So if you are anything like meal dinner is such a struggle. I never have anything planned out, and to be frank I never want to make it (Ha but so true). Trying to figure out what to make is as hard as trying to figure out what the kids will eat. No one likes my food and no one thinks I can cook so why even try? So one of friends recommend I try to start a Freezer meal club with some of my friends. I had never even heard of it but somehow I was already sold. I was let’s say all in….When can we start? Let’s do this…..
I truly need something to one motivate me to plan a meal….two set’s aside time to meet with other mom’s experiencing the same struggle as me. So here are the basic rules to a Freezer club and establishing a club for you and your friends. It’s as easy as finding other Mom’s or friends who are struggling with meal-time (Trust me this is easy to do).
With Spring around the corner who wants to hang over a stove all night…Um not me I want to be running through a field of flowers with a smile on my face (Thought is nice isn’t it)….How easy would it be to just pull something out of the freezer and put it in a crock pot? So if you’re not sold yet keep reading……
How do you start a freezer meal cooking club you ask? Here is what you need to get started.
1. Reach out to Friends or even family friends who may want to join your club. You do not need a specific number of people to get started. Just ensure that no matter amount each person is ok with cooking that many meals. So if you have 8 members each person will need to cook 8 meals at one time (Now each member will receive the amount of meals as the amount of people so this shouldn’t be an issue).
2. Set ground rules for the club.
We have added some rules below to help you establish an idea of a baseline. These can be modified to work for your group of gal’s once you have met and discussed what you have. Most importantly this should be fun and easy so keep that in mind.
How Does it Work?
Step 1: Establish a small group of friends maybe 6-10 people who can commit to making freezer-friendly meals and who want to share them with the rest of the group on set schedules.
Step 2: Pick one person to be the leader or administrator of the group. This person will pick exchange dates, groups meetings, and group communication.
Sep 3: Before exchange dates are finalized each member will need to choose a family friendly recipe to share with the group.
Step 4: Group members will create enough batches of their chosen meal to match the number of members in the group. Each member will also provide written cooking instructions for the meal they are providing.
Step 5: Meet on specific date and time to exchange the meals. ( Meet for coffee and exchange…I love coffee so why not make an excuse to meet for lunch or for a cup of joe….).
SERVING SIZE: Each batch should have 4-6 servings to feed an entire family.
PRICE RANGE: All meals should be within reasonable price range (Keep in mind easy, not gourmet…but preferably not Top Ramen Either).
PACKAGING: Use containers or packaging that does not need to be returned to you. Such as disposable freezer bags or plasticware, or foil pans.
P.S. Stick with neutral foods that both adults and kids will enjoy. So no spicy or international foods that have questionable ingredients. The key is little or NO prep so items that can go from bag to crock pot with no fuss. If the meal needs to be combined with rice or pasta make sure to include in a separate bag as part of the meal. Use the exchange as a main dish not an entire meal plan.
3. Set up Exchange date and time. This is where the fun begins! You may meet for coffee or plan a lunch either way it can be fast or fun!!! Lord knows we don’t usually get any mom or friend time in our chaos that is our life so set aside an hour to relax and chat you earned it!!! This is the time to talk meals and see what everyone likes and dislikes are to better help you plan your meals. You an also decide how frequent you want to do the exchange you may want once a month or more frequently. It’s your group so you guys decide!!!
4. Let’s Get Cooking. Fine, Finally it is time to choose what you want to make…Buy all the ingredients and get down to business. Pick something simple that you can make a mass quantity of to replicate for entire group. Just think about what your family likes or something you enjoy making and I guarantee your friends will like it to.
Here are a few of my favorite meals to freeze:
Chicken or Tuna Casserole
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can simply “Google” Freezer Meals Recipes and come up with thousands of ideas. I would recommend going to your meeting with quite a few to throw around with the members. This way you can have many choices and hopefully end up with a few months worth of meal ideas.
I truly hope this inspires you to start your own cooking club. Please tell us in the comments if this is something you have done, are doing, or want to start doing. We will keep you posted on how our group goes and any fun new meals we come up with along the way. The dinner time struggle is real girls and I would love to know how you simplify it.