Freezer Pleasers

I’m still not quite adjusted to this new stay-at-home life, but bit by bit, I’m figuring out what works for me. For instance, I still get big ideas in the evening and the middle of the night and am starting to realize it’s OKAY to stay up late or get up early and go with the ideas when they come.

And I’m learning that Mondays and Tuesdays are lousy days to grocery shop! The stores are restocking on Mondays and I swear Tuesdays must be senior citizen day . . . not that I have anything against seniors, seeing as I will be AARP-eligible in a mere decade. But I like having the store basically to myself and that seems to best happen on Friday afternoons. That didn’t happen yesterday however, because I was hanging out at the local outlet mall with my dad (who is hands-down the absolute best shopper in the world!) And I abhor going to the grocery store on the weekends. So I did the next best thing and decided to go grocery shopping in my freezer, which meant the freezer also got a nice organizing makeover. (The big freezer downstairs is practically empty, thanks to the power outage we had a few weeks ago during the big winter storm).

I made a quick list on paper of all the items stuffed into my little upstairs freezer and planned a week or two’s worth of meals around that list: (most of this is leftover bits and pieces from previous meals that I stuff into Ziploc bags).

  • Pre-cooked ground meat – lasagne
  • Chicken breasts – I thawed, diced and cooked today, will use for chicken noodle soup.
  • Chicken parts, already cooked – great for chicken salad sandwiches
  • Sausage patties – breakfast for dinner, perfect with french toast from homemade bread
  • Bacon – oh man, I love my bacon! Mike’s been yammering for BLT’s so that will make an easy dinner some night after a day of spring cleaning (really, I did it last year and am already looking forward to clearing away some of winter’s accumulated dust bunnies)
  • Salmon – my favorite, and good thing, because there’s only a piece or two (Mike hates salmon – he’ll get fish sticks!)
  • Kielbassa – Hm, not sure. He liked it last week when I made it with pierogies and sauerkraut. Or maybe my mom’s famous quick spaghetti, with Velveeta cheese & canned tomatoes.
  • Pepperoni – no brainer here – gotta make some pepperoni rolls and those will be perfect to freeze for Mike’s lunches.
  • Shrimp – I’m thinking shrimp fried rice or something Oriental.
  • Meatloaf – will probably be hot meatloaf sandwiches for Mike some night when I’m out.

I already have the pasta, rice and veggies for most of these meals. That means I can get by with just a milk and fruit run this week. And Aldi’s has this fabulous frozen fruit that I’ve been using to make us smoothies almost every day (me for lunch, Mike for dessert). So woo-hoo – meal planning is done for another week or so and the grocery store successfully avoided!

How about you – any quick meal ideas for using up those odds and ends from your freezer?

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3 thoughts on “Freezer Pleasers

  1. My wish is to avoid grocery stores, too. Alas my freezer is in need of restocking. Thanks for the good meal ideas. Need to get recipe for pepperoni rolls from you. That sounds yummy. Good for you for saving time and money.

  2. Now, you know me, so you know that I love this post! This is something I really need to be better at. I have a side by side fridge, so the inside freezer holds a decent amount (a lot more than our old fridge with the small freezer on top). We have a small outside fridge… works great in the winter but struggles in the summer (it’s parked in the garage, and it gets about 120ΒΊ in there during the summer, hahaha!). Anyway, I tend to keep both pretty full. I’ve always read that they stay colder the more you have in there. Plus, I’m the ultimate “gatherer”. If there’s an empty space, I fill it, LOL!

    I have an idea in my head of what I have in the freezer, and I do try to use it more often than not. I keep certain things in there no matter what – frozen meat, bagged frozen veggies, extra waffles or pancakes I’ve made and frozen for Tim’s breakfast, etc. I won’t ever empty my freezer, but I do need to be better about using stuff up and then rotating in new stuff. I should really write a list.

    I do not seem to freeze cooked meats, though. Or at least not often. So I don’t have a lot of that in my freezer. I can see where it would be great to have on hand for quick meals though πŸ™‚

    Oh, and one thing I have been doing the last few months is cooking dried beans and bagging them in ziplocs. I’ve done black beans and pinto beans and plan to do great northern (white beans) soon. I buy a bag of dried, soak overnight, cook during the day, cool and bag. I get 3 quart ziploc bags, with about 2 cups cooked beans each, out of one, one pound bag of dried beans. It’s a lot more economical and I keep telling myself a lot healthier than buying canned beans. I still have canned in my pantry, though, being the gatherer that I am!

    I always have frozen bacon in my freezer too. I buy it at the warehouse club in a 3 pack and freeze it and take out one package at a time to use. I like having it available for sandwiches, loaded potatoes, breakfast for dinner, etc.

    I keep kielbasa (the turkey kind) for making a crockpot dish, 4 beans and sausage and also for loaded potatoes. We’ve been doing those a lot lately.

    I love salmon too, and keep it for me (Tim won’t eat it either). My plan with fish is that when Tim grills out meat, say a pork chop or chicken breast for him, I take out a frozen salmon fillet for me, and he grills that. That way I can eat healthier and he can eat his artery-clogging meat πŸ™‚

    I also would like to see the pepperoni rolls recipe! I have one that I make for football games, but it uses canned dough and you bake it in one long loaf. And hello, I never thought to freeze pepperoni, great idea!

    I have never tried freezing dough or cookie dough, but want to do that some time.

    OK, I’ll stop now. I could go on and on and on!!!

    Have a great day girlie girl!

  3. Great idea! I always feel like our freezer doesn’t hold much (and I have not been able to talk my husband into a separate freezer in the basement…yet), but when I really take stock of what’s in there and make a plan, we can eat from it for a good week or so.

    And yes, Tuesday is senior day. I always avoid the grocery store that day.

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