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What to Freeze For Easier Meal Planning

Meal planning is the only way we get decent meals in this house, otherwise, we don’t have time and we end up buying takeout!

For us, meal planning and prep helps to keep us on track with eating healthier meals, reduces our food bill and results in less food waste so it’s an all-round better option but that being said, meal planning can be overwhelming for beginners. Deciding to meal plan is a big step and can take some getting used to but your freezer is going to become your best friend! You may find it beneficial to invest in a freezer chest if you are a larger family as cooking things in bulk can take up a lot of space but we have a normal size freezer for the three of us that suits us just fine. 

It can be tricky at first to know what items can be frozen and still taste ok so I thought I would devise a list of everything I have tried so far to determine what items to freeze in your meal prep journey.

Vegetables

We can’t always have fresh veg because sometimes it goes bad before we have had a chance to cook it up and obviously frozen vegetables are still good for you and having them on hand will make soups, salads, and stews easy. Our current favorites are: 

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potato (already peeled and chopped)
  • Green beans

Consider adding chopped celery, carrots, and corn for easy and fast recipe ingredients. In some cases, you may not need to defrost them before cooking either, for example I add them straight to stews, soups and casserole without defrosting. 

frozen vegetables meal planning

Fruits

Fruit is my favorite thing to freeze since it makes for easy frosty smoothies in the morning which are a big hit around here! If you are looking into making smoothies then check out my Week’s Worth Of Healthy Smoothie Recipes. or my Cherry & Chocolate Protein Smoothies. I have generally found that most fruits freeze well except peaches which go a bit funny unless they are blended first, although they are okay for a couple of days. 

Since fruit thaws rather quickly, you won’t need to worry about defrost time for your meal and for smoothies it is fine to blend from frozen as long as you add some liquid so you don’t ruin the blender blades. You can use a bag of frozen strawberries to pair with organic yogurt for an easy breakfast on the go, or use berries and bananas for fruit smoothies.

frozen fruit for meal planning

Smoothie Packs:

Use freezer bags and fill with a combination of several of these ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas!

like to use pineapple, spinach, bananas, and strawberries for the boys and blend it up with coconut milk or water and enjoy.

spinach meal planning

Meat

When you buy meat in bulk, you can save money and start your long-term meal plan, it is one of the ways I save money on food and eat healthy when I am broke! I like to divide my meat portions up and put them into boxes in the freezer so that it is easy to take out only what I need, whether that’s steak, chicken breasts or pork chops and it makes them easier to seperate and neater to store! 

Garlic Lemon Chicken Pack:

An easy meal idea is to fill a freezer bag with chicken breasts, lemon juice, and fresh garlic! When you’re ready to eat, simply defrost, bake or cook in a skillet or on the grill. While some research shows that acidic marinades don’t do well in the freezer, I have not had that issue since I usually freeze things for no longer than a month.

Soup and Chili Ingredients.

Create your chilis and soups ahead of time with a freezer bag and your favorite ingredients. They can lay flat in your freezer so they do not take a lot of space, and you won’t have to measure and prep when it is time to cook! On your meal planning day, add your favorite chopped vegetables and other soup/chili ingredients to a freezer bag already portioned out. When it is time to cook, all you need to do is remove the bag from the freezer, add to a cooking pot or slow cooker, and get ready to enjoy!

Make it easy on yourself by creating freezer packs to simplify your meal planning process. Whether you need breakfast on the go or a hearty dinner dish, freezer packs can help you in a hurry.

You may also be interested in these Pinterest Boards:

Meal planning doesn't have to be intimidating, this handy guide tells you the ingredients that are freezer suitable and some recipes to start with!

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Written by Charlotte

Founder at The Mummy Toolbox

31 Comments

  • Jennifer Pilgrim | Mom Skills (#)
    April 15th, 2017

    I just started freezing fresh vegetables and fruits at home so this is great info for me. Pinning so I can see it always.

  • Michele (#)
    April 15th, 2017

    I freeze lots of things when they are in season, especially berries. I, too like a freezer full of easy to grab things.

  • Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle (#)
    April 15th, 2017

    I have not thought to freeze like that. I do love to freeze extra meals. It is so good to grab a time saver from the freezer for a nice easy meal.

    Kathleen

  • Victoria (#)
    April 14th, 2017

    I dont freeze a lot of meals just because I usually forget about them and they end up with freezer burn. But now I usually have a weekly food planner which has helped so much

  • Caitlin (#)
    April 14th, 2017

    I am the QUEEN of smoothies! We freeze a lot of fresh fruit because we have a share in a CSA, and I don’t like anything to spoil.

