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How to Make Your Own Frozen Dinners to Save Money and Eat Healthy Meals

Updated on December 7, 2012
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Eat Better for Less with Frozen Meals

When you work full time, it is difficult to find the time to make healthy meals every day. It is often easier to eat out. You are saving time, you reason, and eating out is a good value for the time that it saves you.

Some people decide that eating out is not economical or healthy, so they choose to buy convenience dinners. Michelenas, Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine all make healthy entrees that are easy to take out of the freezer to take to work for lunch, and reheat in the microwave there. Sometimes though, these meals contain preservatives and ingredients you may want to avoid. Even though these companies offer a variety of meals, sometimes it is difficult to find one that meets your situation, especially if you are on a special diet. It is hard to find gluten-free or vegan foods that are inexpensive.

Taking the time to pack a lunch can take some time, and some people feel too stressed in the morning to do so. One tip is to keep all of your lunch supplies in one place. If you have your napkins, plasticware, beverage and snacks in one general area, it is easy to pack your lunch quickly. Then they can simply reach in the refrigerator and have a ready lunch.

Another tip is to pack their lunch on the previous night. This prevents chaos to already hectic mornings. You can make your peanut butter jelly or tuna sandwich the night before and save it in the refrigerator. Eating a cold sandwich everyday can be tiring though.

The way to have healthy meals that you really enjoy is to make your own frozen dinner. One easy way to start is to double a recipe when you are cooking your favorite meal. Simply freeze the other side in individual containers, and you have a frozen meal ready for you. Over time, you will have a variety of meals to choose from, and they will be exactly to your taste specifications, and meet all of your dietary considerations.

This comes in handy for lunches, but also for dinners when you do not have time to cook. When you are not in a mood to cook, or are in a hurry to go to a soccer match, you can quickly defrost and heat your frozen meal, and get on your way. You can even eat in the car if you want - just be careful, it might be hot.

Once you have made a decision to save money with frozen meals, you may want to make entire meals simply for freezing. You can buy a family size pack of chicken or other meat when it is on sale. You can make one meal, or if you want variety, make two or three items. Let them cook, and freeze them, and you will be ready for the week. It takes only a little longer to make two or three meals than it does to make just one. Even though some people devote their weekends to prepare their meals ahead of time, I find a couple hours is plenty. Keep your meals simple.

Additional Tips

Put entire meals in one container. My containers include the vegetables, the starch (rice or potatoes or pasta), and the meat. This makes it more convenient.

Buy the same size containers - they are much easier to store that way

Gently pry the food from the container and defrost and cook on a separate plate. Your containers will last longer that way.

Labeling the containers is a good idea, so you can find the meal you want when you are craving it. You can put dates on them, but I find that I use up my frozen meals right away, since they contain my favorite foods and are convenient.

Making your own frozen meals will ensure that you have tasty meals that are customized to your dietary needs, and will save you money, time and stress at the same time. It is a great way to becoming richer day by day.

Have you ever made your own frozen meals? What did you make?


Additional Resources

You can also save money by getting many things free. Find out where to get free stuff.

Comments

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    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thanks moonlake. I do try to keep frozen food at my house at all times so that I can get a quick and healthy meal without going to a restaurant.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      5 years ago from America

      Good idea to have frozen meals. Voted up enjoyed reading your hub.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks savingkathy, I ate a lot of frozen entrees for the convenience, but they always had something wrong with them. If they didn't have too much fat, they had too much salt. Then there is the dairy issue. Making my own meals lets me have the convenience of frozen food exactly to my specifications.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips! Homemade frozen meals are definitely a healthier and cheaper option than frozen dinners you buy at the store - and I'm sure they taste better too!

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thank you OfTheHeart. Ever since I started this practice, I have found it more enjoyable to eat at home, since I know that my favorite dishes are just a microwave button away! I know exactly what ingredients are in all of my dishes, and what type of hygiene measures I used to cook them.

    • OfTheHeart profile image

      Stephanie 

      7 years ago from New York

      It really can be as easy as cooking double meals when you are already cooking. I am guilty of the takeout to save time and when I've had a long day. But with a little effort, it can be avoided because the guilt I feel after is not worth it. Thanks for the advice!

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      thanks eye say!

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 

      7 years ago from Canada

      good for you - we all can only do what we can do - at least you're aware and taking the precautions :O)

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      I can understand using glass containers, eye say. I try to take steps to limit toxins - these plastic containers are BPA free, I do not microwave them and I wash them by hand instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Thanks for the vote up.

    • eye say profile image

      eye say 

      7 years ago from Canada

      my only negative is freezing in plastics is not a good idea - the toxins leach into the food. We freeze everything using glass containers now, great hub otherwise and a vote up!

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thank you very much Marlo. I have been freezing my own dinners for a year now, and they come in very handy, especially during peak seasons at work.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 

      7 years ago from United States

      Voted UP and USEFUL. I have only made sauce to freeze, but you Hub has inspired me to try to make some homemade frozen meals. Thanks for the tips.

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