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Guest Post: How to Save Time & Money By “Power Cooking”

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Power Cooking Guest Post

Guest Post by Hip2Save reader, Martha Parker:

I’m Martha Parker, married and newly retired from a long 41-year career. My daughter Kelly and I β€œPower Cook ” to ensure serving healthy meals to our families every day of the week. Eating and living a healthy lifestyle are important to us. We don’t eat fast food and limit our eating in restaurants to only celebrations and special occasions. Kelly is married with 2 kids and has two part-time jobs. We are both super busy and enjoy our families, couponing, bargain shopping, skiing, exercising, pets, hobbies, entertaining and lots of social activities.

I struggled for years to provide healthy meals for my family – it was tough with a hectic marketing career, kids, home, pets, and a self-employed husband. Six years ago, when Kelly’s first child was born, I signed us up for “Power Cooking” classes taught by a licensed dietitian. The class consisted of a demonstration, power point presentation, family friendly healthy recipes, and food samples of several freezer entrees.

At first, we didn’t realize what a life changing event power cooking would be, but as we left the class (over 5 years ago!) my daughter pulled out her calendar and said, “What day are we doing this?”.Β  She could not wait to get started! We put it on the calendar and have never looked back!! It is a bit overwhelming the first time as you are dealing with 25+ pounds of fresh chicken, a ton of ground turkey, beef, some pork and a mountain of fresh vegetables, but we have it down now. It’s a great day spent together and my husband helps us too by cutting up all the fresh chicken the night before into appropriate sizes for stir-fry, chicken fajitas, and baked chicken.

Chopped Veggies

Our month of meals include 2 each of 15 different entrees for a total of 30 meals. Each entree serves 4 and can include turkey gumbo, Lasagna, Beefy Macaroni, stuffed chicken breasts with red wine sauce, baked chicken with orange sauce, chicken pot pie, spaghetti, chicken stir fry, lentil and rice burritos, ginger lime pork, meat loaf, chicken fajitas, taco bake, white fish with tomatoes and herbs, kielbasa with sauce, enchiladas, pork chops with fruit, etc. I used to think that tacos, stir-fry and fajitas were pretty simple to fix on the spot for dinner, but now I know that you can have all of this prepped ahead in the freezer to just heat and serve. No shopping, no mess, and very little clean up. The 30 meals will actually last much longer when you take into account other family favorite dinners such as pizza, dinners with friends, holiday meals, and vacations away from home.

Power Meals

I really hope everyone will try power cooking. If you’re a little unsure about jumping in with 30 meals, then try doing 15 meals. Cooking using this system will save you time, you will eat healthier, and you will save a LOT OF MONEY!! It’s difficult for me to give exact numbers on entree costs as I shop in stages, however a year ago I had a fairly accurate estimate – around $2 per serving or less. Power cooking is work and takes lots of planning and time; however each session gets easier and faster.

Powe Cooking Meals

Here are some tips to get started and ensure your success:

1. Take time to plan the entrees you would like to prepare.

2. Assemble the pans and containers that you will be using for freezing the entrees. I bought most of my 8×9 inch Pyrex, and other containers from Goodwill and other second hand stores.

Storage Containers

3. Make a food shopping list, then start checking store ads, and purchase when ingredients are on sale. We always establish approximately when we are going to cook and then nail it down as soon as we see the fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale as we use about 24 lbs at each power cook session.

4. We generally power cook on the weekend and outline it such as this: Friday night shop for fresh food and vegetables, Saturday cut up meat, cook chicken for meat pies, cook ground beef and turkey for entrees, assemble all containers and freezer bags, and decide which goes in what dish. Sunday we start in early with washing and chopping vegetables, preparing soups and sauces, and then assembling the entrees.

Preparation

5. Prepare a large batch of your favorite spaghetti sauce and/or seasoned taco meat and freeze in appropriate containers for your family’s size. Also, prepare your stir fry and fajitas by cutting up fresh chicken or pork to appropriate sizes along with fresh vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peppers and onion. Place the fresh cut up meat for each meal in one freezer bag and the fresh vegetables in another and freeze.

6. For families of 2, package meals for 2. For instance, I have found small corning ware containers at Goodwill that allow me to make chicken pies to serve 2. I also freeze the turkey gumbo in pint size freezer bags which is perfect for 2.

