Freezer meals are a busy frugal family’s lifesaver on busy nights! Once you’ve made them up, they’re super simple to make and so much cheaper than take out. Just pull a freezer meal out and reheat it. No need to slave over a hot stove or drop a small fortune on dinner.
Not everyone is a fan of freezer meals, though, for several different reasons. Many people encounter various problems with freezer meals. Those new to freezer meals are most likely to encounter these problems and may give up on freezer meals altogether before they’re able to take advantage of the many benefits of freezer cooking. Even freezer cooking novices have problems from time to time. At times, it can be frustrating enough to just give up!
Newbie or novice, do any of these problems with freezer meals sound familiar to you?
I don’t have enough space in my freezer.
Huge freezers with space to store months worth of freezer meals is a nice thought, but it’s not reality for most people. Limited freezer space doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t benefit from freezer meals, though. Just make a week’s worth of freezer meals instead of a month’s worth.
Freezer meals take too much time.
Putting together tons of freezer meals can take a great deal of time, but it doesn’t have to. A spare hour or two is usually all the time you need to throw together a few freezer meals. If you’re really strapped for time, you can also make a double batch of your favorite dinners; cook one and freeze the other.
I don’t have enough dishes to store freezer meals.
A limited number of casserole dishes is an often cited excuse to avoid freezer meals. I never keep freezer meals in casserole dishes, though, so all of my dishes are free when I need them. You can freeze most freezer meals in resealable freezer bags. You can also retain the shape of some freezer meals, particularly lasagna, by lining a dish with foil, assembling the dish, and removing the frozen food after it has been frozen. The frozen lasagna can easily be lifted out of the pan and stored in a large freezer bag.
Freezer burn ruins my freezer meals.
Freezer burn is caused by oxidation and evaporation of moisture from the food. To prevent freezer burn on your freezer meals, use freezer bags and containers, which are made from thicker plastic with vapor barriers. Make sure you also remove as much air as possible from freezer bags and fill containers nearly full, so food has just enough room to expand. Remember, freezer burnt food is still usually safe to eat, but you may want to remove the dry sections for quality.
I don’t like the taste of freezer meals.
Do freezer meals taste like glorified leftovers to you? Try freezing meal portions instead and placing them together for easy assembly. For instance, instead of freezing beef stew, freeze cooked beef cubes, sauteed vegetables, and rolls in separate small freezer bags and corral them all in a large freezer bag. Most of the prep work is already done, so you can just assemble your ingredients and cook.