{ Cooking from the freezer and pantry }

5:17 PM

January 19, 2021 

I love meal planning, it's something I have done since before I was married, when I would help my stepmom plan our meals. 
I took that into my marriage because I realized just how helpful it was, not only in taking away the pressure of figuring out what to cook when you're already running late, but it was a must for keeping the food budget on track.

To be honest, I don't think I could cook without it, I mean, ok that's not completely true, if I absolutely had to, I would, but I'm so used to it that it would throw my days off.

So, last week I brought out my slow cooker and planned all my meals using it.  Now it's time to work on the new two week meal plan, and this time I'm cooking from the freezer and pantry.

January 19, 2021 

I find that when I do that, I use up what I already have on hand, I end up not having to throw things out because they've gone bad, and I also save on the grocery budget.
I think we all like saving money, but it's easier to just go out and buy everything in one go because planning takes time and effort.  So many times, we forget we already have things in the pantry, in the freezer and the fridge.  Essentially we are throwing away money when we don't use what we already have.
Yes, it takes planning, yes you need to look through everything and make a list.  Yes, we don't always have time to do that, but I promise you if you just make some time, you'll be so glad you did.

How many times have you bought something at the store, only to come home and see that you already have 2 in the pantry?  *raises hand unashamedly* 

I've done it quite a few times, and usually when I'm having a busier month and not really taking time to check before heading to the store.

January 19, 2021 

I looked through my pantry today, and made a list of what I had, that I could use for upcoming meals. 
One thing I noticed right away is that it needs organizing and cleaning.....AGAIN!!!
I can't possibly be the only one with at family that goes in to get something, and never seems to put it back where it belongs, or makes a total mess in there.  Goodness!!
Anyway, looking through the canned goods and bottled goods, I can see that I have some spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and a few other things.  I can certainly work them into the meals I will be making.

January 19, 2021 

Now, let's look into the freezer, and right off the bat I can see that we have some lunch options with the chicken bites and chicken patties.
There are also some burritos too, so along with leftovers or a sandwich here and there, lunches are taken care of.
 January 19, 2021 
I have a few veggies, which is great for side dishes, or shepherd's pie, chicken pot pie or something like that.
 January 19, 2021 
Those two brown packages are from the butcher, and that is a pound of chicken breasts and a pound of cubed steak.  I also see a package of chicken thighs, a package of chicken tenders and a ziploc with chicken breasts too.  Hashbrowns, mozzarella sticks and some hashbrowns.  We will work all that into the new meal plan.  

I also spot a package of frozen meatballs.  You guys I always have these in the freezer, they are really cheap and great for easy meals like meatballs and spaghetti, meatball subs, Ikea meatballs and so forth.

January 19, 2021 

Now looking into my deep chest freezer.......Last grocery shop I did, they had pork sausage on sale for 99c, so I grabbed 4 packs for the freezer. 
So glad I did cause those will now be used for meals too. There are more frozen veggies and some yogurt, cool whip etc.
There are another 2 packages of chicken tenderloins and one pound of ground beef.  
Friends, I need to desperately clean out my freezers, what a mess is in there.  I like things neat and organized and right now it looks like a small tornado whipped through.

January 19, 2021

So apparently I have another 2 packages of frozen meatballs *face palm*
There's shredded cheese, so I don't need to buy any, some burger buns which can be used for the chicken patties, for lunch, and I also see a container of sour cream.

January 19, 2021

3 gallons of milk, a box of fish sticks, frozen tuna steaks,  there is half a loaf of cranberry chocolate chip bread and there are two boxes of egg beaters.  (I've never used egg beaters, but these were given to us by my brother and sister in law, so I'll figure out something to make with them)

So that is basically what I have laying around in my freezers and pantry.  
I sat down and in just a few minutes, I quickly made up the menu for the next two weeks, so let me share with you the meals  we will be having.  Keep in mind that my weeks start on Friday's when I do the grocery shopping.

Friday - January 22, 2021
Crockpot Nachos

Saturday - January 23, 2021
Sausage and Broccoli Pasta, Roasted Brussells Sprouts

Sunday - January 24th, 2021
Oven Chili Dogs, Curly Fries

Monday - January 25th, 2021
Chicken and Dumplings

Tuesday - January 26th, 2021
Meatballs and Spaghetti, Mixed Veggies

Wednesday - January 27th, 2021
Impossibly Easy Sausage and Bacon Pie, Fried Cabbage

Thursday - January 28th, 2021
Turkey Pot Pie, Creamed Peas

Friday - January 29th, 2021
Teriyaki Steak, Noodles with Stir Fry Vegetables

Saturday - January 30th, 2021
Chicken Strogonoff, Rice, Beans

Sunday - January 31st, 2021
Grilled Tuna Steaks, Garlic Butter Potatoes, Sauteed Squash

Monday - February 1st, 2021
Breaded Ranch Thighs, Macaroni Pasta

Tuesday - February 2nd, 2021
Curry Chicken and Chickpeas, Rice

Wednesday - February 3rd, 2021
Ikea Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Spinach

Thursday - February 4th, 2021
Feijoada, Rice

This all means that my grocery list this week, is going to be pretty small.  Mainly fresh veggies, coffee, creamer and things of that sort.

It feels so good to cut back on the food budget, even if just one time, every cent counts right?

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  1. I'm also a meal planner - been doing it since I was married. I keep a little calendar with my meals on which is helpful to look back at for ideas. And, I too need to sort out my freezer and do some meals from there. Good for you for the sorting and planning!

  2. Loved reading this. I'm new to meal planning...always tried to and then fell off after a couple of weeks, but I'm doing much better this time. It really does help cut down on grocery bills when you know what you already have to work with.

  3. I meal plan every week and make my grocery list from what we already have on hand. It saves so much money. I enjoyed your post :)


  4. São Sebastião, livrai_me desta peste que se abateu sobre a humanidade. Livrai_me e livrai minha filha, minha família e toda a terra. Amém!

  5. I do that too. Use up what we have!

  6. I love shelf and pantry cooking. People do not realize how much money you can save by doing this and coming up with your own meals. I love to watch Jordan Page on YouTube. She has tons of videos on shelf cooking, meal panning etc.


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