This month some friends and I formed a group that I'm very excited about. It is a freezer meal group. Friday night we all met and assembled 15 yummy meals that we can use through the month. They are very large meals and will feed my family twice (plus leftovers for lunch). Each month we pick different recipes, and then rotate the shopping, hosting, and prep. work responsibilities. Then we all meet together and put everything together, enjoy some dinner and fun conversation, and leave with a cooler full of meals.
Here we all are toward the end of the night (thanks Emilee for letting me steal your pictures):
This is a huge plus for me for several reasons. One, it is a huge time saver for me. I don't have to worry about what I'm going to cook for dinner and then cook it. I just look at my inventory list on the fridge, decide what I want, and pull it out and throw it in the oven/crock pot. Two, it's a huge financial saver for me. I won't even tell you how much I was spending on groceries before. Doing it this way is WAY cheaper for me. I only need to go to the grocery store for milk, bread, eggs and produce. I think I can realistically spend a total of between 200 and 250 a month for all my groceries AND all these freezer meals. I don't know if that's good for others, but for me that's huge savings. It also doesn't take up much freezer space, since most of the meals are put in ziploc bags and are lying flat.
I love doing this with other women. I feel like we all bring something unique to the table. Some are really good at getting great deals on stuff (already I've learned a lot about what good prices are for meat and other items, how to save money on items etc), some are health conscious and make sure we're making healthy meals, some are great hostesses (thanks Rachel!)and some are good at figuring out complicated math problems and conversions late at night (that would be you Janet). I'm not sure what I bring to the table yet, but I am sure that I shouldn't be allowed to assemble chicken enchiladas by myself ever again (you should read the directions before throwing all the ingredients in a bowl...just in case you didn't already know).