The Best Way To Meal Plan When You’re a Hot Mess

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Dinnertime is so awesome.

I mean, 5:00 hits and my son is so well behaved.  The best he’s behaved all day, in fact.

My husband?  He’s always around to help out with whatever I need, whether that’s preparing part of the meal or helping our angelic child build a block tower.

Then after a half hour to an hour of work in the kitchen, we all sit down together for a civilized meal.

Oh wait.  No.  It’s actually not like that at all.

More like 5:00 hits and my son turns into a straight-up barnacle.  A whiny barnacle who wants to put his hands in whatever I’m doing in the name of “helping”.  If I haven’t decided on dinner, it’s probably going to be macaroni and cheese… or maybe I’ll treat myself to fast food.  And if I do the latter, I’ll spend the rest of the night complaining because I don’t feel good and spent way too much money, and making vows to never eat fast food again.

And my husband?  Probably working.  And even if he’s not, Barnacle Boy wants “Mom! Mommy! Mommy!!!” and Mommy only.

And dinner time is filled with eating, trying to hold an adult conversation if my husband’s home, telling my son he has to sit down, that he can’t have fruit snacks, that I’m not making him macaroni and cheese tonight, that he can’t get up until we’re done eating, etc.

If this is your household around dinnertime: solidarity, sister.

At some point after a few miserable nights in a row of yelling at my son and spending more time with him in time out than actually cooking, I figured there had to be a better way.  And uh, there totally is.

Enter: Freezer cooking.

To be honest, the concept intimidated me at first.  It sounded like way more work than it was worth, especially for someone who doesn’t own a dishwasher and would have to hand wash all the resulting dishes.

I didn’t want to spend an entire day putting together meals for a month – it sounded exhausting.

Plus, scouring Pinterest and putting together a meal plan by myself took a lot of time out of my day.  Plus, if I liked a meal, I wasn’t very organized about keeping track of it, so if I wanted to recreate it it wasn’t happening.

What really made freezer cooking an option for me was FreezEasy.

And seriously – it’s a game-changer.

 

How It Works

When you sign in, you’ll see 8 pre-put together meal plans to choose from.

  • Traditional
  • Gluten-free
  • Slow cooker
  • Clean eats (suitable for Whole 30!)
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Pork
  • 20 meals

They’re also coming out with new ones all the time – like Keto meals, for instance, which are coming soon.

So you can start by choosing one of these meal plans, swap meals out of those to make your own, or start completely from scratch by searching through the recipes.  You can search the recipes by type of protein, cooking method, or dietary preferences, so whatever you’re in need of for your meal plan, you can find quickly and easily.

It lets you select how many servings you need, too.  We usually set it to 4 servings because we eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.  You can choose up to 8 servings per meal if you have a big family.

Each meal plan (besides the 20 meals one) consists of making two each of 5 different meals.  Those 10 meals, with leftovers, usually last us more than 2 weeks.

Once you have the meal plan ready to go, you follow the grocery list to buy everything you need at once.  Then you print the labels, prep the bags/trays, and follow the assembly directions.

If you’re efficient and follow the instructions closely (read: not like me), you’ll have 10 meals done in an hour.

No joke.

Then you just freeze the meals, thaw them the night before you want to eat them (or use the safe quick thaw methods they recommend if you forget) and put them in the crock pot/oven/instant pot/skillet when it’s time.

 

The Benefits

I love how easy FreezEasy makes freezer cooking (say that 10 times fast.)  But seriously – I don’t have to think/plan anything by myself (aside from timing, because I need to find the time my sweet boy won’t be quite so barnacley).  If I had to compile the recipes and plan everything out myself, I just wouldn’t do it.

One thing that surprised me is how much less time I have to spend doing dishes.  We end up with fewer dishes each night, since I already washed the majority on prep day.  Even though I thought it’d be a pain for someone with no dishwasher, it ends up being way easier.

I also just love the fact that dinner’s a no-brainer.  I don’t have to scratch my head and wonder what we’re going to eat.  I have dinners ready to go in the freezer, so I just pick one and go.

The app is amazing, as well.  I love having access to all the recipes all the time, especially when I’m at the grocery store.  If I see ground beef is on sale, I can quickly pull up a ground-beef-only meal plan, buy the ingredients, and make great use of the meat.

 

The Drawbacks

To be totally honest, I haven’t liked every single one of the recipes, which is a bummer when you’ve made two of them.  But I guess I should realize that I’m just not a fan of most vegetarian dishes and neither is my husband.  The majority of the meals have been a hit, though 🙂

Also, the meals can be hard to fit in the freezer It can be hard to fit in your freezer if you’re not used to it.  We have a chest freezer, which makes it a lot easier, but it’s definitely something you’ll have to prepare for.  Note: The meals that go in Ziploc freezer bags tend to be easier to store than the foil trays, in my opinion.

FreezEasy also doesn’t do anything to fix the issue of chaos at mealtime, but that’s okay.  I’m sure we’ll miss all the chaos one day 😉

 

My favorite recipes so far:

  • Buffalo chicken nachos
  • Grilled Hawaiian chicken sandwiches
  • Cheesesteak sloppy joes
  • Baja shredded chicken tacos (hubby thought they were too sweet but I loved these.  Drool.)

They’ve also recently added lunch recipes, but I haven’t looked into them much.  I’m sure they’re amazing, but like I said, we just make big batches and eat leftovers for lunch.

 

If you’re ready to be less of a hot mess at dinnertime, sign up here.

Have you ever tried freezer cooking?

Um, this is amazing. This puts together a freezer meal plan for you complete with shopping lists + labels, then you prep and freeze according to instructions. And you get 10 done in an hour. I can totally do that during nap time lol!

About The Author

Leah Everly

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Leah is a mom, a wife, and a blogger who loves to read and (occasionally) exercise in her spare time. She lives in Utah with her family and has never met a cookie she didn’t like (well – almost never :))