Freezer Meals and Food Storage

If you are one of our friends on Facebook you may have seen some of the pictures I posted of my little project to help my Grandma last weekend. Grandma Shirley is my food storage idol. Ever since I was a little girl I used to sneak down to her food storage room and stare in amazement at the sheer volume of food there (and sneak into the candy stash which she claims is the most important part). A few years ago we actually went up and took pictures of her storage and wrote a little summary of our findings. It was fun to go through it with her. Check that out at this link.

Recently my grandma had a little health scare and has been unable to do her normal routines of cooking/cleaning/etc. We live about two hours away from her so my mom and I decided to drive up for the weekend and get her freezer stocked with meals. I shared a few pictures from the event on Facebook and everyone wanted to know more about it, so here are the details!

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Step 1: Come up with a list of meals. I used recipes found in my “recipe binder“. There is a link to download my whole file found in that post. Here are the meals we chose to make and the instructions for cooking up each meal.

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Step 2: Make a grocery list for all of the meals.

Step 3: Shop for your food. This was the fun part, since Grandma has such a great food storage, we went down to her basement first and we were able to get a ton of the ingredients from there. We found staples like rice and pasta, as well as most of the pantry items like canned corn, beans, cream of chicken soup, etc. We went and bought fresh meat and items like sour cream and eggs because we didn’t want to open up her #10 cans of them. She was so happy to see her food getting used instead of just wasting away in the basement. It is hard for her to make it up and down the stairs these days so we loved helping her out with this.

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Step 4: Prepare all the meals. Our cook time was about 3 1/2 hours total. Make sure that you know what containers you are going to be using. We were able to use all of her dishes so we didn’t have to worry about using disposable pans. Plan ahead for how you will need to cook them so you don’t put something that needs to go in the oven in a plastic container.

Step 5: Put the meals in containers and label everything. We put all of the side dishes and/or extra toppings in little baggies taped to each container to make it very easy to have everything for one meal all in one place.

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Since these original recipes were meant to feed a larger family, this ended up making at least 16 MEALS for my grandparents. It was so rewarding to do this for them, and we got to spend a fun day visiting while we cooked.

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  • Susan Joyce Hendrix Dameron

    what a precious thing to do for your mamaw and thank you for sharing with us. maybe this idea can be payed foward.

  • Kathy Kenyon

    I’ve done a similar project for my aunt, only instead of freezing the meals directly into the baking pan/casserole pan, I lined her pans with foil BEFORE putting the lasagna or whatever in. Then when it froze, we could lift the meal out with the foil, and wrap it in plastic wrap or zipper bags before sticking in the freezer. This freed up her dishes for other meals (and takes slightly less space in the freezer.) When she was ready to eat it, the prepared meal could be set right back into the pan (foil and all) and put in the oven. This also made clean up easier. (Naturally, if it was meant to be microwaved, the foil could be peeled off.)

    • Deana Wade

      do you freeze the food with the foil too?

      • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

        We used saran wrap and plastic baggies for the most part

  • Kristen

    I am almost 40 weeks pregnant with #4 and already struggling with what to make for dinner. I really want to get some meals together for after baby is here. I am interested in your above recipes and how you prepped differently for freezing.

  • Kim @ WampumHome

    This is great. I work full time and find pre-prep, meal planning and storage to be a big help. Your Grandmother is an amazing woman for sharing all these traditions with your family. It is so nice to hear her memories being shared with us all. I’ll be following with you more often. I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother, thanks for reminding me of the gifts they give us with their experiences <3

  • nanner

    this is the coolest thing i think you could have ever done.