Step 1: Change our way of shopping and possibly our supermarket
We'd got into the habit of popping into our local Sainsbury's every few days to stock up for a few meals and this is a costly way of shopping as you end up picking up lots of non-essentials. Plus Sainsbury's isn't the cheapest supermarket - but it is the biggest in our town and the little Asda often doesn't stock the fruit and veg I needed. We reasoned that we were collecting Nectar points and they do lots of vouchers and money off coupons.
So we decided to check out the local Aldi after work one night. Surprisingly it wasn't always cheaper.
There were things that were cheaper in Sainsbury's though, as these basics tortilla chips are around 45p there and Aldi was selling a similar pack for a pound.
However I think we cannot deny that in the competition to be the cheapest Asda is the winner and so to stock up for our big freezer meals shop we travelled a bit further to the biggest Asda superstore in Pudsey Leeds.Step 2: So onto the part you've all been interested in...freezer meals. Bulk cooking and bulk buying with cheap ingredients and deals.
The Belgian spent a few hours on a Saturday and he made:
spiced pepper pilafs
golden veggie shepherd's pies
meatballs with spaghetti sauce
spiced carrot and lentil soup
Then I spent an hour making a Macaroni and Beef cheese bake which I bulked up with some grated carrot leftover from the soup and it made three portions for the two of us.
- Ziploc bags with cooking / reheating instructions written on with a sharpie
- Ice-cream containers
- We found some good disposable foil containers in the home section of Asda
Some other useful recipes and links:
Joyful Momma's top 5 freezer meals
Joyful Momma's Quesedilla Casserole
Joyful Momma's 10 more freezer meals for fall
Frugal Foodie's pinterest freezer meals board
Overall benefits of freezer meals:
- An afternoon or morning of cooking and you have meals for a week or fortnight
- These recipes all use cheap ingredients like beef, tinned tomatoes, carrots and onions and these can be found in bulk to get a good deal
- You can make a recipe for tea that night but double it and freeze the remainder
- Soup lasts about a month when frozen the other meals last about two to three weeks
- When you want the meal you just put in in the fridge for a day to defrost or you can use the microwave
- You don't have to think of ideas for dinner every night
So...do you freeze meals? What ideas do you have for reducing food bills?