Save Time and Money on Meat

by Katie on February 26, 2010

As I was going through my grocery money this week I noticed that I had quite a bit of money left over, $80 to be exact and I get more money on Friday. I decided that with the sales going on I need to set aside some time to freezer cook this week. I have been doubling, tripling, and quadrupling occasional meals, but not too often.

I first talked about how I freezer cook here, but I thought I would take you on a step by step journey. It really saves me a ton of time and money in the long run.

First, I try to be flexible and cook what is on sale. Meaning, if I see ground beef on sale I plan on making meatloaves, meatballs, hamburger patties…and so on. This week boneless chicken breasts are on sale for $1.68/lb. at Kroger, which is an awesome deal. I also picked up some bone-in chicken breasts which were on sale last week.

Second, I go through my cookbooks and write down some chicken recipes that I may want to make. I looked for recipes that were more just assembly since I don’t have a ton of time to devote this week. Sometimes I do a whole day, sometimes just a meal here or there. The important thing to remember is that you can do whatever works for you!

Thirdly, I look in my pantry to see if I have any of the ingredients already on hand. I had quite a bit of things already, so my shopping list is pretty short for this cooking day.

Final Recipe Cut:
Chicken Cacciatore (2 meals) (bone-in)
Pineapple Lemon Chicken (2 meals) (bone-in)
Orange Teriyaki Chicken (4 meals) (boneless)
Grilled Honey Lime Chicken (2 meals) (boneless)
Parmesan Garlic Chicken (3 meals) (boneless)
Barbecue Chicken (1 meal) (bone-in)
*I will share all the recipes here, if they turn out to be delicious…they are all new to me except for the orange teriyaki chicken.

It is so hard to narrow it down, but once you do you can get started on making a shopping list.

Shopping List:
10 Chicken Breasts, bone-in
18 Chicken Breasts, boneless
Garlic
Orange Juice Concentrate (1-6 oz. can)
Limes (1/2 cup juice)
Cilantro
Jalapeño Pepper
Crushed Pineapple (1-20 oz. can)
Lemon

I spent just under $30 for everything on my shopping list, and yielded 14 dinners of chicken.

I made up all my recipes in a few hours! Everything was assembly only, so no cooking. First I labeled all the freezer bags with the recipe name and date. This is a very important step…nobody likes mystery dinner. Then I started at the top of the list and assembled the recipes one by one.

As always, feel free to ask any questions…

Photo Credit: www.dvo.com

This post is linked to Frugal Friday’s at www.lifeasmom.com


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mom2fur February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

Grilled Lime Chicken is one of our favorites! The lime just makes the chicken so tender.
I would love the recipe for your pineapple lemon chicken. It sounds delicious!

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Tiffanee February 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Wow! Love the ideas. Your freezer is so organized. You should see my mess…it is a chest freezer and I have to stand on my head to see what is in there. Thanks for all the great ideas. Do you have those recipes posted?

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Katie February 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Mom2fur, I got the recipe for the pineapple chicken from the book, "Don't Panic More Dinner's in the Freezer". I haven't tried it out yet, but I will definitely share it on here.

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Katie February 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Tiffanee,I can't take credit for that organized freezer. I noted at the bottom of the post where I got it. While I try to keep mine organized, it doesn't look anywhere as good as that one.

I will be posting the recipes as soon as I try them if they are "blogworthy". Ha Ha!

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Sarah February 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for the great ideas, I need to buy some chicken!

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Kristen February 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I wish I lived close to someone like you. I think this would be a great thing to do as a group! You are so impressive!!

I'm going to have to borrow some of your freezer meal recipes.

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Katie February 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Kristen, It would be a great thing to do as a group. I have always wanted to set something like that up…it would make cooking that much more fun!! Too bad you are so far away!

Let me know if you try any freezer cooking…

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Anonymous March 15, 2010 at 1:34 am

I am anxious for your freezer recipes. I cook for 6-8 everyday and my backup helper (daughter-in-law) has baby # 4 and #5 due in July so their goes my help. It would be good to have frozen things to put in the oven and days I want to be gone. Linda

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