Planning a Freezer Cooking Day: #2 Setting a Budget

by Katie on January 26, 2012

This week we are talking about setting a freezer cooking budget! The amount will be different for all of us depending on our situations and family sizes.  The important thing is that we are conscious of what we have to spend and try to stretch our dollars the farthest that we can!

When I have a well planned freezer cooking day I’m often surprised at just how far my money can stretch.  But sometimes I get short on time and wing it.  And let me just get this out in the open…me + winging things = disaster.  Each and every time I wing it I am surprised at just how far my money does NOT go, not to mention the added stress of trying to get things together.

As you can see, I find setting a budget to be a crucial step when freezer cooking.

Determining Your Budget

The first thing you need to determine is if you are going to freezer cook from your grocery budget or take out extra money.

I do all of my freezer cooking from my grocery budget.

I have a grocery budget of $40 a week, that I take out in $80 increments biweekly.  Taking it out biweekly gives me a little more flexibility to freezer cook.  I may use $60 one week for regular things and freezer cooking items, then the following week I make do with the $20 I have left.  To me it’s worth it because I have a lot of freezer meals in my freezer.

Freezer cooking is always going to cost some up front money. 

While it costs some money to make the meals, don’t get frustrated…you will end up saving that money in the future because you can pull a nice meal out of the freezer for “free” because you paid for it when you freezer cooked. (Now how’s that for a run on sentence?)

On the other hand some people may have a small budget set just for freezer cooking.  You just have to determine what works for you and go with it…there is no wrong way to do it!

Penny Pinching Ideas

If money is tight here are some ideas that may help you.

1. Set a little money aside each week/month for a future cooking day
Even if it’s just saving dollar bills and change. It will add up!

2. Try to save a little each week out of your grocery budget for a future cooking day.
Last year I saved $747.29 just from extra grocery money and a little spare change.  It all adds up quickly!

3. Double or Triple a meal
This is the quickest way to start freezer cooking if the budget is tight. It doesn’t cost much more to cook up an extra pound of taco meat for the freezer. Start doing this once a week and before long you will have a nice stash of freezer meals.

 Okay, calling all freezer cookers!  What are your tips for staying on budget?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracey January 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

These are great ideas for making freezer cooking more economical!

In this season of life, I tend to do freezer cooking in small sessions. For example, I’ll cook a whole bag of dried kidney beans, use some for chili that night, and freeze the rest in zip-top bags for later meals. I just made a big batch of chicken broth and put it in glass jars in the freezer.

I’d like to do more with preparing entire entrees to have in the freezer, but right now it’s full of venison from hubby’s successful hunting season, so I’ll have to wait until we eat some of that up and I have a bit more room.

Hope you have a great day!


Katie January 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for your input, Tracey! I love freezing whole meals, but I find freezing things like beans and chicken broth are soooo helpful to have on hand. Good luck eating up the venison :)


Debra @ September Acres February 2, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Great ideas. I don’t do much freezer cooking but I want to do more so this helps me alot. Thanks!


Katie February 3, 2012 at 7:21 am

Thanks for stopping by, Debra! Good luck as you begin freezer cooking more :)


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