This post is about my newest addition to my Kindle offerings: “10 Crock Pot Freezer Meals”! You can see for yourself at my Budget Epicurean Kindle Author page. The eBook contains a complete grocery list, with the items categorized in order to easily breeze in and out of the store in minutes, as well as ten of my best & most loved slow cooker recipes, including Cranberry Spiced Chicken, Orange-Glazed Pork Chops, and White Bean Chicken Chili. I even added some handy, easy printables to label your bags, so you know what you have days or weeks later!
To watch the short video on how easy it is to shop for and assemble everything, check it out here! Of course ALDI was the store I went to (I just love them for their focus on providing the best prices over flashy ads or in store perks). I had my list in hand, and the total for everything that was going into these ten meals (minus just a few pantry staples) was $87. Given that each meal is made to serve 4, that is only $2.18 per meal!!
Of course, you can substitute as needed, such as if you have a hatred of a specific type of bean, swap it for a different kind, or if you do not eat pork, use chicken or beef instead. Definitely the highlight of the trip was finding this little bonus deal: $0.35 for canned, organic, reduced sodium black beans!!! Oh yeah, I bought 2 cases. That doesn’t count towards the meal totals…
The entire shopping trip took me probably about a half hour. And that is with writing down prices of things, and forcing my significant other, who was such a trooper, to take pictures and help me double check that I hadn’t forgotten anything. 🙂
- Garlicky Sweet Lemon Chicken
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Orange-Ginger Glazed Pork Chops
- Creamy Italian Chicken
- Cranberry Spiced Chicken
- BBQ Pulled Pork
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Classic Salsa Chicken
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- 5 Bean Vegetarian Chili
As a reminder, you can purchase the nice printable ebook HERE.
First things first, I got everything organized. This means putting all the ingredients for each recipe into a pile. Some ingredients were used in multiple recipes, so I put those piles next to each other. Then I cut out the labels, and taped them onto a bag.
Next, take a cutting board, and for each recipe that requires dicing, chop up the peppers, or onions, or whatever, and place the raw veggies in the corresponding bag. It is best to get all that out of the way first. I actually ended up wearing goggles, because the onions were so strong and stung my eyes so that I couldn’t see for all the watering they were doing!
Next, take a can opener, and open up all your cans. Drain things like beans if you like, I didn’t even bother, just dumped the whole thing in there. Pour the canned goods into the bags. Any seasonings like chili powder or honey, pour those in next. Finally, open the meats (if using) and add those to the bags last. Be sure to keep meats separate otherwise so as to not cross-contaminate, and wash your hands after touching them.
Orange-Ginger Glazed Pork Chops
BBQ Pulled Pork
Crock Pot 5 Bean Vegetarian Chili
Creamy Italian Chicken
Spiced Cranberry Chicken
White Bean Chicken Chili
Garlicky Sweet Lemon Chicken
Garlicky Sweet Lemon Chicken
Once you have your bags filled, you can take them to your freezer. Ideally, freeze them laying flat so that you save freezer space. You can also put any of these recipes straight into the crock pot, as I did with the garlicky sweet lemon chicken.
The day before you plan to eat one of these meals, just take the bag from the freezer and put it into your refrigerator. Preferably put the bag onto a plate or in a bowl, just in case it leaks or drips water as it thaws. The next morning, pour the whole contents of the bag into your slow cooker and cook as instructed. You can use each recipe’s suggestions, or serve with whatever you have handy. And there you have it! Ten meals that serve 4, from cans to freezer to cooked!
Freezer meals assembled and ready to go!
You can purchase this list of ten slow cooker, freezer-approved recipes, plus a complete one-page shopping list, serving suggestions, and printable freezer bag labels on Amazon!
Just search “Budget Epicurean”. Or visit this link: http://goo.gl/VtfKOq
I’m hoping to expand these meal plan offerings soon to include a vegetarian option, diabetic meal plans, gluten-free meal plans, and more! Please let me know if you have any feedback, questions, or something else you want to see in the future in the comments below or by email at budgetepicurean (at) gmail (dot) com!
You can view the video of how easy the shopping & assembly is here:
Many many food bloggers and regular people alike love this method of cooking! It is hard to overstate how much time, energy, and cash you can save by cooking this way. If you’re already experienced with meal planning based on grocery store sales, or want to try coming up with your own recipes, here’s a great article from one of my favorite frugal sites, the Simple Dollar, fully explaining the process!