Tag: small freezer space

Let’s Prep. . .Crockpot meals

Let’s Prep. . .Crockpot meals

September 10, 2017

Hey, Everyone,

It’s the middle of September. I cannot believe it. The goal yesterday was to make some crockpot meals. I’m jumping on that train. I’ve heard that it helps save money in the long run (if the freezer doesn’t break, power doesn’t go out, or kids randomly leave the freezer door open). I hope none of those events transpire. To work up to this main event I had been slowly eating all the junky freezer food in the freezer, and not replacing it so there was enough space to store these wonderful freezer meals.

It’s the middle of September. I cannot believe it. The goal yesterday was to make some crockpot meals. I’m jumping on that train. I’ve heard that it helps save money in the long run (if the freezer doesn’t break, power doesn’t go out, or kids randomly leave the freezer door open). I hope none of those events transpire. To work up to this main event I had been slowly eating all the junky freezer food in the freezer, and not replacing it so there was enough space to store these wonderful freezer meals.

Since I do not have a large freezer. It is a standard size freezer that doesn’t hold a lot of food in general. I froze the meals flat so that there was enough room for the many meals that I want to make, that is a combination of yesterdays meals and future meals. I used Pinterest and went through this site to print out the crockpot meals (with recipes) that fit our food guidelines and also sounded delicious.

In the end, we did the last recipe section labeled 6 Make Ahead Freezer Meals in 50 minutes because I was excited about the time aspect of the recipes, and it seemed like the most affordable food combination than the others.

We also do not have a large crockpot and I ended up not needing to halve the recipes like I was afraid might have been needed. We have a 4-quart size slow cooker because it was on sale last year at Wal-Mart for $10. I had never worked with a slow cooker before and I gotta say that I sometimes wish that I got a bigger one that could hold a small chicken or turkey, but hindsight is 20/20. I’m content with what we have.

us-money-billsI made this food this week because it’s a paid weekend and am going to try and keep it up by doing it again almost every two weeks from now to coincide with my pay schedule. And then I’m going to plan out the FOE food schedule so all that needs to be done is to take out a meal the night before, and put it in the crockpot in the morning. Will save some money because then even if I’m too busy to make the meal myself, all my amazing husband has to do is follow the directions on the bag and be done with it until dinner time. Otherwise, we will not be financially diligent with our money with all the eating out we would most likely be doing.

These freezer meals are supposed to be good for 3 months, and if everything works out like I want, that will be perfect timing. And if I keep adding to the freezer on pay weeks, they won’t get depleted as fast and can save money all year long. Because yesterday was the first time and I kept having to go back and forth between the food and the recipes, it took much longer than 50 minutes to prepare everything. Plus, in the middle of the food preparation by youngest son had finished his nap and being the sneaky little boy that he is decided to sit next to my feet and when I went to check the next food item I tripped over him and almost stabbed myself with the knife I was working on. Yup, that adventure happened. No one was hurt, but we both scared each other.

I am a little OCD when it comes to being financially knowledgeable about how much we are going to budget for food. In the original post, she says that she only spent $59.69, for her food, but 1) it was made in 2014, and 2) I don’t know where they live. Two things that change the price of everything dramatically. So I went to Bing and for every item needed I typed in something like, “Average cost of onions” and it would give me the response of, “Onions vary by season, usually costing less than $2.00 per pound. Since onions are plants, the growing season determines the availability of the item. Seasonal problems can affect the price. Onions vary by season, usually costing less than $2.00 per pound.” So in the spreadsheet that I made, I would put in the average cost, or since I’m going to Wal-Mart for the items if I could look up a price (like a bottle of spices) I would add it to the spreadsheet, always rounding up to the nearest $1 (I.e. if something cost $2.14 I would put it as $3.00, it is an easy way to keep a simple total, because no one likes doing complicated math at the store, and so that if I reach my budget limit with my rounding up total, then I know that when I check out I will be under my budget).

So, on my spreadsheet, it came out to be $84 for the cost of all the food and items needed to do this freezer meal planning. I printed out the spreadsheet and on the back, I kept a running total of everything I put in the cart. (Because not everyone can read my writing I added it to the spreadsheet as well). My rounding up total ended up being $68. Walking out of the store it was $60.22. That is only $0.89 difference from the original post!!!

