5 Cheap Freezer Meals to Try
Below are five cheap freezer meals for you to try. Each offers a delicious, home-cooked meal that is freezable so you can make it ahead of time and they’re extremely cheap.
1. Chicken Tacos
Chicken tacos are a great “hands off” meal. Simply dice chicken breast and place it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag with the hot sauce of your choice. Depending on how easy you’d like your meals to be, you can either freeze the chicken tacos like this and prepare them on a separate night. Or, instead, you can make the chicken that day (just chicken breast, hot sauce, salt and pepper). Then, wrap the chicken in tortillas with cheese and place the well-wrapped tortilla in the freezer in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. When you’re ready to eat them, microwave for 2 minutes on high (or until heated through). This meal only costs about $2.50 per serving and can save you a ton of time during a busy week.
Jambalaya is another great, cheap freezer meal and it can go right into your crockpot when you take it out of the freezer. All you need is kielbasa sausage (whatever kind you prefer), 2-3 pounds of ground beef, butter, two green bell peppers, one small yellow onion, four stalks celery, two 10 oz. cans Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, vegetable or chicken stock, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Dice the veggies and sausage and place all of the ingredients into two large freezer-safe Ziploc bags. When you’re ready to cook, just pull them out of the freezer and put it directly into the crockpot on low for four to six hours. Serve with rice. (About $2 a serving.)
Lasagna is something that many people buy frozen, however, you can save a bit of money if you make it ahead of time and freeze it yourself. You’ll need 18 lasagna noodle, 3 pounds ground beef, 3 jars (26 oz) spaghetti sauce, 2 large eggs, 1-1/2 pounds ricotta cheese, 6 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, dried parsley flakes, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. You’ll want to cook the meat and noodles first then begin layering the lasagna in a freezer-safe pan (you can get these at the Dollar Store). All in all, it makes 24 servings with not a lot of effort or cash. This costs about $1.50 per serving.
Similar to the chicken taco recipe, you can also make burritos. If you enjoy veggies on your burrito (outside of cooked peppers), leave them off until the day you reheat your burrito. Veggies like lettuce and tomato don’t normally freeze well. Simply cook the ingredients you want in your burrito (ground beef, rice, beans) and top with cheese. Then fold your burrito, place it in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Once you’re ready to eat it, place it in the microwave for three minutes or until heated through. (This meal costs less than $2 per serving.)
5. Breakfast Sandwiches
Breakfast sandwiches are one of the easiest things to make and throw in the freezer for quick mornings. All you need is a package of English muffins, eggs, bacon or sausage, cheese, salt and pepper. To prepare these, cook the meat first and set aside. Cook the eggs in the grease leftover (scrambled freezes best). Put the eggs directly on the English muffin, then cheese, meat and the top half of the muffin. Place in a small freezer-safe bag or vacuum seal it (if you have the capability). When you’re ready to enjoy your breakfast, place it on a microwave-safe plate and place a paper towel on top of it. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until heated through. These breakfast sandwiches cost just over $2 per serving.
Freezer meals are a great way to save both time and money, as you can see above. If you’ve got a fun, cheap freezer meal you’d like to share, let us know! You can also check out great, cheap recipes in the Saving Advice forums.
Photo: Kathleen Franklin