The best discovery of 2019 has been…drumroooooooollllllllll please….crockpot freezer meals! Hands down, the bomb.
Crockpot freezer meals have been a game changer for us. Talking about them gets me all sorts of pumped up because they’ve had that much of an impact on us. And now, I'm here to share all their glory with you. Crockpot freezer meals continue to save us:
We started using them at the beginning of the year because we were tired of how much of our evenings were spent in the kitchen. We were either spending 2 hours cooking a freaking 5 star buffet or living off of cheese, olives, and pesto.
Don't get me wrong, we LOOOVVEE the kitchen. Scott is a ridiculously great cook but to spend 2 hours cooking and 30 minutes actually eating is....Blah. Plus, we'd put in a hard day's work, making decisions and moving our business forward, the last thing we wanted to do was try to come up with something great to eat.
So we jumped on the crockpot freezer meal bandwagon and bam. We were sold the first night. Two things came to mind asap: 1. Why in the heck did we not start sooner? And 2. Everyone needs to try these!
Crockpot freezer meals have given us back our evenings and are so darn convenient that I just want everyone to know. Obviously I'm obsessed, but if you haven’t tried them yet, please, take this as your sign and try them for yourself!
*Also, can we take a second and agree that one time use plastic baggies are probably not the most sustainable thing for our precious planet. That's why Scott and I have reusable storage bags like these on our radar for our next meal prep batch. A friend recommended these specific ones (we have not tried them yet) and I also found this blog helpful for additional options. Take a look for yourself!*
What is a crockpot freezer meal?
Crockpot freezer meals are meals that you prepare beforehand in gallon Ziploc freezer bags and then stay good up to 3 months. To cook, you just take out a meal the night before, put it in the crockpot for 4-8 hours in the morning and boom, you have a delicious supper ready without having to do any work!
Usually, you create a whole batch of freezer meals to maximize your time and save you money. You buy all the groceries, spend 2-3 hours preparing the different meals, and by the end you have 10-20 meals waiting in the freezer!
Why you should try them.
Time, money, and decision making. Crockpot freezer meals save you all three of these. Plus, they're delicious!
The main reason you should try them is because of how much time they save you. You put in the time up front buying groceries (maybe an hour) and then prepping the different meals (2-3 hours) but after you’ve done that, you’re in the clear. We used to spend 1-2 hours each night creating something spectacular and now we just open the crockpot and eat.
Let's talk about money! For all you grocery budgeters out there (me, me!) you'll appreciate this one. Because you're creating bulk meals and know the EXACT ingredients you need, you'll save yourself a bunch of money by making crockpot freezer meals.
Finally, and definitely my favorite reason for making crockpot freezer meals, is that we no longer have to spend time deciding what to make. Be the time we are home for work, decision fatigue is at full force. We're ready to enjoy the night and thinking about what to eat and then cooking it can be a pain. Spaghetti? Tacos? Chickpea burgers? I don't freaking care, I just want to sit down with Scott and play some cards.
I didn't realize how much time and energy we were spending trying to decide what to make, but now we just pull something out the night before and don't even think twice! Goodbye decision fatigue, hello fun evenings doing the things we actually want to do.
With all the extra time and lack of decision making, we feel like we've gotten our time and evenings back. I'm all about intentional living and crockpot freezer meals have made that a reality. We get more time for our hobbies, more time playing games, more time reading or watching a show, and mostly more time to be together with no distractions.
Who should try crockpot freezer meals?
Everyone! I only have experience as a couple with no kids but I have to imagine they’d be particularly great for a family always on the go. I know how much easier they've made our lives and how much time we save, I’m guessing it would be the same or even more for someone with kids.
And if you don’t have kids or a partner, they’re for you too! Hello…..saving time anyone? And saving money? It’s a no brainer to me.
Where to Start
Do a quick Google search and you’ll see there are crockpot freezer meal recipe options up the wah-zoo. Our go-to is The Family Freezer. I started my crockpot freezer meal journey by signing up for their free Cookbook eBook. It includes 31 freezer recipes (not just crockpot meals), pictures, a grocery list, nutritional facts, labels, and suggested sides. I use their free resources but they do have an eBook for sale that is very popular.
Scott recently found a blog post by The Family Freezer with 31 vegetarian crockpot freezer recipes. It’s not in a nice clean eBook format, rather links to other blogs, but we're going to dive into this one in April.
After a quick web search, here are some other options I’m finding but have not tried for myself:
Here are a few examples:
So, what does a crockpot freezer meal look like? Here are 5 recipes, we've made and both really enjoyed!
A few final words:
Make sure you have room in your freezer.
These aarreee freezer meals after all. It seems obvious but the freezer meals surprisingly take up more room than you'd think. Start with a number you know will fit for sure and you can always make more the next time.
Double your recipes.
Our first time doing crockpot freezer meals, we did 20 different recipes. It worked out, but it took us for-ev-er, making a different recipe for each meal. The second time we chose 7 recipes and doubled each meal. We still made a total of 14 meals and cut our prep time by more than half.
Plan out your grocery list.
Because you're dealing with so many different recipes, you'll want to make sure you have a detailed list of all the groceries you need. Find a way that works for you but I found it easiest to take my recipes and group all the same ingredients together and then I headed to the store with my bulk grocery list in hand.
You might need a side dish.
Some of the meals have enough food for an entire meal but for most you'll probably want a side dish. We generally had a salad and then a vegetable or rice on the side to bulk it up a bit. Adding a side generally gives us leftovers for the next day.
Find a friend.
I highly recommend finding a friend who you can prep the meals with. 1. It will make things go faster and 2. You'll have loads of fun!
Do all the meat at once.
This was just something that worked more conveniently for us but after prepping our first few meals completing one at a time, we found it was easiest to have someone just stay on meat duty for the entirety. Scott cut up all the meat for each of the meals and then when he finished all of them was able to wash and clean the meat station and then he continued to help me with veggies and spices for the rest of the meals.
Keep track of changes!
We keep track of the meals we love, the ones we don't have to make again, and any changes in between.
Boom shocka, there you have it, my rant and total appreciation for all things crockpot freezer meals. If we were to meet in person I’m 100% certain this would come up, we love them that much. Now go start making your own meals and let me know what you think below!
Also, I’d love to hear what YOU’D like to see more of on the blog. I love this little space and community and feel so lucky that I get to share a bit of my world with you and want to make sure you’re getting something that you want! Let me know in a comment below!
Rock it don’t sock it.
Hey, did ya like this post? I think you’d enjoy this one about having a hobby, this one 3 reasons I knew it was time to quit my job to travel, and What the heck I actually do.