Yesterday I took the morning to cook 17 meals in a few hours. Some people have asked me what I did so I thought I’d post about it.
I’ve always wanted to try this and it worked out well. They are all slow cooker meals. The sizes of the recipes should give my family at least one dinner and a lunch for Jon to take to work. Some of them would require a side dish of some kind and some wouldn’t. Most of these were new meals to me so there may be some changing or getting rid of some recipes. I should also mention that although I did use a lot of the canned and frozen foods recommended in the recipes, there are always ways to adapt and use fresh or homemade ingredients! Especially for the canned mushrooms and tomatoes. Those are very easy to not have to use canned in the summer time!
I went on Pinterest and found some recipes that looked yummy and easy to me and my family. I used these two links…
I really liked the websites above because they have suggestions and links for side dishes. I don’t know about you, but I always have problems figuring out sides. I frequently skip them all together, which can make for a boring meal.
I also used these random recipes for other sites…
http://www.food.com/recipe/ground-beef-stroganoff-123503 (a family favourite)
The meals I chose from the links above were….
(From the 10 meals link)
-Black bean and corn salsa chicken
-Beef and Mushroom
-Pineapple glazed ham
-Mom’s slow cooker chilli
-Sweet teriyaki chicken
(From the 8 meals link)
-Black bean and taco soup
-Chicken broccoli alfredo
-Hearty beef stew
-Maple dijon glazed chicken
-Cilantro lime chicken with corn and black beans
(From the random sites)
-Cream cheese chicken
-Creamy chicken with mushrooms
-Beef stroganoff (I doubled this recipe because it’s a favourite)
-Cheesy hash brown casserole
-I also made a BBQ chicken with just the chicken and a store boughten marinade I’d had in the fridge.
I wrote out all the ingredients I would need to make the meals I had chosen and made a grocery list from that.
Go shopping. I went to the produce store, butchers, Costco and Superstore. I ended up spending about $300 but I bought a lot of things that were bulk and bought some easy meals like perogies and fish sticks. I don’t think I spent more that $200 on the actual meals.
I labeled all the Ziploc bags with what was going in it, and cooking and serving instructions.
I set out all the ingredients that I was going to need on the counter. I cut all the veggies and put them in bowls on the counter too.
I started cooking the beef so it could cool enough to put in the bags. For the chicken meals I just used frozen chicken breasts. Pre frozen was half the price of fresh!
I just started adding the ingredients to the bags and putting them back in the freezer! DONE!
It took about 3 hrs. $200 for 17 meals. That’s $11.76 a meal which should feed my family one dinner and one lunch for Jon to take to work. That’s about $2.35 a serving. Not bad? I’m happy with that. I have recently lowered our monthly grocery bill from $600 to $550 a month. If these meals taste good and I can start shopping sales a little better, especially for the meat, I may even get it down to $500! I do need some good recipes for some veggie meals though. We aren’t used to eating this much meat! But I couldn’t find any good slow cooker veggie meals. If you know of any let me know!
2 thoughts on “17 Meals in 3hrs!”
wow, this is awesome Katie! Just to clarify, is the idea that you just grab the bag from the freezer and throw it in the slow cooker in the morning? Are these ALL slow cooker meals? Do the frozen chicken breasts just go in the bags as is, no pre-cooking or chopping involved? Thanks for sharing this!
Katie – Yes, the idea is too grab it from the freezer and throw it in the slow cooker. They are all slow cooker meals. Most of them recommend thawing for 24 hrs, but some say no thawing necessary. I just marked them appropriately. I figure I'll just grab tomorrows out when I'm cleaning up dinner the night before. Should be an easy enough reminder? Maybe?
The chicken was all raw and frozen whole breasts. I did precook the beef though. Some of the recipes say to shred the chicken after cooking for serving but not all. I chose ones that seemed really easy and minimal work to me.