7. Make a list of all the entrees that you have prepared and have ready in the freezer to reference as you decide which meals you will serve each week. This will help keep good variety and allow you to ensure you have freshly purchased salad fixings, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread ready to round out meals.

Chicken Pot Pie

8. Pull from freezer each night the entree you plan to serve the next day and place in refrigerator to begin to thaw.

9. Share with friends and family. When friends are sick or unable to cook for their family, I like to take them a homemade chicken pot pie, or container of turkey gumbo. Once when Kelly was arriving home with her car full from a power cooking session, she saw a new family moving into her neighborhood. She introduced herself and offered them to select one of the meals for their freezer as a gift. πŸ™‚

10. Find a family member or friend to power cook with. I cook with my daughter Kelly, and we have so much fun. We call ourselves the “power cooks”, Kelly made us cute aprons to wear when we power cook, we take pictures while we’re cooking, and post for friends on Facebook to show them what we are up to.

Our “Power Cooking” sessions end up being long and hard days, but ARE so rewarding and the accomplishment feels so good. I think the cutest picture is of Kelly loading up her Suburban with her 30 meals. Preparing these meals really is a day and a half out of a precious weekend, but when we are done – she is so happy and cannot stop smiling!

Power Cooking

NOTE FROM COLLIN: If you’re motivated to get started “Power Cooking” after reading this guest post and are on the lookout for recipes, be sure to check out some of Lina’s phenomenal recipes that would be great to prepare ahead of time and freeze. One of her most popular posts is…

Five Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals Hip2Save
5 Slow Cooker Freezer Bag Meals (Make 5 meals in one hour)

Teriyaki Chicken
Chinese Beef and Broccoli
Creamy Italian Chicken
Sausage with Onion & Peppers
Cilantro Lime Chicken

HAPPY POWER COOKING! πŸ˜€

Join The Discussion

Comments 93

  1. Just Me

    I maybe inspired to try this! I am just so worried about freezing meals like lasagna and pot pies. I’d be so disappointed if it got freezer burned. Help

    • Holly

      They actually freeze well and chances are you will use them fairly quickly. My friends and I hold freezer meal parties. We figure out how many people are going to come, we each pick a meal we are going to make and share, then we either pre-make the meal and all meet at one house to exchange or we bring all the ingredients and set up a station and we each make our own of that meal (quicker and less hectic to just pre-make and exchange). Usually there are about 10-12 of us that participate and then we each go home with that many meals. It’s nice, cuts down on time at night cooking; especially since I work full-time, go to school, and have three kids & hubby. πŸ™‚

      • Just Me

        For larger casserole items do you use disposable foil trays and how do you wrap them? Do you line the bottom of the pan with foil, fill with casserole and then continue to wrap with the foil? I’m a hands on learner which is why I have so many questions. Thanks!

        • Holly

          When we do the parties we use disposable foil trays, you could use either them or your casserole dishes. We also put crockpot dishes into freezer bags to store them as well. On the foil trays we just secure them shut with tin foil. I’m sure there are better methods, but seems to work well. Pinterest has a lot of awesome ideas and recipes too.

    • Stacey

      It’s funny you mentioned those two in particular because those are the two I’ve had the most success with personally. Of course, I do it a bit differently… I bake a while lasagna or pot pie, then flash freeze the individual lasagna pieces on wax paper on a cookie sheet before putting the sheet of individualized pieces in a big baggy. Then, I pop one piece in a microwaveable container before I head off to work in the morning. The pot pie I immediately individualize into microwaveable containers for work. Hopefully that helps someone with a quick work lunch idea.

      These ladies are doing something different though since it’s for a family supper. They put it in the freezer uncooked. This is really cool! I want to try this!

      • Just Me

        Thanks for the tips! Do you cool the meals down first before flash freezing?

        • Lauren

          I would!

        • Stacey

          Yes, I do.

    • Emily

      Press and Seal makes a freezer wrap that we’ve had good success with. We also really like the freshsaver vacuum bags. We freeze meat and it never gets freezer burned in those bags.

  2. Emily

    As a family of 1, I power cook on a smaller scale. I make something on Sunday and then eat leftovers or variations of it for the week. Like, I’ll make 5 chicken breasts and have chicken and rice, chicken salad, chicken fajita, etc. I’ll make a casserole and eat leftovers for the week. I’m sure that would get boring for some people but I hate cooking and enjoy only having to really do it once a week.

