When I realized Gary would be leaving in two weeks, I panicked and rushed out and bought a freezer. I knew that I would need to have meals prepared ahead of time, I just didn't realize how much and how often I would need them.
This week, we ate out almost every day. However, yesterday, we went grocery shopping. Today, I prepared 15 pounds of hamburger. I made 11 pounds into ground beef, 1 pound into hamburgers (we don't eat a lot of hamburgers), and 3 pounds into meatloaves.
Here's how it works. I cooked the ground beef. When it comes time to make chili, spaghetti, macaroni, tacos, etc, I'll take a bag out of the freezer and pop it into the microwave. This will cut down on the amount of cooking and dishes I have to do. When I make each of those recipes (except the tacos) I'll triple them so that I can freeze 2 meals worth. This way, I have 3 meals with 1 nights worth of work. I love doing this, but when we moved here, we lost our second refrigerator, which meant we had virtually no extra freezer space. For the meatloaves, I put foil in the pans I plan to cook them in, mixed the ingredients together, and froze them. Then, I popped them out of the pans and stuck them in freezer bags. When I'm ready to cook them, I'll just take the foil off and put them in the pan and cook them.
This saves so much time it is scary. This will really reduce our eating out. Now, I just need to do the same thing with chicken, which is on sale this week.