Freeze-tober and how I spent $200 for groceries this month!
Good Evening Everyone!
Woo, y’all it’s going to get really real up in here tonight. So pull up a chair, grab a note pad and pencil, and let’s jump right into it. I’ve been waiting anxiously to share this idea with you that I’ve been planning: Freeze-tober. Yes, I made up that word 🙂 Trust me, you’ll like it too once you hear why.
So what is Freeze-tober? I had a thought a couple of weeks ago. Can a family cook super healthy meals on a budget, in advance, and pull them out of the freezer? The answer: yes you can!! Because I did it today.
Yes, all day long, (and I literally mean all day long!), I was cooking meals for the entire month in advance. But y’all I also cut my food budget in half! No more trips to the grocery every weekend. No more wondering, “Mom what’s for dinner?”. No, everything is labeled, cooked, and ready to go in my freezer. Now I can sit back and soak in Fall.
So how do you spend $200 a month and still eat healthy? In a nutshell, you eat the same meals on the same days of the week. You also eat the same breakfast and lunch everyday. It may be boring, but it saves a bundle! Another trick I use is to shop at the discount grocery stores. Normally, I don’t like produce there because it goes bad faster. But when cooking with the intention of freezing the meal… it doesn’t matter! So save a bundle and shop with the sales! Lastly, my main goal was to keep to primarily Vegan meals, keep the costs low, and make meals that will freeze well.
Speaking of which, I heard a great saying the other day:
If you’re ever wondering what you can and cannot freeze, walk down your grocery store aisle in the frozen food section. Take a look at what meals they are selling you! Now think about healthy ways you can make that too.
It was my “aha” moment. I blinked and thought, “I can do that!”. And then I did. Now there are many advantages to cooking freezer meals, besides saving a bunch of time and stress. First, you make sure to use up your ingredients. By cooking all of my meals, I was able to see that I actually used up the entire bunch of cilantro! And I was able to see everything going into the dish.
Now I’m not going to sugar coat things here: cooking for an entire month in one day will take you hours. You’ll be tired by the end of it. Y’all I am wiped out right now as I type this to you. But I also know that come tomorrow morning I won’t have to stress because everything is done. (Nothing a good nights sleep can’t fix 😉 ). So in the end, choosing to cook meals in advance is definitely worth it. If one month seems too daunting, try cooking for the week!
Now let’s talk about tools you’ll need to succeed. I bought everything you see below from Target.
The total cost was $50 USD. At first I thought I would buy aluminum food storage containers to keep things cheap, but the Ziplock Tupperware was the same price, and it is reusable… so I thought, why not?! You also want to have a big supply of Ziplock bags in various sizes to accommodate for lunches, snacks, etc.
So what will we be eating this month?
Here’s a look at our weekly menu:
“Freeze-tober” Monthly Menu
- Breakfast: Indian Spiced Oatmeal with Coconut Milk
- Lunch: Freezer Sandwiches, pitted dates, and pretzel sticks
- Sunday: Veggie Burgers and Homemade French Fries
- Monday: Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Tuesday: Vegetable Quinoa Soup
- Wednesday: White bean and Mushroom Meatball Subs with Spinach
- Thursday: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Friday: Falafel, 3-ingredient flatbread (made fresh), homemade hummus, Tzatziki, and Matzo Ball Soup
- Saturday: Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with bread to dip
I hope you all come along with me on this freezer journey as we save money… eat great food… and soak in the good times together! Until next time everyone, keep on cooking! ❤