As some of you may know, I am having a surgery at some point this year that could have me recovering on the couch for up to six weeks. Anticipating this, I decided to spend a weekend making some meals that could be frozen ahead of time to ensure that I (and the BF) could eat wholesome, healthy, and delicious food each night with leftovers for lunch the next day!

Using a mix of personal favorites, and a couple of new finds on Pinterest, I successfully made up 30 dishes, and each will feed the BF and I both dinner and lunch, with some even feeding an additional meal or two (the chicken pot pie and the pulled pork will feed at least 6). I tried to make sure I had a good variety of meals, with different proteins, and avoided duplicates so we wouldn’t get bored!

I planned out the meals I wanted, made a comprehensive grocery list, and spent $300 on groceries, not including the frozen chicken breasts I already had at home, as well as dried goods (like rice) and spices, and was able to complete the entire prep! This works out to $10/meal and $2.50/serving. While the BF had a mild heart attack at the total bill between Costco and Safeway before I began this prep, once I did this math, I felt much more relieved. For that entire month as we use these meals, the only groceries we will need to buy is fruit, vegetables, and milk! I generally spend around $125 per week on groceries, if not more, so this is much more economical. Each of the recipes below I split into two meal portions.

It’s also important to note that I own a FoodSaver vacuum sealer – this thing is the best gift my father has ever given me. Not only can I freeze any and everything from soups, to whole chickens, to burger patties, it also is a fantastic method to marinate food for a couple of hours before cooking and getting all that flavor that normally takes an overnight process. I used the sealer for most of my meals, with the exception of 10 square tins and 2 pie tins that I bought at the dollar store, for a whole $12. You can definitely still do this prep with freezer Ziploc bags, I just prefer the vacuum sealer because there is no chance of leaking or spoiling. I also lay these bags flat to freeze, and they now can stand up straight and use up minimal space in the deep freeze.

While I don’t follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, I am sure that any of these recipes could be adapted to suit your own needs! All links to recipes are provided. Full grocery list provided as well!

Recipes

Items with a * can be cooked in the crockpot

Poultry

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken, Broccoli, Potato, & Bacon Bake

Turkey Chili*

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole*

Chicken Ravioli Lasagna

Beef

Goulash*

Stroganoff

Sweet & Sour Meatballs*

Slow Cooker Pizza*

Spaghetti Bolognese sauce*

Lasagna

Taco Bake

Pork

Smothered Pork Chops*

Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork*

Grocery List

Meat (I purchased all my meat in bulk at Costco, it was the most cost-efficient)

12 chicken breasts

6 lbs. lean ground beef/ground turkey (I did 5 beef and 1 turkey)

2 lbs. beef stewing cubes

4-6 pork chops

2 lbs. pork tenderloin

1/3 c. cooked crumbled bacon (I use the pre-cooked bacon bits from Costco)

1 pound Italian sausage (I omitted this)

Dairy

1 ½ c. grated parmesan cheese (I use Kraft dried parmesan)

12 c. shredded cheese

⅓ c. + 2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 c. milk

½ c. heavy cream

1 c. light sour cream

1 c. ricotta cheese

Canned goods

4 cans tomato sauce

2 small cans tomato paste

3 c. chicken broth

6 c. diced tomatoes

2 cans corn niblets

1 can white navy beans

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

4 cans cream of chicken soup

3 jars pasta sauce (of choice)

1 – 14 oz. can pizza sauce

Dry Goods

12 cups (cooked) rice

1 onion soup mix

1 pork gravy mix

1 package taco seasoning mix

1½ c. dry macaroni noodles

Spices

Oregano

All-purpose flour

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Minced garlic

Cumin

Parsley

Onion powder

Paprika

Bay leaves

Beef bouillon powder

Chicken bouillon powder

White sugar

Brown sugar

Cornstarch

White vinegar

Soya sauce

Italian seasoning

Chili powder

Cayenne pepper

Veggies

4 onions

1 bunch celery

5 red potatoes

6 heads of broccoli

7 large carrots

1 green pepper

Frozen Goods

1 bag frozen peas

1 package frozen ravioli of choice (I used fresh chicken and cheese ravioli)

1 package frozen meatballs

Miscellaneous

4 unbaked pie crusts (I used 2 packages of Pillsbury pie crusts, each comes with 2)

15 no-boil lasagna noodles

 

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