How can Taco Tuesday make planning freezer meals even easier???
Everyone knows Taco Tuesday and other theme nights are awesome. And everyone knows freezer meals save you time in the kitchen. If you didn’t, #nowyouknow
But what everyone doesn’t know, is why you need to marry them together.
Let’s say you meal plan on a regular basis, you’ve even adopted theme nights and regularly follow them. Yay you! You’ve got the hard part out of the way!
Let’s also say you love the idea of freezer meals, you might even regularly put them together and have a small (or large!) stash in your freezer as we speak.
But if we put them together… BAM! The earths collide and you have a match made in heaven!
Think about it. You already do Taco Tuesday, or Slow Cooker Saturday, or Meatless Monday, right?
If you had a freezer meal already made, waiting for you, that was specifically for ONE of those nights, wouldn’t that make your life easier???
And if you had one already made for EACH of those nights… well holy guacamole. You could essentially not cook for an entire week… or use your freezer meals on the nights you just don’t have time to cook… or make every Macaroni Monday a freezer meal… you get the point.
“Alright, Elisa, I’m in!”
HOW TO MAKE THEME NIGHTS AND FREEZER MEALS WORK TOGETHER
1 DECIDE ON THEME NIGHTS
There’s two ways to do theme nights: what to eat or how to eat.
What to eat
Decide based on an ingredient, an ethnicity, or a type of meal. This will lessen your options and help you come up with dinner rather quickly. Meatless Monday, Stir Fry Sunday, or Soupy Saturday are examples of these. So what does your family like to eat?
How to eat
You decide based on your routine. If you know you get home late on Thursday nights, you need a 30 minute meal. If you have to leave right after dinner to go to church every Wednesday night, you need to use the crockpot or grill so there’s no cleanup.
So take a look at your calendar over the next month or two and see what recurring nights you have commitments. We’re not necessarily talking about specific appointments here, just a general overview of your weekly schedule.
And… there’s nothing that says you can’t mix them together! Whatever you decide, write them on the blank Theme Nights planner.
Related: If you want more help with theme nights, or want a list of 42+ theme night ideas, click here to check out this article.
2 FIND & CHOOSE RECIPES THAT FIT YOUR THEME NIGHTS
Where do you normally find recipes? I go to my recipe box first and then Pinterest next, and my cookbook collection last.
1 Your tried and true recipes
So, first go to your recipe box. What do you make that your family loves that will fit into a Theme Night?
Which ones would freeze well?
Which ones don’t require any cooking ahead of time and could be frozen raw then dumped into a crockpot or a skillet?
2 Pinterest and favorite blogs
Pinterest has literally millions of blogger’s recipes, some are fantastically delicious and some are, well… not so great. #giveittothedog
It’s hard to tell the difference by looking at a pin unless there are a bunch of reviews under the “Tried it!” feature.
So, how do you find yummy recipes and keep it simple? Follow people you trust to repin good recipes.
Here’s some of my favorite pinners for easy, kid-friendly freezer meal ideas:
- Megan @ With Salt and Wit
- Dawn @ Smart Mom Nutrition
- Brittany @ Our Home Made Easy
- Ally @ Sweet Savory Eats
- My Freezer Meals board (can’t forget that! ha!)
Then there’s specific food bloggers. If you’re on Pinterest a lot looking at recipes you might already have some favorite bloggers that you follow.
Here are my favorite go-to food bloggers (I’ve made many recipes from each of them!):
The other places to find good recipes are cookbooks and magazines. Go hang out at the library for a little bit and write down a few recipes.
My all-time favorite cookbooks for simple kid-friendly recipes:
- Rachael Ray Look + Cook
- Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple
- Slow Cooker Revolution
- The Wellness Mama Cookbook
- 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous
I couldn’t leave this one off my list because I really want Santa to get it for me! Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking
3 MAKE YOUR PLAN
Grab your free Theme Nights + Freezer Meal Planner!
Here is where you can jot down the theme nights you decided on, recipe ideas you have, and which ones will work for freezer meals. Then as you make them, add them to your freezer meal planner or inventory list (find them in the Freebie Library) so you don’t forget what’s in there!