    • KellyJoRN

      Emily, that’s exactly how we do dinner at my house with just my hubby and me. He’s not a big leftover person so I’m trying to scale down my dinners so we aren’t eating the same thing for the entire week. Power cooking is such a great idea!!!

    • Jen D

      I do the same thing. I’m a young professional single woman that works 8-5 and goes to the gym straight from work. I get home around 7 each night sweaty, tired, and starving! I meal prep on Sundays and make large portions of two different meals that day (this week was chicken chow mein/stirfy with tons of veggies for lunches and steak with roasted butternut squash and steamed green beans for dinner). Then throughout the weak I eat one meal leftover for lunch and another for dinner. To some it might be boring but I consider myself quite a good cook and try to pick meals I know I will really enjoy. It’s truly such a relief to have a healthy and homemade meal heated up within minutes of getting home from work and exercising with NO cleanup during the week.

      • Chelsea

        I am so motivated by your dedication to the gym and healthy eating! I am trying to start a routine too.

        • Jen D

          You got this Chelsea! You can do it!! πŸ™‚ It’s definitely tough right at first to form the habits, but once you get in the groove you actually look forward to going. I took a rest day yesterday and it actually felt so weird going straight home, lol. Everybody has setbacks and a healthy lifestyle is always a work in progress, but the key is to just stay positive and never quit trying. Best of luck to you!! πŸ™‚

  3. MCouzens

    I just purchased a Costco membership & was thinking about how I could put those bulk purchases to good use. I could definitely start by chopping, seperating & freezing veggies, fruit & meat. That way all I have to do is thaw & combine with the main prep already finished.

  4. Anna

    I have never had a good experience with power freezing healthy meals. Frozen peppers, brocolli etc always taste awful to me. I also found that the wonderful sauces you freeze chicken in get a bit more watery and lose flavor. I did have success with things like lasagna or enchaladas. However, since i like my meals more healthy with more veggies, I just cook on weekends for the week and have one or two of the “bad boys” in the freezer for deserate days like today while i’m dealing with a painful sinus infection and unable to cook.

    • Ketsy

      I agree. Onions get watered down as well. And if you have to be in the kitchen to add fresh veggies or to cook a meal for a child, it kind of beats the purpose. :/

      • Anna

        Exactly! I have 2 young kids and need to think my meals through. Luckily they like soups, so I can make those in big batches and freeze but other meals get made on weekly basis. I’m okay with that, I love the freshness in my food.

    • Rachel

      I totally agree. I found that freezing meal “components” works better for my family (like ziploc bags of cooked ground beef or shredded chicken).

      • Stacey

        Yes, I’ve had success with this too. If I’m making chicken breasts for supper, I’ll cook the whole package, cube what hubby and I don’t eat, and throw it in a baggie in the freezer for a tasty addition to a future quick supper. Freezing individual portions of taco meat tastes amazing on a simple baked potato too. (I use those little ziplock portion baggies.)

    • Jennifer

      I also agree. I sometimes think it’s all in my head. I just don’t enjoy foods made ahead and frozen. I prefer to spend a few hours over the weekend prepping and cooking for the week. I usually make at least 1-2 soups, grill a family pack of chicken, make a big batch of sauce and prep veggies for the week. This way allows me to plan my menu according to what’s on sale and to spend a minimal amount of time in the kitchen.

    • Kat

      This is exactly why freezing ahead doesn’t work for my family either :(. Any produce with high water content (broccoli and peppers both have a higher water content) and most low-fat dairy separates when frozen and weeps upon reheating. Watery veggies and low-fat dairy are big staples in most of my recipes. I am envious every time I see this type of stuff though because it looks so convenient! I have my degree in nutrition and food science and was a registered dietitian (let my registration lapse), and I’ve tried comparable substitutes but it just doesn’t taste the same.

    • Martha Parker

      The onions and peppers can get watery, however I’m careful to ensure all my prepared stir-fry’s and fajita’s are used within 6 weeks and the texture and taste is great. Keeping a list of what’s in my freezer keeps the variety available in mind and nothing goes to waste. You might want to try just a few items to see how it works out for you.

