There are days that just get too crazy to make dinner and our budget doesn’t accommodate frequent trips to restaurants. So I try to always have a stash of freezer meals–something I can throw together quickly, or throw in the slow cooker in the morning. But building up a stash alone can be hard work and expensive, which is why I recruit my friends. We find a day where we can devote several hours (3-5 depending on the intensity of the meals) to prepping meals, laughing, and usually drinking wine. Best part is that because we buy in bulk and split the expenses, our price per meal is unbeatable! And although many people are excited to join a freezer meal party, few are willing to devote the time required to host one. It’s hard work, but these tips will help make it easier! So if you need to fill the freezer for busy days, here are some of my best practices from the MANY times I’ve hosted a freezer meal party:
- Share Recipes: Create a board on Pinterest and make your friends collaborators so they can add potential recipes to the board. Once you have some options everyone has seen, choose your top 3-5 recipes. If you have more time or choose easy recipes, then go ahead and make more!
- Make a List: Write down the ingredients and keep track of how much you’ll need TOTAL of each ingredient (increase your recipes by how many people are participating–4 people, then multiply by 4). I do this in a spreadsheet.
- Buy Groceries & Figure Out Cost: In your spreadsheet, track the amount you spent on each item. Then figure out the true cost of each item (i.e. price/total amount x amount used). Include the price of disposable pans (Dollar Tree is cheapest) and freezer bags.
- It’s All About the Money, Money, Money: Collect money the good ol’ fashioned way, or make it easy and use an online money collection site (CheddarUp is also great!).
- Prep Ahead: If you can, pre-cook ingredients. If a recipe calls for shredded chicken, then the day before throw it in the slow cooker to cook, and a stand mixer with paddle attachment to shred it. I also use the slow cooker the day before to cook ground beef and dried beans. I’ll even run food through the food processor so we don’t have to chop all day.
- The Littles: Arrange childcare or have everyone take a shift watching the kiddos. If you want, each mom could have one activity/project for them to do…or just let ’em watch a movie with popcorn!
- Optional (but necessary when I’m hosting!): Bring apps and wine to share while you cook up a storm!
Have friends bring a cooler, box, or something to transport their freezer meals in–not necessary, but certainly helpful. Although these parties are LOTS of fun, hosting/organizing is a LOT of work! My friends started to each chip in more money in order to cover part of the cost of my meals as a way of saying thanks for the hard work. So remember to tip your hostess!
Looking for good recipes ideas for your freezer meal party? Check out Twin Cities Mom’s Blog’s FREEZER MEAL board on Pinterest!