Thursday, July 3, 2014

Twenty Meals in One Afternoon

Yesterday, I spent 4.5 hours shopping and prepping 20 freezer to crockpot meals!  It was quite a wonderful day and worth the work as I look in the two freezers each with 10 meals ready to go into the crockpot!

I found recipes I liked and tweaked them to work with the required needs of my family!  The needs are many since I am feeding a range of young people from 2 - 13 and a husband who does not like onions, yikes!
10 Meals Ready to Travel!

The first thing I do to get ready for a day like this is find a list of 20 recipes.  I look for recipes that share common ingredients or can be easily doubled.  I have found that doubling the recipes is a great way to get more meals with less work!  I then run the recipes by my friend (since we normally do the meals together) and get her opinion.  I have always felt that two opinions are better than one.  I would ask my husband what he wants, but I know him well enough to know what he will and will not eat.  

Second, I label the bags.  This gives the marker plenty of time to dry so it won't wipe off in the process.

Then, I write out the shopping list.  It is always a bit different from the recipes as I change the recipes slightly for my family members.  I organize the list by category.  The categories are generally meat, produce, canned, dairy, pantry, and other.

Then the shopping.  I do the shopping on the same morning as I will do the prepping.  This way I do not have large amounts of "stuff" in my kitchen (that I really do not have room for).  I shop at two stores in the area in an effort to save some money.  20 meals in one day can become pricey if you are not pinching pennies!

Most of the ingredients lined up and ready to go!

Once home, I organize the ingredients on the table and begin the work.  I have ready many posts that provide tips for making this faster (like cut all veggies first, open all canned goods second, etc.).  I have found that I like to brown the meat (if necessary) first.  Otherwise, I put together meals two at a time.  I like to double each recipe to get two meals.

Working on two meals at a time.  Notice the two bags in the red bowl on the right.

Then I work.  Today was a great day.  Keep watching for the recipes and shopping list I used.  I should be posting two a day.  When all posted I will post a full list with a complete shopping list.

Happy prepping!

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