Freezer staples are so essential to maintaining a frugal lifestyle in the kitchen. Without simple foods on hand to use in a pinch both in the freezer and in the pantry, grabbing some sort of convenience meal or just heading out for dinner is often the result. Like freezer meals, freezer staples are a way to get a meal on the table fast!
There are certainly a time and a place for convenience meals or taking the family out to eat if your budget allows, but doing this when it wasn’t planned and when your budget doesn’t allow is something that won’t serve your budget well.
I have previously shared about the pantry staples I have on hand. Together these two best kept secrets are an amazing addition to maintaining a frugal kitchen.
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Freezer meals are also a frugal girl’s best friend. You can read more about freezer cooking for meals in How to Put That Freezer to Work, but for our purposes here, I am simply referring to having some meal components in your freezer that will make the actual meal prep go much easier. A meal swap is also an awesome way to stock your freezer with complete meals. If you’ve not done that, I highly recommend reading more about that in Have You Discovered the Beauty of a Meal Swap?
I find it essential to have the things I’m about to share with you on hand when we are coming into a busy season of activities, which for us is in the summer, or when we are going to be having a baby.
These freezer staples are all easy to prepare, and at first I wondered how much of a difference having these basic things made ahead of time would make, but it really is a huge load off dinner prep to have these things on hand.
If you’ve never tried having freezer staples on hand, you really must give it a try. Doing so is both a frugal gal and a busy gal’s best friend!
Here are a list of the freezer staples you will always find in my freezer!
- browned ground hamburger or turkey in portions that you will need for recipes
- I take this one step further and also make some with taco seasonings in it. By the way, you can make taco seasoning on your own, too
- I also brown some hamburger and throw it in spaghetti sauce and then freeze. This is how my family likes spaghetti sauce
- shredded chicken as I mentioned in my post It’s Chicken Day when I shared how I process up to 80 pounds of chicken when it is at a stock up price for me. Again, portion in the serving size you would need for recipes after you cook and shred it
- I also take this one step further and put some taco seasoning in for chicken tacos
- grilled chicken as I mentioned in It’s Chicken Day.
- twice baked potatoes. I will share my recipe in the next couple of days
- beans: kidney beans, black beans, refried beans, pinto beans
I do also keep some breakfast items in my freezer. They include:
It is amazing what having these staples in your freezer will do to lighten your load on busy days whether planned or unplanned.
In addition to freezer staples, having freezer meals on your hand is a life saver.
I will admit that I was hesitant to the idea of freezer cooking. I wondered how cooking to stock my freezer would ever end up saving me time or stress.
I refused to even think about it, but all my frugal friends kept working on me. So, I looked into it
What I found was this amazing program called My Freez Easy. Not only did it teach me how to stock my freezer in next to no time, but it also has all of the best tasting recipes and even the shopping list to go along with all of the meals I make all included as part of the program.
In less than two hours, I had a freezer full of meals that kept me out of the drive-thru and helped me get a meal on the table in minutes in the midst of my busiest days.
Looking for more on having a frugal kitchen? You can read some amazing tips in How to Be Frugal in the Kitchen. 15 Frugal Tips For Feeding a Large Family, 15 More Tips For Feeding a Large Family, and 15 Essential Tips That Feed My Family of 8 For $250 a Month are all also amazing reads.