This month I'm taking a different approach to my batch/freezer cooking. While it is not uncommon for me to go off-menu and whip up a batch of [insert whim here] and freeze a portion of it for a later meal, right now I'm really working hard to stick to the menu.
When I was making my February menu, I was weighing three main considerations:
:: Budget During the early months in the year, I like to shave down my grocery budget so that I have extra in the summer months when fresh produce is in season. This extra gets used for pick-your-own berries and our favorite farm stand and does well to fill our freezer for next winter. The other budget consideration is that I'm really trying to stay on grocery budget and have jumped on the "cash only" bandwagon to see if that works. So far so good!
::Time I love getting multiple meals out of one chunk of time and only have to clean up once. But right now, the calendar won't allow me a good, empty day to work on freezer cooking. (and the budget doesn't give me all my grocery money at once anymore - I'm learning to split the big shopping up twice a month instead of once a month)
::Replenishing While having meals in the freezer that are ready to pull out, thaw and cook makes mealtime so much easier, these meals do not magically appear. When my freezer stash gets low, I have to plan on how to restock.
Since my January menu used a lot of my freezer meals, my February menu will be working to replenish them. I will be posting recipes in my Freezer Friday posts and updating the list below with links as the month goes on.
Ham & Cheese Rolls
Chicken & Dumplings Chicken & Biscuits
Chicken Stuffing Casserole
White Bean Chili
Beef & Vegetable Stew