Our garage freezer was almost empty 2 weeks ago. I decided to challenge myself to see if I could slowly fill it up — on our $70/week grocery budget.
This is one way you can save SO much money. Buy ahead when things are on a low, low price and you’ll rarely ever pay full price for anything. Then, use what you already have on hand in the freezer/fridge/pantry as the basis for your meals and freezer cooking.
I did an impromptu freezer cooking day on Tuesday and here’s what I made (well, “freezer cooking day” might be a bit of an overstatement since I actually only spent a little over two hours on this cooking and the clean up! But hey, “freezer cooking day” sounds better so we’ll go with it!)
We had a bunch of peppers and some onions that I had gotten marked down, so I combined them with some sausage I had gotten for $1.99 per package plus a little celery I had left in the fridge to make sausage and peppers in the Crock-pot. I cooked this on low most of the day. We ate half for dinner (served over rice) and I froze the rest for another day.
I had a bunch of apples that I’d gotten marked down at Kroger over the past few weeks and turned them into one of our favorite recipes — Slab Apple Pie! I baked it and we froze it to have on hand for quick desserts in the next two months when hosting guests!
I had enough apples left over to make a bag of Apple Pie Filling (sliced apples with lemon juice and cinnamon/sugar).
I used some marked down bananas I had gotten recently and stuck in the freezer to make some amazing Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
I used our favorite Banana Bread recipe and just added some chocolate chips to the batter. My kids love these in their lunches and they also make great snacks. We store them in the freezer and then just pull them out as we need them!
We had some cream cheese that needed to be used up and some blueberries in the freezer, so I searched online for recipe ideas and found this one.
I taste-tested one and it was delicious! I stuck these in a freezer bag and put them in freezer fit quick snacks!
The Final Results of My Freezer Cooking Day:
And I did a little bit more freezer cooking on Thursday and Friday, too…
We had frozen cottage cheese and browned sausage I had gotten marked down + pasta sauce in the fridge that needed to be used up and pasta I’d gotten for $0.49/box, so I found a deal on mozzarella cheese and made 3 pans of Ziti. One for dinner that night and two for the freezer.
I found ground turkey marked down to $1.99 per pound, so I bought 2 pounds and browned them with homemade taco seasoning and stuck two bags of taco meat in the freezer.
It makes me so happy to see that our garage freezer is starting to fill up a little bit! I’m going to keep challenging myself to add more deals and freezer meals to our garage freezer every week without spending more than our $70 grocery budget.
We’ll see how long it takes to fill it up! (And of course, we’ll be eating some what’s in this freezer every week, upping the challenge even more!)
I love looking at saving money as a fun challenge! This makes my competitive side come out in a good way AND (in our super lean years) it kept me from feeling trapped!
Instead of saying, “Ugh! This is all the $$ we have to spend!” Change your perspective and say, “How well can we do on this small amount?!”
Have you done any freezer cooking recently? What are your favorite recipes to stick in the freezer? Any suggestions on recipes I should try soon?