Today, I’ll be sharing how I’ve cut my dinner cooking in half, while serving up whole foods AND blessing others in need–ALL while saving money! We talked about some first steps in reducing cooking time in the first two posts, including the simplest meal planning strategy, making use of technology and putting the freezer to work for you. Now, I’ll show you how I tie ALLLL of those together, with the addition of pooled resources, to the benefit of my sanity, my family’s health, and the overall community.
Is this really all possible? Yes, it is! How? Through my freezer meal club.
Now, many people think a freezer meal club is a group that gets together for an entire day to cook together. Well, some do. Many do NOT! Mine does not. We make our meals at home and then come together to exchange them, as well as visit with each other. Additionally, each participant makes one or two extra meals, and we give them to a local family in need. These Blessing Meals are a tangible way to help a family with an immediate need, whether that need comes from a happy or tragic life transition.
Even with those additional meals AND the fact that we make meals with organic ingredients, my food budget went DOWN once I joined my club!
Why? The power of a group! Doing freezer meals on your own is incredible. I won’t stop anyone from doing them! But clubs allow you to maximize your variety of meals while minimizing your costs and effort.
In a club you can purchase your ingredients in bulk and take advantage of what’s on sale. By making the same meal for all club members, you reduce the cost per meal considerably. And others in the group are doing the same thing, so you get quite a variety in your meals. That way, you’re not buying the chicken legs that are on sale and then eating mostly chicken legs all month long! You also are only making one or two TYPES of meals. This can be made rather speedy by using an assembly line approach. So with some combined mom power, you get a wide variety of meals and a reduction in your food budget and effort. Win-win!
Now, prepping those meals does take some time. But guess what? I usually make six meals in about half an hour, from start to freezing. That’s how long most people spend making dinner, more if it’s truly whole foods. And when I come home from my freezer meal exchange, I typically have TWELVE meals ready to eat.
That’s twelve dinners for a month that I spend a just a few minutes preparing. I’m essentially NOT cooking three times per week because of my freezer meal club! I’ve cut my dinner meal prep time in half, AT LEAST.
Amylee Udell is a happy wife, a mom of three girls, and has called the Duke City home since 1997. She is the Productive Mama and the author and creator of the Freezer Meal Club Success Ebook and course. She has taught classes in childbirth and parenting, fermenting, culturing, and sourdough bread baking. Amylee spends a lot of time at church and homeschooling and loves skiing with her family, reading, trying new foods, and working with other moms to navigate the challenges of motherhood.