      • Linda M

        I agree Martha. I rarely have more than 8-10 meals frozen and those that have veggies like onions, green peppers, broccoli or asparagus are frozen with the uncooked meat in the marinade, or with spices, in a one quart bag, and the veggies in another one quart bag. Sometimes, I buy the big bag of frozen Broccoli, or corn, peas, butter beans or whatever, in the 36-48 oz bags (at Sam’s) and just transfer it to smaller, portioned, sizes and they stay frozen in their own space but are in a gallon bag with the meat/poultry so the whole meal is in a bag. I don’t add the potatoes until the night I cook it, so I am only prepping one veggie to go in the crock pot or a pot on the stove. It is still way quicker!! We nearly always eat these meals in a month. I do like cooking, so I cook on the nights I am home in the afternoon. The freezer meals are for when I am out of the house most of the day for one reason or the other.

    • Martha

      Chopped onions and peppers can get watery when frozen, however my finding is if I use within 4 weeks the texture and taste is great. I always have a list of what’s in my freezer to ensure variety and using the stir fry’s and fajita’s before too long.

    • Sharleen

      I totally agree about frozen veggies. As a vegetarian, I find this can’t work for me, but one thing we’ve been doing one the weekends that can help speed up prep during the week is to soak all of our veggies in the sink with a vinegar/lemon mix to clean them and remove any pesticides. After they sit for 15 minutes, rinse them off, dry them thoroughly and chop (if you’d like). Then we bag them up in ziplocs. The veggies actually stay fresh longer than they would otherwise and dinner prep is easier since everything is cleaned and washed. It’s also great for handy, healthy snacking.

  5. Crafty Bargainista

    I do a lot of freezer meals and I actually line my Pyrex containers with foil (smoothed out VERY well) before putting in the ingredients. Then once it’s frozen, I pop it out, wrap it up, and put it in a gallon size freezer bag with a label/instructions. That allows me to make several lasagnas at once (since I have a 4 of the same size Pyrex dishes), but then frees up my dishes the next day to make another dish in bulk! Plus the meals then take up less room in the freezer and I can stack them vertically easier. πŸ™‚

    • Retta

      that’s a great idea!

      • Crafty Bargainista

        When I take it out of the freezer, sometimes I peel off the foil while it is still frozen, spray the Pyrex dish with non-stick spray, and put it in the Pyrex dish to thaw. That way I can microwave the whole dish if I have lots of leftovers or it needs some thawing assistance. Or if I want easier clean-up, I just leave the foil on.

    • Just Me

      Thanks! I did wonder about indefinitely tying up a dish

      • Crafty Bargainista

        Oh! And my dollar tree also has packs of foil pans with foil tops! I like rectangular ones because they are more space-efficient for the freezer. Their rectangular one aren’t very big, but good for a small family (maybe 2 or 3 servings). And the foil tops are great because you can put the whole thing in the oven.

    • Jac

      I’m so glad to read others’ ideas about their great strategies!

      I find that tomato based products seem to react with aluminum foil, or it tends to tear and leave pieces behind. Aluminum consumption has been linked to development of Alzheimer’s disease. To play it safe, I wonder whether you could line your baking dishes with parchment paper instead of foil, then freeze & remove. I suspect it might even be easier, as you wouldn’t need to peel it off before cooking. Has anyone had success with this?

    • Linda M

      Me too “Crafty Bargainista” ( I love that!! LOL). I especially like doing the liner and and popping the frozen dinner out and pitting it in a gallon freezer bag or my Food Saver Vacuum sealer. Especially for meals that I cook then freeze like Sheppards Pie, or other cooked casserole type meals. It works great and frees up my Pyrex. I also like the Dollar tree foil pans with the foil tops!! I like the Oblong ones best but sizes are limited and they either don’t have the larger one for 4-6 meals or the smaller ones for 2-3 meals or they only have the smaller round ones. I’m not picky… if it is foil with a foil top I buy it!! The the larger ones are usually 2 to a pack and the
      small ones are 3-4 pans to the pack for $1!! . So I snag them anytime I am in the store. I am looking at a stack of them on my counter right now waiting to get put away. I froze “lunches” with the Thanksgiving left overs, and they were great a week or 2 later, which is about as long as they last. I also cook two meals and freeze one that I warp it in foil again to insure no freezer burn.

