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    Using Freezer Meals to Get You Through the Holiday Rush

    Using Freezer Meals to Get You Through the Holiday Rush

    Using Freezer Meals to Get You Through the Holiday Rush

    Are you wondering how to make it through the holiday season without constantly eating out? It’s not uncommon for the holidays to bring a sleighful of extra events and special programs — not to mention long shopping trips, marathon movie nights, and a never-ending project list.

    With so much going on during the holidays, it can be hard to find time to plan and cook at home. Unfortunately, eating out or bringing home takeout can add to your waistline and decrease your budget — two problems that are especially slippery during the holidays. Solve these problems by planning ahead with freezer meals. Here are some tips and ideas.

    Use your favorites

    You may be surprised to learn that your favorite meals can be easily frozen and heated at a later date. Instead of reinventing the wheel, take a glance at some of your favorite recipes. Does your family love enchiladas? Make up a batch in a freezer/oven-safe pan, and freeze them for later. You can do this with many of your family favorites, even favorite holiday meals. Just remember to factor in extra cooking and/or thawing time when you deal with frozen foods.

    Prepare meal parts

    You may not have a clear idea of what you’ll want to eat during the crazy holiday rush. That doesn’t mean you have to enter the holidays unprepared. Think about what types of foods you eat the most. If you tend to use shredded chicken regularly, cook a large batch and freeze it in smaller bags to pull out and add to a quick meal. Same with ground beef. You can even take the time to shred and freeze your favorite vegetables.

    Think about what takes the longest

    Certain aspects of preparing a meal take the most time. Perhaps your family loves marinated chicken. Mix up a batch (without cooking it) and freeze the entire thing. Most marinades take a least a few hours to set in, so having pre-marinated chicken in the freezer can save hours of prep time. As you think through your favorite recipes, think about what aspects of the meal take you the longest to prepare. From there, see if you can do just that step and freeze.

    Looking for a quick and easy freezer meal

    Freezer meals don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the whole point of cooking freezer meals is to save you time and effort later. This easy meatball recipe is one example of a versatile freezer recipe. Make the meatballs as shown below and freeze. When you need a quick meal, pull out as many meatballs as you’ll eat and add to pasta, coat in barbeque sauce, or pile high on a marinara subway sandwich.

    Easy freezer meatballs


    • 1 lb ground beef
    • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
    • ¼ cup milk of your choice
    • ¾ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • ¼ tsp pepper
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 egg

    Mix all the ingredients together. Shape into about 20 meatballs that are 1½ inches big. Place in an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake uncovered at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Let the meatballs cool before placing in a freezer-friendly container. Freeze for up to six weeks.

    When you’d like to use your meatballs from the freezer, simply warm the meatballs in the microwave until they reach a comfortable temperature, or thaw in the fridge, then pan-fry slightly until warm.

    Freezer meals can save you money and time this holiday season. Whether you take the time to prepare dozens of meals or just a few, you’ll be grateful to have something quick and delicious to pull out of your freezer when you’re short on time.