Do you have a family tradition or something you do that kicks the season off? Maybe it’s watching football games (my family included), or picking apples and making pies (still included). But, I have to say the one thing in particular that makes me feel like fall is finally here is when I get together with my mother-in-law and aunt-in-law to make freezer meals!
I think we started it right before we moved into our first house. We were all in very busy seasons of life and we thought that having some homemade, healthy meals on hand when we’re running low on time would be great to have on hand for those crazy busy evenings!
It seems like that’s the tradition I look forward to, to “kick off” the fall season. It also couldn’t be at a more convenient time this year since we have an impending move on the horizon! It’s going to be so nice having these pre-made, healthy meals in the freezer while we’re moving and to not have to live off of Chinese takeout and pizza while we’re unpacking boxes and establishing our new home.
So, we find a day that will work for all of us, typically a Saturday morning. Once we choose the day, we then pick 2-3 meals each we would like to include. Typically, it will consist of casseroles, crock pot meals, and soups. This time we chose: Swedish meatballs, Rustic Tuscan Kale Soup, Creamy Wild Rice Soup, Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki, Chicken Pesto Tortellini Bake, Meatloaf (We make this every time), Taco soup, and Turkey Chili. Some of the meals aren’t specifically “freezer meals” so we loosely follow the recipe. Such as, if it suggests to bake the casserole to serve, prepare it up until that point and then freeze it before baking so when you get it out of the freezer it will be ready to thaw and be baked.
We each get the ingredients for our meals of choice beforehand. Make sure to multiple it by how many families are participating, in our case it was 3. The morning of, we meet at my mother-in-law’s house early, usually like 8:30 am and we finish sometime in the afternoon. My mother-in-law had coffee and donuts for breakfast and then we made sandwiches for lunch. Keep in mind you will need things like aluminum pans, foil, plastic bags, and markers to write the contents on the container and how to prepare the meals. Once we start preparing the meals, we each work on our chosen meals and help each other out, of course, to keep things running smoothly. Then when it comes to putting them into containers we split it three ways so each family gets to take home a bag of each meal. For this last meal prep day we all went home with 4 soups and 4 meals with enough for leftovers for only $72 each! 8 healthy, quick meals done in one morning for under $100. Yes, please!
If you have some weeks coming up that you know you will be swamped with life, then grab a few buddies and make some meals together! It doesn’t seem like work because you’re spending time together and making memories (and yummy meals) together.
If you like this idea or try any of the meals we made, tag me in it on Instagram so I can see you making memories with your people too!
Until next time,