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Overcoming the dinnertime crazies: Four benefits of freezer cooking meals

Whether you have a family of four, two or just for yourself, freezer cooking can be a great solution when its 5 o'clock and you're wondering what's for dinner. By stocking your freezer with meals you've made in advance, you can save time, money and eat healthier.

So why freezer cook?
  1. Saves ­money. We know that eating out or having pizza delivered can be convenient, but also costly. A family of four can easily spend $30+ on a fast food dinner. By planning out my meals, I take advantage of sales at the grocery store and buy in bulk.
  2. Saves time. How convenient to simply grab something out of the freezer in the morning, defrost it or put in the crock-pot and forget about it! Clean up is also drastically reduced as there are less dishes being used.
  3. Makes me eat healthier. Today, most families in America only eat one "home-cooked" meal a week. With freezer cooking, I eat fewer processed foods, fats, salt and preservatives because I control the ingredients.
  4. Reduces stress. Knowing I have a dinner ready to go on days when I don't feel like cooking or don't know what to make brings me peace of mind.
General approaches to freezer cooking

There are three basic approaches to freezer cooking. The key is to figure out what works for you.

  1. Doubling up. Several times a week, make double of your dinner meal and freeze the other meal for later. The pros of this method is it doesn't require a lot of planning or time, just some containers on hand.
  2. Once-a-month cooking. This is making all the meals for the month in one day. This approach takes additional planning because you need to know what recipes you're going to make, shop for the ingredients, have enough space in your freezer and have the right storage containers.
  3. A half-day or few hours. Setting aside a portion of your time for freezer cooking can be less overwhelming than once-a-month cooking. It will take some planning, but may be easier to take on if you're a beginner.

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