Turning Over a New Leaf

In March, my husband and I were inspecting our monthly credit card statement, and we found something that we were both extremely displeased about. Within a 24 day period, we ate dinner out 19 times! On average, that is about 24 days eating out in a month! We are both very busy, and we work opposite schedules of each other, so we only see each other in the evenings.

I wanted a healthier alternative to eating (large portions) out every night, and one that made sense for our pocketbook as well. Since cooking every night is a hassle, and cleaning is always a fight waiting to happen, I started researching ways to prepare food ahead of time so that cooking and cleaning would be less of a hassle and less stress for the two of us. I came upon make ahead meals and freezer meals as an option – it lets me buy items (meat, vegetables, etc.) in bulk and prepare everything in one day, and have minimal clean up that we can both do together so we aren’t fighting about whose turn it is to clean the dishes.

There are tons of blogs and websites out there, which all have fantastic ideas for make ahead meals, so I turned to their experience to assist me in trying this new adventure. I picked out 11 recipes from a few different bloggers who have a long history of making freezer meals and went to work gathering ingredients and preparing the meals. In total, I ended up with about 26 meals for about $180, or about $7 per meal. Considering we spent (on average) $35 per meal in February when we went out, that saves us $28 a meal. Just to be fair, we still have 2 dinners out per week planned into the menus, but that means we will cut our “going out” bill by a third. I will post (and rate ) each of the recipes as we try them. I am hopeful that this experiment turns out to be a successful endeavor and that I get a green light to continue doing this.

List of Recipes:

Asian Salmon
Baked Shrimp Scampi
Corn, Black Bean, and Beef Empanadas
Chicken Rice Wraps
Chicken Pot Pie
Sloppy Joes
Beef Stroganoff
Chicken Roll Ups
Fajita Chicken
Fajita Beef
Chicken Enchiladas

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