  6. Sandra

    This is great! I’ve been thinking of doing something like this now I’m really set tk do it, thanks!

  7. Emily

    Reading this after getting home late from taking our family of 5 our to dinner, which wasn’t healthy and wasn’t cheap. This is exactly what I need to do!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ketsy

    I used to power cook. I would chicken breasts and thighs and then spend a Sunday trimming off fat and bone. I’d make kabobs, different types of stuffed chicken (italian, broccoli and cheese). etc. Stuffed chicken is the best because the chicken safeguards the inside veggies from freezer burn. It is not an easy task. I’d recommend starting off with a week and see how that works for your family. Some things to look up is how to keep onions and peppers from getting too watery and soggy. They do not taste as good as freshly chopped. Raw meals vs precooked to preheat meals. All in all it is healthier but very time consuming. Anyhow. Just my two cents. Happy cooking!

    Also consider how picky your children are and also their ages. Mine are 3, 6, 9. I have a salad, veggie lover and then one that doesn’t do meat or cheese well. The little one is a mess. I feel like I will get more out of it when my they are older.

  9. V

    You guys rock!!!! I wish I was as motivated to meal prep like that.

  10. nannyrose

    If you don’t have time to put up a month’s worth of meals., you can always make a double batch of whatever your making and freeze one. Or make a couple of extras on the weekend to help so you aren’t so rushed all week. Anything extra helps.

    • Shannon

      Yes! Whenever I am leaving town or preparing for something like a new baby or surgery I will spend the two weeks prior making double dinners. I feed my family 1 dinner and freeze the other every night that way it’s not so time consuming. I like to line my pan with foil then freeze the dinner and then the dinner can just be popped out of the dish so the dish isn’t stuck in the freezer forever and I’m able to fit a lot more in the freezer.

  11. Si

    Amazing! One day I will be able to do this!! WISH I had the time to do this now!! Job, school, an internship, volunteering at hospital on weekends, studying and getting my assignments in on time keeps me too busy to even attempt to do something like this! I live off of coffee, raw carrots, humus and whatever is quick and I don’t have to cook!! I miss food!!!

    • Stacey

      I can relate! Once before a particularly hectic semester, I prepped my freezer full of precooked, individually baggied meals. It made everything SO much easier. Plus I was able to study better because my brain wasn’t starved for nutritious food. My favorite was a bbq chickpea veggie burger, http://ohsheglows.com/2012/07/03/spicy-bbq-chickpea-burgers-lightened-up-crispy-baked-fries/

      I made a quadruple batch and fried them all on the stove, cooled, then froze in little baggies tied shut. Super easy to throw in my backpack for school/work. (I ate them without a bun.)

  12. Joann

    My husband and I do that on a much smaller scale. We usually take 1 day a week and make double or triple batches of 2 or 3 recipes and freeze some. I rarely make a single batch of anything. Browning 4 pounds of turkey and hamburger doesn’t take much longer than browning 1 and it freezes well. I make sloppy joes, meatballs, lasagnes on a regular basis and freeze them. If I freeze just hamburger it’s easy to pull a bag out and pop it in the crockpot and add some beans, etc for chili. Also if I make something with shredded chicken I put several pounds in a large crockpot, shred it, and freeze whatever I don’t use right away. It really is a huge timesaver! If spending a whole weekend seems impossible just try a few recipes and make several in an afternoon.

    • Stacey

      I love these suggestions! Thanks!

  13. Sherry

    Great post! Thanks.

  14. 4Ella

    I don’t freeze any meals, but I do buy in summer all kinds of peppers, cut them and put in Ziploc bag, and use all winter long. I also freeze bread, because we eat a lot of it. But, I cook everything from scratch, and never buy frozen made food.

  15. debbie

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. Teri

    Love these two…great article. I used to cook ahead, and it does make mealtime very easy during hectic weeks. However, I am never happy with the taste of my meals. I still have to prep toppings for tacos, my salads etc and I have joined the minimalist/clean earth movement. I dont even stockpile much anymore at all. I just sold my sweet chest freezer before the holidays…ha, talk about timing!❀But I am interested in recipies, and I do power cook, and freeze ahead for my dogs!

