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Creating a freezer meal cooking group & March menu!

freezer meal cooking group

With busy lives it’s hard {and stressful} getting dinner on the table after an already full day. This is where a little planning and organization goes a very long way. I have been part of a 4-woman cooking group team for several years that meets every 6 weeks or so to do freezer meal cooking. In one night, we make over a dozen meals for each of our families. That’s 48 meals!

If we have extra ingredients, we almost always make another marinade or two to have on hand and wind up with 13-14!

Here’s how it works. Each time we rotate who plans.

The role of the planner:

The planner has an incredibly BIG job, but it’s only a few times a year. The planner is also the host of the cooking night. She puts together a 12-meal plan, creates the grocery list (times 4), does all the shopping (we use Costco warehouse for all the meats/bulk items) and sets up her house for cooking.

If there are recipes that require cooking (browning meat, etc.) it is a huge benefit to the group if the host gets this done earlier in the day. She also makes a menu with cooking instructions so after you pull out your freezer meal you have an at-a-glance instruction sheet for getting it done.

Your only step is adding a side dish or veggie and you instantly have a healthy and inexpensive meal for your family. We usually start at 6pm. This gives the planner the day to get organized, buy last minute items, brown meat and get her house ready for cooking zone. It also allows for husbands to get the kids out of our hair so we can focus on the task at hand.

Group member responsibilities:

At 6:00, the other group members come with their knife, cutting board, mixing bowls and checkbook. The total amount is divided equally and usually turns out around $15-$18/meal and they are designed to feed a family of 6. Each person is responsible for 3 recipes. She grabs a recipe and immediately starts making that recipe for all 4 of the group members. This can be done in a big mixing bowl or just put directly into ziplock bags. This works especially well if one member has a gluten intolerance or another insensitivity. At the end of the night, each member made 3 meals for each of the 4 families, and leaves with at least 12 great meals to put in the freezer.

My gift to you!

Because I love you so much and think cooking group is such an essential in our family life, I’m willing to share my hard work with you! My friends were over last night and this morning my freezer is full. Here is the menu and cooking instructions I prepared for us, your grocery shopping list (figured for a group of 4), and links below to each of the recipes we just made. I hope you find it helpful and fun and a great way to love your family well. I know it will save you stress getting good meals on the table even though it is a lot of work.

* Please do note, as a group we have accumulated a shared cooking group bin that travels to whomever is hosting the cooking group. It contains non-perishable ingredients that we use from month to month. This treasure chest includes items like: olive oil, vinegars, spices, etc. You can see our bin in the photo above and all the goodies it contains! You will want to double check your kitchen for the spices, etc as you are storing up your own shared bin!

March menu

Creamy burrito casserole

Baked ziti

Grilled pork chops with mustard, rosemary and apple marinade

Grilled lemon chicken with peanut satay

Spicy asian flank steak

Bourbon chicken

Sizzling sesame beef

Flank steak with coffee peppercorn marinade

The best baked ham

Crock pot white chicken chili

Kristi’s lasagna (in this recipe, our Kristi adds a 1/2 lb. hot italian sausage for a little extra specialness – it’s a good thing & it’s already added on your shopping list)

Flank steak with rosemary

Cooking group…it’s a good thing. Enjoy!


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sarah February 27, 2014, 4:10 am

    This is incredible! I admit, a bit daunting to deal with all of the logistics this must entail, but it would be so convenient to get this set up with my group of girls. Thanks for sharing those recipes!

    • Tammy February 27, 2014, 4:47 pm

      you’re welcome sarah! start with less meals, maybe pick 4 or 6 & you can ramp up to all 12! a few days of work for a whole month of easy meals is so worth it. if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! you can message me on my Facebook page too. good luck & have fun!

  • Karen Kruh February 27, 2014, 10:26 pm

    Tammy, Thank you so much for sharing. It’s made me think and get creative. I just love receiving your email and blessings! They just seem to come in at the most appropriate times.

    • Tammy March 3, 2014, 2:34 pm

      Thanks Karen! Yes, get creative – have fun! I’m so glad you’re a part of this community. Blessings to you!

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