Sunday, October 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Sunday

Being on a substitute teacher's income with a long commute home, I am always looking for ways to save time and money. Creating make ahead slow cooker meals seemed like a way to achieve both goals.

I started by browsing through Pinterest. There are a ton of great blogs dedicated to slow cooker meals and how to properly prep and freeze them.

I compiled my recipes from different blogs and sites. I tried to have them include a few of the same ingredients so I wasn't buying TOO many things at the store. I knew they would all include some sort of meat. Pay attention to your local grocery store's sales. Today, I was able to mix and match 5 different kinds of meats and cuts for $19.95. What a deal!

After printing out my recipes, I compiled my grocery list.

I found it easier to break the ingredients up by type. Meats, Cans, Seasoning/Sauces, and Produce. It made life simpler when I was going through the grocery store isles. I wrote down everything I would need and then went in my kitchen first and crossed off what I already had.  And yes, I did bring that clipboard with me into the store to shop (recipes on the bottom, lists on top).

I bought good quality gallon size freezer bags as well as Reynolds Wrap Slow Cooker Liners. The liners save a lot of clean up time, especially if you are going to be using your crock pot several times throughout the week.

When I got home, I laid all of my ingredients out on the table which became my work station.


**Get out all of your freezer bags and label them along with the required cook times before you start filling the bags. **

For me, it was easier to work on one recipe at a time. Once each bag was filled I squeezed all the air out of the bag and laid it flat in the freezer. 

When the bags are completely frozen you can stand them up and file them if that gives you more room in your freezer.

It only took 2 hours to prep and make my freezer meals. I was able to make seven meals for $86. That comes to about $12 per meal. Each meal has at least 4 servings. Each serving is about $3. Where can you get a wholesome and healthy plate of food for $3.00?!

I can't wait come home after a long day at school and have these meals already prepped and cooked. It will make Slow Cooker Sunday totally worth it.

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