Monday, April 26, 2010

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead, when it comes to bulk purchasing meat, saves me a lot of time, energy, thought and cleaning! Plus, only purchasing meat when it is on sale, saves substantial amounts of money in the long run.

Today I purchased 3 bags of Tyson boneless/skinless frozen chicken breasts. When I was selecting which bags to purchase, I picked only bags that had 6 chicken breasts inside, or enough for my family to have three meals. When I got home, I pulled several jars of marinades from my stockpile (all FREE after coupons from last season), and a box of freezer bags and began to prepare our meat for the freezer.

It is SUPER important to label your frozen items, especially with the date! I like to flip the top of the bag over to keep any drips from spilling over or clogging up the 'zipper!'

After placing two chicken breasts into each bag, adding the marinade and then squeezing the air out of the bag... viola! 9 dinners waiting for their turn to hit the grill!

Here are some of my favorite benefits from Planning Ahead:

1. You've always got 'something' in the freezer for dinner!

2. Marinating ahead allows your meat to absorb more of the flavor! The meat can marinate the entire time that its thawing!

3. Less time preparing dinner (in my book) = less hectic, more enjoyable dinner with my family!


I also bulk purchase my ground beef, cooking and packaging meal size portions similarly to how I care for bulk purchased chicken.

How do YOU purchase and prepare your meat?

9 comments:

Anonymous

Wonderful idea with the chicken. I usually cook all the hamburger the way you do and freeze it. Unfortunatly, I ran out of room and had my boyfriend take it to his house to put in his freezer and something is very wrong with his freezer. Anyways, all the hamburger was really gross afterwards. (not freezer burned but had a funky taste to it?) Have you heard of this?

Laura Webber

No, weird. Maybe he had something in there that wasn't properly sealed and the odor leaked into your meat? Sorry I can't be more helpful!

dawn

There is no way I could prepare the chicken that way. I have picky eaters that don't like sauces that my husband and I do. And I guess I am lazy when it comes to prep work. I fly by the seat of my pants most night for dinner. Wish I was inventive like you are:)

Julie

I don't marinate chicken the way you do, but I do cook and dice some of it for the freezer.
I love to package cooked ground beef for the freezer. One I discovered this concept, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before. I also have a zipper lock bag full of meatballs. It's so easy to toss a handful into the sauce as it's cooking.

Ellen

I sometimes brown my meat like that & freeze it. If the chicken I buy starts out fresh, then I marinate it or cut it up and marinate it then freeze it. Haven't tried marinating with frozen chicken (I'm assuming you don't let it thaw out; just keep it frozen). I've boiled chicken whole or breasts too, then shredded (or cut up) and freeze cooked chicken for quick dinners too.

My only problem is that 1 bag of 6 breasts feeds 1 dinner for us! :)

Monroe on a budget

I've cooked up and frozen ground beef too. A 3 or 5 pound roll of hamburger is just too much to thaw out at one time.

Stevie

Wow thats awesome. So smart and organized!

Anonymous

When ever I have left over spaghetti sauce (even if its a small amount.) I freeze it. When I think I have several or enough frozen sauces, I defrost all of it and use it for baked ziti.

I buy bananas on the reduced rack.. the riper the better for banana bread. If I cannot bake it right away I toss it in zip locks and smash it up and toss it in the freezer, until I am ready to use it.

I love the chicken idea.. just love it...

Gives me a great idea to do the same thing.. zip lock it and freeze it and then toss it in the crock pot for other items.

Amanda

Okay, I have a stupid question. I've been thinking about it, which is why I'm a week behind... do you marinate the frozen chicken? As in, you don't thaw it out first, it goes straight from the grocery store into the freezer bag and you add the marinade to the chicken while it is frozen?

I don't know I why I think it would only "take" if thawed already.

Help!
Signed,
SO NOT Julia Child! ;)