Frrezer meals 1

Freezer meals 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family is not meat centric, so we do not need to have meat as a primary focus for our meals, and so when we had the meatloaf, instead of making a traditional 9″x5″ pan we are going to put them in small pans 2.5″x8″ and that should be good enough for a meal, plus sides. And because I made them this way, there was enough for 4 meals instead of the 2 the recipes called for. In the end here are the price breakdowns for these meals included in the spreadsheet. Freezer meal plan– Spreadsheet.

Honey Sesame Chicken (x2)- $6.11 for the meal itself and $1.52 per person

Turkey, White Bean, Kale Soup (x2)- $4.85 for the meal and $1.21 per person

Brown Sugar Meatloaf (x4)- $5.81 for the meal $1.45 per person.

Because yesterday was the first time and I kept having to go back and forth between the food and the recipes, it took much longer than 50 minutes to prepare everything. Plus, in the middle of the food preparation by youngest son had finished his nap and being the sneaky little boy that he is decided to sit next to my feet and when I went to check the next food item I tripped over him and almost stabbed myself with the knife I was using. Yup, that adventure happened. No one was hurt, but we both scared each other.

burn-out

Have any of you had experience with freezer meals? How did they turn out? Do you still do them?

See you on the other side!

 

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2017 Labor Day Run

2017 Labor Day Run

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hey Everyone,

Let me just say that the last two weeks have not been easy. There was lots of stress and frustration for both Husband and me. But we made it!!! September is here and we are going to make the most of it no matter what it takes.

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and lots of people get a three day weekend. Yay!! That’s exciting!! Please, everyone, be safe and don’t drink and drive, or set off illegal fireworks.

This morning I was almost going to skip my long run because I stayed up way too late after having friends over for games (never ever play trivia games with my husband, you will lose badly), ate way too much pizza (6 slices) and soda (3- 8 oz cans of 7-Up), and then staying up even longer because I started a mini- weekend project because of the 3 day weekend.

I still did it!! 11 Miles today. And because people seemed to like my pictures, here’s the proof.

09-03-2017 11 Mile run

09-03-2017 11 Mile Pace

As you can see, I started at 7:33 A.M. PST and I rocked it. I’m still slow and steady at a 10:13 min/mile pace. Looking at this picture, you’re probably wondering what that dip is for. No, I did not suddenly die and come back to life. As amazing as that would be to happen. For the love of my husband when I hit the halfway point/I’m coming back home I send him a quick text of the address and that I’m coming back home so that if anything were to ever happen to me, or he was to worry there would be some information to reassure him. By taking the time to do that, it causes my heart rate to drop. I wonder if my heart rate dropping that fast after being elevated for such a long time is a good thing or a bad thing?

I do know that according to my Fitbit information that my VO2 Max is 50-54 which is considered “Excellent” but I’m not a medical professional so I’ll have to trust the information given to me.

After that run, my body feels like it got hit by a cannon filled with cement, especially my hips. My stomach is screaming at me to fill it with sour cream and onion chips smothered with gravy and salt. For some reason, I have a craving for straight salt.  Totally gross. It could also be that I didn’t eat anything before I ran, so I’m at -1,065 calories for the day.

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Looking at my face after my long run, I had that look of I just ran 11 miles, I forgot how to speak, so do not ask me.

I am really starting to see some definition in my abdomen, upper arms, and upper back muscles. And every Thursday I’ve been going to Body Combat at my gym for the last couple of weeks so that’s some great cross training going on to add to my overall fitness routine.

For the entire month of September Husband and I planned out what meals we are going to have, including leftover days. It is a lot easier than doing a long run on Sunday, blog post, planning a list for food for the week, shopping for the food, meal prepping for the week and still managing to do all the laundry at the laundromat all in one day. Much easier this way because the list is made Saturday night. Plus, I’ve added a surprise that’s going to happen in a couple of weeks when it comes to food. Something about buying large quantities of food. . .

If you are just starting on this journey with me, or have been with me from the beginning, it’s never too late to join in. The Dopey Challenge isn’t going to be until January of 2020, so you have a bit of time to prepare yourself. Also, you do not have to do all four races by any means. You could set your goal to do the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or have it be your very first Marathon. Any and all fitness levels are more than welcome to come along. We can all learn from each other. Let’s all be Dopey together!

Laundry is calling my name.

See you on the other side!