    • Jennine

      Along these lines, ziploc baggies Are recyclable πŸ™‚ ❀️Same as the bag your grapes come it. Rinse them out set aside. Once you fill a plastic grocery bag put it in the front of your car. The front of your grocery store or Walmart has a recycle plastic bags bin. If you don’t see it, ask where it’s located. It takes less energy to recycle then it does to manufacture the product.

  17. Vivian

    Boy do I need to do this! I just returned back to work from maternity leave and let me tell you, evenings are crazy difficult and stressful!!!! It’s hard taking care of a baby who won’t take a bottle, a demanding toddler who wants to have dinner NOW, make dinner for me and my hubby, give baths, clean up, sleep train….. I’m a wreck! Where do I find time to eat, wash pump parts, do some house cleaning like laundry and pack lunches?

    • Linda

      Hi , I totally understand. Between a 2 year old and 7 month old who doesn’t take a bottle I can relate. I found that baby wearing was my best bet. If you have a carrier like an ergo you can google ways the baby can breastfeed while you do you daily chores. As far as washing pump parts, you don’t have to wash your parts after every pump session. You can leave them in the fridge in a Ziploc bag for a whole day after each pump session and then wash them once at the end of the day for the next day. That saves me lots of times. Hope this helps.

  18. Brittany

    I assume a huge freezer is required for this!? All I’ve got is a pull out one below my fridge. Maybe someday I can afford an extra one for my garage (is that where people put theirs?).

    • Jac

      I keep mine in my garage. But also think about whether you might have room in your regular freezer for a few make-ahead meals. Depending on your situation and the number of meals you would need at once, you might be able to freeze precooked meats or a few uncooked entrees in freezer bags or disposable pans to save space. Previous commenters’ ideas about simply making a double meal some evenings could help you save a small assortment of meals in the freezer for those busier days.

  19. Brandy

    I tried this. I cooked a bunch of dishes with hamburger meat like chili, speg sauce, cowboy bake, Ect…. But even using within days, all the meals with cooked ground beef tasted awful. It’s like freezing the cooked meat made it taste bad when re-cooked. Did I do something wrong or is there a secret? I had to throw a lot away that took time and money to prepare πŸ™
    I froze the meals in lined foiled throwaway containers and even bagged them again in freezer bags.

  20. Susie

    What a great way to spend quality time with your adult child. πŸŽ€

  21. Jenny

    Now I’m hungry!

  22. A

    I will be having foot surgery in 4 weeks which requires 6 weeks off my feet. Since we have a family of 6, I was hoping to have some freezer meals ready for hubby or my oldest son to pull out of the freezer. This has really inspired me to give it a shot. It will be a good experiment for our family. Thank you!

    • Linda M

      My daughter does this every other Sunday afternoon. Her boys, 6 and 10, love and help a lot with the prep and filling bags. She is a single parent and this allows them to have more time together instead of her being in the kitchen every night. Hope your surgery went well!!!

  23. Christina

    I also do this but I only do one week at a time. This is great and I love having healthy food for my family when I don’t feel like cooking the kids (teens) can just heat and dinner is ready. Also great time preparing alone or with family. Sometimes we’re able to do it together and sometimes we can’t. Thanks for sharing and I’ll be checking out her recipes too!

  24. Kathy

    I have never heard the term Power Cooking, but that is exactly what it is. I do this two-three times a year just so I have meals on hand for the nights that we are busy with karate, school, work or just life. I always make a few extra to share with some of the ministers at our church that spend countless hours pouring themselves into us, elderly neighbors, and just to have on hand for new moms, unexpected illnesses, etc.

    Our favorites include chili, meatloaf, and any soup that I can put together ahead of time and then throw in the crockpot.

  25. Jamie K

    I have never tried it on this large of a scale!! It’s daunting, but I want to do it some day! Here’s a tip from the little I have done it. You don’t have to invest in the quantities of food storage (I don’t have the space in my cabinets for all of that!) I line my pan with foil in both directions, and then wrap it thoroughly when I’m finished. Putting 2-3 layers of foil on it before I freeze. It has always worked out really well as long as it’s wrapped thoroughly – no freezer burn, and I can just plop it in the original casserole dish, and bake – then throw away the foil when I’m done and the mess isn’t EVER in the pan!

