Tuesday, August 28, 2012

12 meals. 60 bucks. Voila!

I have been wanting to complete a crock pot freezer meal extravaganza since the first time I saw it on Pinterest months ago. With a little one close to being here, a wild toddler, and a hungry husband, my nesting skills came out in full force today in the form of crock potting. And it was insanely successful. Why didn't I do this before?

The biggest problem I had with the blogs I pinned was that I didn't like all the recipes (or they just weren't my favorite) so the grocery list ended up not being helpful. So, my solution? Go through all my crock pot recipes (both in my head and on Pinterest) and make my own grocery list. This took me about 20 minutes. No seriously. 20 minutes.

The meals I decided to make include:

1 ranch pork chops with potatoes and carrots,
2 chicken 'n dumplings,
1 Zuppa Tuscana,
2 Teriyaki Chicken with carrots (to be served with rice),
1 Italian Chicken with potatoes and carrots,
1 Ranch Chicken Tacos (to be served with taco fixings),
2 BBQ Chicken with sweet potatoes and zucchini,
1 sausage and peppers (to be served over garlic bread or noodles),
1 shredded chicken tacos (to be served with taco fixings)

Here's my grocery list:

1 bottle BBQ sauce
3 ranch seasoning packets
2 cream of chickens
2 32 oz. chicken broth
2 cans pineapple
1 bottle Italian dressing
1 bottle Parmesan cheese

1 8 oz package cream cheese
1 pint whipping cream
2 packages of biscuits
3 bags of frozen chicken breasts (approx. depending on how much is in the bag)
2 packages Italian sausage

2 large sweet potatoes
4 bell peppers
1 zucchini
1 bag of red potatoes
1 onion

My total was $63 and some change but I also bought milk, bananas, cheese, and tortillas. I went shopping at Winco. The total always surprises me. It's so cheap!

Here are the items I already had at home:

3 pork chops
1 giant Costco bag of carrots
1 bag of spinach
3 cans corn
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 fajita seasoning packet
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Teriyaki sauce

After we got home I did what all the blogs say to do. Lay it on the counter and get to work. Considering nap time was over, I wished myself luck, got Isaiah a snack and a show, and booked it. I mean I went crazy fast and I got everything in bags within an hour. It then took me 30 minutes to clean the craziness and admire my work. I'm proud.

1 in the crock, 11 ready to freeze. BOOOOOM!

OK. So here are the recipes. I don't follow any of them strictly and I don't measure things. I don't have time. :)

Ranch pork chops with Potatoes and Carrots
*A few handfuls of carrots
*4-6 red potatoes cut in half
*3 Pork chops
*1 Packet ranch seasoning
Update: Yum.

Chicken 'n Dumplings (I made 2 of these)
*16 oz. chicken broth
*1 can cream of chicken
*1 can corn
*A couple handfuls of carrots
*A little garlic powder
*A little pepper
*1 package of biscuit dough (cut each biscuit into fourths and add AFTER the meal has been defrosted)
(I did not add chicken because I usually used leftover chicken or ham or turkey when I make this...think holidays. This may need water when put in the pot.)

Update: Don't use biscuits. They don't freeze well. Add them in fresh the day of or use ripped up tortillas.

1 Zuppa Tuscana
*32 oz. chicken broth
*1 cup whipping cream
*1 package Italian sausage (cooked and cut up)
*3 handfuls spinach (could also use kale or swiss chard)
*2-3 potatoes cubed
*some garlic powder
*some oregano
*some pepper
*1 onion chopped
(Also may need water)

Update: Yum.

Teriyaki Chicken with carrots (to be served with rice) - I made 2
*3-4 chicken breasts
*1 can pineapple
*handful or two of carrots
*1/2-1 cup teriyaki sauce
Update: Yum.

1 Italian Chicken with potatoes and carrots
*4 chicken breasts
*4-6 potatoes cut in half
*a few handfuls of carrots
*1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
*1 bottle Italian dressing
Update: Yum.

1 Ranch Chicken Tacos (to be served with taco fixings)
*3-4 chicken breasts
*1 packet ranch seasoning
Update: Yum. Add water while cooking!

BBQ Chicken with sweet potatoes and zucchini - I made 2
*4 chicken breasts
*2 sweet potatoes (cut up)
*1 zucchini (cut up)
*1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
Update: Don't use zucchini, it just gets mushy.

1 sausage and peppers (to be served over garlic bread or noodles)
*1 package Italian sausage
*4 bell peppers, sliced
*Italian seasoning
*garlic powder
(add EVOO when in the pot)
Update: Yum.

1 shredded chicken tacos (to be served with taco fixings)
This is what we ate for din, din, served on tortillas with cheese, romaine, and spinach. SO good!
*3 chicken breasts
*1 8 oz. package cream cheese
*1 can corn
*1 can black beans (rinsed...no one wants to be gassy)
*1 can diced tomatoes
*1 packet ranch seasoning
*1 packet fajita seasoning
Update: Yum.

All recipes cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, except sausage and peppers. Cook that on low for 4-6 hours.

That's it. 12 meals (11 in the freezer, 1 in my tummy) for $60. I suppose you could add another $20-30 for the food I already had but still, not a bad deal. Plus, all of these meals yield crazy leftovers. We love leftovers!

And here's the reality check. Isaiah emptied the tupper ware cabinet and dish towel drawer in the process. He also may have eaten a dog treat. The jury's still out on that one. No harm done, right? At least he's well fed.

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