If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen that the last 2 months we have been freezer crock pot meal planning for 5 weeks at a time. There were so many questions on Instagram that I figured it was time to give you a look into how we do it. My plan is to share with you some in depth posts on how we do I do it all and also share some of our favorite recipes.
Right now we have 4 teenagers and 2 younger kiddos. 2 of them are working as an assistant gymnastic coaches, and 1 of them also works full time at a local farm. 4 of the kids also attend gymnastics classes 3 days a week, and we spend a couple days working out at the YMCA weekly. Between our very active lifestyle and how much these teenagers can eat we go through a TON of food. As I’m sure you can imagine! As if that weren’t enough we also have a bunch of things we have to do weekly, some of which are.
- Attend 5-7 hours of therapy a week.
- Have many misc doctors appointments every week.
- Homeschool our 6 kids (3 of which are special needs).
- The list could go on but you get the idea things are very busy around here.
By the time evening comes around I was really just to exhausted to make the nice dinners I could once make. So we were either making very simple dinners or we would just order out for the night.
I knew something needed to change but wasn’t sure how that was possible. Well, besides a fairy coming down every day and magically making dinner appear for us 😀 .
So we decided it was time to start making meals in advance for the month. Not only would we make meals for the month but also make them mostly crock pot ready. What could be easier then putting dinner in the crock pot in the morning and having everything ready in the evening.
Let me tell you it has been an absolute lifesaver for us!! The kids (well most of them) are very happy that we are able to eat nice dinners on days other then just the weekends. Also our budget is thanking me so much for not eating out as much.
Matter of fact my husband recently informed me that we have saved about $400 a month in eating out or misc extra store trips… WOW… This is such an incredible savings for us.
Now many people say, it seems like a lot of work to accomplish 5 weeks worth of meals in 1 weekend. I would have to say they are right. Just in the meal making part of it we spend about 5-6 hours making meals but that is it.
If you were to think about how much time each night you spend making dinner you will quickly realize how much of a time saver this really is. Not to mention all the dishes that only have to be washed once instead of at every meal.
How We Manage Meal Planning and Making For 5 Weeks?
We split the tasks of everything up over a little more then a weeks period of time and it helps everything go smoothly and not seem overwhelming. Here is a look at what that time period looks like.
- On a Saturday I do the crock pot meal planning for the month.
- On Sunday I take the menu’s and make them into our shopping lists In this post we did most of our shopping at Sam’s Club and Walmart, we now do almost all of our shopping at Costco. We have changed stores because they finally put in a Costco in our area and they have a lot of organic choices which is what we prefer. I do make sure to take stock of whats in our freezers and shelves before making the list.
- Monday Or Tuesday evening we go head out to Costco and do the shopping. As I’m sure you can imagine we turn quite a few heads when we leave the store with 2 FULL carts of groceries. Even the check out people ask how we do it all. If you’re interested you can check out THIS photo of what our carts look like.
- During the week we make our loaves of bread for snacks/breakfast for the month, and get some of our side dishes made, because we use filtered water and couldn’t boil everything we needed to in 1 day. This happens on different days during the week, whenever there is time. We make sure that the kids are involved in this part. It has been such a great learning experice for them to learn how to make food and work in the kitchen.
- Sunday everyone in the family works to help make the meals and it takes on average of 5-6 hours from start to finish.
How Do You Store 5 Weeks Worth Of Food?
Another question I regularly get from people is how do you store it all?? Well I put together a post for you that give you a look into storing it. How we store a month’s worth of food for our large family of 8.
I have made blank printable menu’s for everyone to make their own monthly menu’s. I have also made shared 5 weeks worth of printable menu’s filled out for you. Head over to my post that shares both sets of printable menu’s and print out your own copy.
What Are Our Favorite Freezer Meals?
Here is a list of the crock pot recipes I have shared so far here on the blog. Follow us to get emailed when we share more crock pot recipe ideas.
- Crock Pot Make Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Easy To Make Chili
- Stuffed Pepper Quinoa
- Sloppy Joe
- Moist Freezer Pumpkin Bread
- Freezer Strawberry Jam
- Moist Freezer Banana Bread
- Delicious Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Organic Strawberry Muffins
- Smokey Link Casserole
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- 40 Sensational and Warm Crock Pot Soup Recipes
- 25 Easy and Delicious Crock Pot Breakfast and Dessert Recipes
- 75 Main Dish Crock Pot Recipes
Meal making ideas have been such a blessing to our family. They have made our lives so much easier, saved us so much money, and honestly I wish I would have started them long ago. Give it a try just 1 time and I’m sure you will be amazed as to how much it helps your family. You can even use the FREE printable menus complete with shopping lists I shared to make it super easy. What do you have to loose?
If you have any questions about meal making, meal planning, or anything else. Just leave me a comment below. I regularly watch the comments and will get back to you ASAP.
Looking for more freezer meal recipe ideas? Stop over to my Freezer meal idea Pinterest board for more freezer meal ideas.
Follow Mama Of Many Blessings’s board freezer meals on Pinterest.
I may be linked up with these parties.