  26. Ava

    I power cook, and have for the last three years or so- it has changed my life. I have a huge variety of recipes I can send anyone if they are interested- all of these are my favorites, and have all been approved by our family! My email is avajohnston@yahoo.com. All my recipes are crock pot meals.

    This is a time consuming process, but very worth it for the time and stress saved during the week.

  27. Ava

    I have been doing this for the last three years and wish I had of started sooner. It has changed my life with how much easier it makes the weeknight dinnertime. I have about 20 recipes or so that are our favorite freezer recipes- all are crockpot recipes. If anyone wants them, I’m happy to send- just reply and let me know:) All the recipes we have made many times, and I’m happy with how healthy they are and how much less stressful my week is because of them.

    There are lots of blogs that offer many freezer recipes- you can find a lot on Pinterest but also Here are some that I have used before: Mama and baby love, who needs a cape, new life wellness, kojo designs, and six sisters stuff.

    It is a time consuming process, but very worth it.

  28. Judy

    Martha Parker I just love your story. Would you be willing to share your last power cooking recipes with me? I would love to try this out I’ve never made so many meals at one time. Thanks jwegner4@ymail.com

    • Martha

      I’m so glad your going to do this and I’m happy to share my family favorite recipes with uou. ll send them to you later today. Thanks.

        • Martha

          Sure. Happy to share . I’ll send off later today.

      • Judy

        Thanks Martha! I will look for it later today!

      • lori garvas

        Martha – I would love your recipes also. Lori@cia.net
        Thanks

  29. cindy

    Martha- thank you for sharing! Its a great idea and can be modified easily for a family’s needs.

  30. Irina

    Thanks for a great post! Something to think about.

  31. HBee

    Hi There, Thank you for sharing! I had heard about power cooking a while back, and had never done it to your level. What I have done in the past is make a meal, then double or triple so that you can put the rest in the freezer. That seemed less intimidating to me! This is really a nice way to bless a family that may need a meal- you will have it all ready for them!

  32. sarahgrecula

    One of my favorite guest posts yet, so inspiring!

  33. lee

    Ava, I would love a copy of your recipes.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Martha

      If your interested in a few of my power cooking recipes , I’m happy to share . just post your email and I send to you later today.

      • Becky

        Hi Martha,
        I’d love your power cooking recipes! If you get the time, my email address is: tlorsbac@yahoo.com
        Thanks so much!

  34. Sherry B

    Thanks soooo much for sharing this! I just told my boyfried this morning that I’m going grocery shopping today for a whole MONTH of food and I’m sure he was rolling his eyes as he was walking away, LOL! This is perfect timing! I’m so excited! THANKS AGAIN! πŸ™‚

  35. Elaine

    I like the idea of power cooking but i cant really cook more than 3-4 meals a day and definetly wont spend cooking 3 or more meals again the next day to freeze cuz it takes at least 3 hrs to cook those including cleaning up after. The reason is because a i have a 2 yr old daughter who almost constantly wants my time and attention. So i just cook 3-4 meals fpr the week and the rest would be fried chicken from the grocery cuz theyre cheap then ill just add sides, pizza, bratwurst with salad or baked beans, then leftovers lol!

  36. Janet

    My problem with a lot of these type of freezer/batch cooking is that it is generally filled with junk. Can of this soup, packet of that – Over loaded with sodium and msg. So for us, I have done double or triple portions. I make most meals fresh and have the double in the freezer for Sunday after church quick reheats. Or after late kid activities.

  37. lori garvas

    I would like recipes also. Lori@cia.net

  38. Linda M

    I don’t think about just the evening meals as freeze ahead. When we make french toast on the weekend, we make enough for 4 breakfasts (a whole loaf of bread). I freeze them individually then but 2 or 3 slices, with Parchment paper between them in a zip lock bag. I then corral the quart bags in a gallon bag. I also freeze mini omelettes of cooked eggs and bacon or sausage, with Spinich and cheese. I cook them in muffin tins and then freeze them. I usually do 8-12 muffin omelettes at a time. Then I can have Great French toast or an “omelettes” with my grits in the morning. You can search for eggs in a muffin tin and find a lot of recipes. I like this link http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/article/muffin-tin-eggs-breakfast and this All Recipes one http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222586/scrambled-egg-muffins/.

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