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Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

I’ve had a fairly productive Friday morning, I think! How about you? I’ve cooked, prepped, labeled items, cleaned, and now I’m working on the never ending laundry piles!

This week at Marsh Supermarkets, they had chicken on sale for $1.87/lb. Of course, as a savvy shopper, I picked up several packages of this chicken at the nearly rock bottom price. I also have an order for pick up in April for just $1.79/lb with Zaycon Chicken. On Wednesday, I made a crockpot meal with rice and green beans that wasn’t very flavorful but the kids did eat the chicken. Everyone just dumped ketchup or barbecue sauce on it to suit their own needs!

I still had a couple of packages left. I decided to go ahead and put a few more pounds in the slow cooker to cut up and freeze cooked for easy meals. I still had a complete package. I just purchased Fix, Freeze, Feast and browsed through it to see if there was a recipe that we had ingredients on hand and that wouldn’t make my kids cry!  Bingo, there was a recipe and it was items from the pantry that we needed to use anyway!

This morning, I prepped, chopped, and mixed for the Pecan-Crusted Chicken Strips in the book. The recipe calls for honey, brown mustard, olive oil (which I now realize I completely forgot to add), salt, pepper, garlic and chicken. Then in a separate bag you put in the panko breadcrumbs and the finely ground pecans. When I unthaw this, I’m going to have to remember to add a little olive oil to each package! oops!

IMG 5318 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

These condensed down to three gallon freezer bags very nicely in my freezer. This should work out to the main dish of three meals for my four meat eaters.

IMG 5325 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

This only took about 20 minutes to prepare and should save me 20-30 minutes each night that I cook these meals as I won’t have to do all of this preparation!

I have chicken in the crockpot….

IMG 5323 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

I cooked around 3 pounds of ground sausage to use tonight for calzones as well as freezing the remainder in smaller portions for easy pizza nights, to add to spaghetti sauce, and many other ideas. The kids actually like it when I use the sausage for tacos…weirdos! It happened accidentally once and they thought it was the best!

IMG 5322 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

I cleaned out the fridge and freezer. Threw out the items that were expired or starting to look nasty. I came across this pizza crust that had exploded. The best by date was Feb 3, 2013 but I’ve never had that happen like that before. Bummer….but luckily, I had purchased two so it won’t affect tonight’s dinner.IMG 5319 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

I labeled some of the items I had cooked in bulk and put in freezer in January that I didn’t want to forget what it was! I really like to flat freeze in freezer bags instead of using containers but I’m all out of quart bags right now. We have spicy vegetarian chili, lentil loaf, black beans, vegetable broth, taco meat, and a spicy pepper mixture. All labeled now!

IMG 5324 Productive Frugal Friday: Bulk Cooking, Cleaning, Freezer Meal Preparations

I also pulled out a banana bread that my mother-in-law gave us for the holidays that we knew we wouldn’t be able to use right away. I’m thawing that out and I know the kids will eat it right up, probably after school.

I really want to do some additional freezer cooking with the Fix, Freeze, Feast cook book. It has really good recommendations. I also have been using Jessica Fisher’s Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. We’ve had success with adapting the vegetarian chili. I made the cinnamon braid and the kids ate it but I don’t think it had enough cinnamon. It needed something extra…maybe I missed an ingredient again.

I know freezer cooking, bulk cooking, and slow cooking is going to be a must this spring! We have a upcoming crazy spring with High School Tennis and rec soccer, middle school track, baseball, and golf! Oh my, it’s going to be busy! I love being busy but it also means we slack on cooking at home. If I can get some meals in the freezer, we won’t have a reason to grab fast food on our way home. I’m sure many of you can relate!

Now, I’m off to finish up that mega laundry situation we have going on here!

Have a great Friday!

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