  • katrina gehman (#)
    April 14th, 2017

    freezing them is a great way to go. a little prep but saves so much time in the long run. love it.

  • lydia (#)
    April 14th, 2017

    Meal planning is the ultimate way to save time on cooking! I loved reading up on this, so informative!

  • Angela Ricardo Bethea (#)
    April 13th, 2017

    Yes I totally agree with you that meal planning is really important to save time and money. I also like freezing fruits, so that whenever I want a snack, there’s always one available.

  • Rachel (#)
    April 13th, 2017

    Your smoothie recipe sounds really good. I bet my daughter would really like it. These are great ideas.

  • Nikki (#)
    April 12th, 2017

    I always buy more meat than I need and keep some in the freezer. I also like to keep frozen fruit for smoothies. I have gotten a bit lazy though about pre-making put together type meals and freezing them.

  • katriza (#)
    April 12th, 2017

    This is an awesome guide! I never know which veggies I can and cannot freeze and I hate trial and error! haha, thanks for doing the work for me!

  • Kit Stanwood (#)
    April 12th, 2017

    This is a great list of items that you can freeze! I have all of my fruits frozen right now.

  • CourtneyLynne (#)
    April 12th, 2017

    This is alll gray to know! I’m so bad at actually freezing things. I need to get better at it since I do end up tossing so much

  • Krystel | Disney on a Budget (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    This is such a good idea, we really need to try this. By the time we get home from work, no one wants to do much

  • Theresa (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I don’t freeze nearly as much as I could! These are great tips. I always worry that re-heating foods will lead to stomach problems later.

  • Reesa Lewandowski (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I keep saying I am going to do freezer meals and then just don’t. This is a great resource for me!

  • Ana De- Jesus (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I like the idea of freezing fruit and veg to make them last longer. I have some left over broccoli so I might do this x

  • Tereza (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    What a brilliant post – I always struggle with what belongs to the freezer, when and how to put it in haha! We’re on a budget mission right now so this is definitely something I’ll see in mind x

  • Cindy Ingalls (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    When I started having smoothies in the morning, I found that freezing my spinach and bananas helped to keep them lasting longer. It also make the smoothie nice and cold and more like a milkshake.

  • Amanda Love (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    This is an awesome guide. Meal planning is a brilliant way to eat healthy and make sure that you have something for dinner each night even when you’re busy! It kills the prep time and makes cooking easier!

  • Jeanine (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    These are great! It helps to plan ahead and not have to stress about what to cook for dinner. With a big family this will help ensure food is planned ahead of time and a hearty meal is on its way to the table.

  • Kim (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I freeze foods and then forget about them! I need to be more religious about cleaning out my freezer and using it more. I hate wasting things!

  • Kristina Paché Ferency (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I love this! I froze some meals and food items last winter before baby was born. It helps to stay ahead and organized!! Don’t want to be stressed out planning dinner.

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh (#)
    April 11th, 2017

    I always meal plan, but never really prep like this. Interesting.I should definitely try some of these tips to save some time.

  • thesocialbeing721 (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    True! The more organized you are the easier it is to plan weekly meals. I like that you picked healthy options like fruit, vegs and meat. Make it easy on yourself!

  • karen (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    I am not very good at knowing what to freeze and what not to. I have had my freezer stocked up full of (later) freezer burnt items (that ended up getting thrown out) so I need to better educate myself! This is so helpful!

  • HilLesha (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    I’m wanting to start meal planning to help cut down costs on groceries, so these ideas definitely come in handy. Thank you for sharing!

  • Belle (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    We do meal planning in the sense that we plan what we’re going to have for the whole week and which days. However, my husband helps me out and cooks during the weekdays while the kids are sleeping.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Nikki (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    This is an awesome guide! I really have no idea what types of fruits and veggies I can freeze. Now I can get stuff on sale (especially strawberries!) and keep it for later!

  • Janel (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    I don’t freeze a lot of meals anymore because when I used to I would often forget about them and they would end up getting freezer burn. Now I just plan for one week at a time and typically go grocery shopping at the beginning of the week .

  • robin rue (#)
    April 10th, 2017

    We freeze a lot of meals around here, but whole meals. I double and sometimes triple meals so I can have some to freeze for later.

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