for action! Set aside three hours of kid-free time. We found it helpful to have dads take the kids out of the house. If working with other moms, have them bring a knife, cutting board, measuring spoons, and quality freezer bags. Clear off your kitchen counters, and organize your ingredients. Get our your cutting boards, knives, paper towels, and garbage bags. Grab your apron, turn on some music, and get to work! It’s time to chop veggies, label freezer bags, and open canned ingredients. Hold off on opening packaged meat until you are ready to stock your bags. For our fall session, we chopped and labeled one meal at a time. This got pretty messy. For our winter session, we got everything labeled, chopped, and opened in advance. This helped us when it was time to put ingredients in each bag.

Step 5: Stock your bags. Create an assembly line and stock your freezer bags for each meal. One mom stood over the sink and handled the meat. The second mom held the bags open for the meat. The third mom started adding other ingredients. We found it helpful to split up adding ingredients. For example, I’d add carrots to all the bags, another mom added seasoning to all the bags, etc.

Step 6: Bask in your glory of being a Freezer Meal Goddess!

Fall Session Lessons Learned

  • Make a spreadsheet for your meals and shopping list.
  • The meals didn't taste delicious...it may take trial and error to find meals you and your family enjoy.
  • Chop, label, and organize ingredients before you start your assembly line.
  • Less is more. The fewer ingredients, the easier the shopping and meal prep will be.

Winter Session Lessons Learned

  • Don't open all the canned goods in advance or throw out lids to ingredients. We used less than anticipated and had some jars of ingredients leftover.
  • Don't stack your bags on top of each other near the edge of a counter. (The stack fell over, bags opens, and food ended up on the floor!)
  • Labeling bags in advance was super helpful!

About the author: Amy Rosso is the owner of FIT4MOM Chapel Hill, which offers fitness classes for moms in Chapel Hill, NC. Classes include Mommy-and-Me workouts, high intensity interval training, and running programs. Learn more at chapelhill.fit4mom.com.

  • IMG_1711.JPG
  • IMG_1712.JPG
  • IMG_0666.JPG
  • IMG_1713.JPG
  • IMG_0676.JPG
  • IMG_0673.JPG
  • IMG_1813.jpg