This month my focus is on building my 90 day supply of food, with freezer meals!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freezer Cooking - Smoothies -

It really bothers me that I have so many vegetables in our food storage, but hardly any fruit, besides extremely processed stuff.
So, I picked up lots of strawberries on sale for $1 a pound, TONS of bananas and some blackberries too (also on sale $1 a 8 oz. container). Then I simply pureed the fruit. 3 cups of fruit per baggie should be enough to make 6 smoothies for the family.
I used banana for half of the fruit in each batch, then half blackberries/half strawberries for some, and then half bananas/half strawberries for the others. Out of about $16 worth of fruit I was able to get 24 bags of pre-pureed fruit. About $0.67 of fruit per batch of smoothies (or about 11 cents per serving), and now we have strawberries even on weeks when it's not on sale. Not a bad deal to me! :) I used freezer bags & have tested it since & they did well.
I was going to add yogurt, but I wasn't sure how well it would freeze & I have more than enough dry powdered milk to make yogurt if we were in a dire emergency.
Now to find other non-sugary ideas for fruit in our 90 day supply. :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How do you store your food? Part 3

This is a little more fun of an idea. We are trying to keep a 90 day supply of cereal in the house, but we can go thru a lot of cereal each week. And we would have a million random boxes of cereal all around. Then, a candy company in the same business complex by my husband's work in Nevada went under. And they were allowing people to come thru and take what they wanted. This was his idea, to use the candy dispensers for cereal! It's great having a home for them, and it eliminated a lot of clutter & mess, while allowing the kids to have a lot of options. About two boxes of cereal fit into each container.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last Minute Dinner

So last night is a perfect example of why I am determined to make more & more freezer meals. I've been busy getting ready for a craft fair next weekend, and realized about 3:00 that I had nothing for dinner.
So, I pulled out a frozen meatloaf (and just cooked it longer in the oven), and then thought about it, and grabbed some frozen veggies & made some stove top from our food storage. Then, to finish off the meal, I made defrosted some rolls and then lightly warmed them in the oven right before dinner.
5 minutes of work on a stressful day and we still had a really nice dinner too! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Freezer Cooking - Cookie Dough -

So pretty much every cookie dough seems to freeze well. So, I've been randomly making a double batch of cookies, and freezing half of it. I usually only use half the recommended amount of chocolate chips, so a double batch means that I use up a whole bag, but don't have a million cookies sitting around to tempt me. I freeze them in rolls. And having random chocolate cookies waiting for me on a bad day is so, so good.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Freezer Cooking - PB & J -

Mornings are hectic. I don't care if you have kids or not ... they are crazy! So, I ran across a good idea a while ago and it's really worked well.
Smuckers Uncrustables are $2.16 at our local Wal-Mart. And that's only 4 sandwiches, so $0.54 each, and with four kids now able to eat them for lunch, they wouldn't last long. So, I've started doing something else instead. Freezing a regular PB & J for them, which isn't technically cooking ... but it's still bulk preparation.
Just put a slight slathering of the peanut butter on both sides of the bread, and then the jelly in-between. Then freeze! When you place it in their lunch, it will completely defrost by lunch and the peanut butter stops the jelly from making the sandwich all soggy. I can fit 16 in the side compartment of the freezer, and it makes the mornings so much easier on the busy days. :)
Cost Breakdown: 1 loaf of bread ($1), 1/4 of a peanut butter jar ($0.25 - I buy mine at $1 each when they are on sale), 1/2 of freezer jam ($0.50 - or round abouts) - $1.75 for 10 sandwiches, or $0.175 each! That's about a $0.36 savings for each sandwich, or $1.44 each time that I feed my kids these for lunch ... yeah! :)
As a side note, I made homemade freezer jam for these & my son has been begging for them every day as a result!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Freezer Cooking - Corn Dog Muffins -

This week I wanted to focus on building up my lunch items. It's easy to make something for the kids for lunch, and then to double-triple-or even quadruple the recipe (or in this particular case, 8). It looked funny in the picture, but I thought the kids might like it, and it would be a lot cheaper than buying corn dogs for the kids.

When I buy corn dogs, it comes out to be about $1.16 per lunch. And I had all the ingredients on-hand already. So, we decided to try these corn dog muffins.

Here's the cost break down: $0.59 for eggs (purchased at $0.88 a dozen for Easter), $4 for jiffy mix (bought at $0.50 a box at the case lot sale), $1.76 for hot dogs (2 packages), and I have absolutely no idea what the milk cost (I used the pre-mixed food storage milk). So, around $6.35 for about 15 lunches. Or $0.42 a lunch, versus $1.16 a lunch buying the pre-made corn dogs. It would have cost $17.50 for just as many of the pre-made corn dogs in the freezer.

$11.15 in savings may not seem like much, but those kind of savings really add up. And my son told me they were super yummy ... definitely not my kind of lunch preference, but they like it. :) And it's a nice mix up from the mac n' cheese or pb&j lunches they normally get.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How do you store your food? Part 2

I already posted how I like buckets. It seems like a larger amount of money at first, but it's almost the exact same cost as the #10 cans, but it's a one time only cost. But, as we've been collecting more and more buckets, we realized we needed to be creative with our storage ideas. We lived in a 1400 sq. ft. home in Vegas. And my daughter's bed was tall enough to put buckets underneath (we were able to fit 18). And then we decided we need to come up with more ideas. Our bedroom needed some end tables, so we placed them four on the bottom & four on top. It made a nice side table height. Then my husband measured across & made a square top. We were worried about the kids being able to play with them, so we put wood all along to create a box top. It was around $40 for the wood for both tops. Then we staple gunned the fabric around to create a pleated look with some decorator fabric I got for $3 a yard at Home Fabric in Henderson (I really, really, really miss that fabric store).
In our new home we've placed those as side tables in the baby's room (they won't fit in the tiny bedroom we're using now). Between the two side tables it gave a home for 16 more buckets. Now that we've been filling more buckets, we're trying to come up with another idea for creative storage again.