Vegetarian Freezer Month: Details

>> Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I finished my shopping.
I did all my cooking.
I'm "done" for the month, at least when it comes to 5 dinners each week.
Phew. I need a drink.

There's a lot to write about this whole thing, so today I'll just give the shopping and recipe details.

= 20 meals for 2.5 people, frozen

That's 5 meals a week for the entire month of September. I could have done more, but I wanted to cook at least one night a week and we usually get takeout or go out to eat once a week. Written out in this way, it seems sort of boring. I mean, we'll be eating the same stuff every week. But when I thought about it, that's what we usually do anyway. I made a few of the meals in smaller quantities to mix things up a bit.

I planned meals we've regularly made in the past with much success -- I linked to a few recipes, but everything I made was actually new, so I'll be trying to get out a recipe list at some point (I tried making everything more balanced nutritionally -- adding protein, etc.). I wanted to find dishes that used the same ingredients in different ways to cut down on the number of items needed at the store (and to take advantage of deals where I could find them).

At the same time, I do think I went a little tomato-heavy, which brings up another point. It's hard to give exact numbers for how much everything cost because I tried using our CSA box as much as possible -- and we had tons of tomatoes! So, while I'm attempting this whole thing for budget reasons, it's also just for ease of cooking + cleaning throughout the month. Trial and error in all regards, too.

  • Shredded cheese x 4
  • Extra Firm Tofu x 4
  • Green Peppers x 6
  • Yeast
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Frozen Spinach
  • Frozen Corn
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Cauliflower
  • Black Beans x 2
  • Garbanzo Beans x 2
  • Pumpkin x 4
  • Whole Peeled Tomatoes x 2 (28 ounce)
  • Kidney Beans x 2 (40 ounce)
  • Vegetable Broth (carton versus can)
  • Lasagna Noodles 
  • Red Lentils (dry bag)
  • Bread Flour (1 bag)
  • Cornmeal
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Onions (2 lbs)
  • Carrots (5 lbs)
= About $70

* Remember -- this is just for dinners. So, 20 dinners would average out at about $3.50 a meal, and divided by 2.5 people = about $1.40 per person. I guess I thought it would figure to less, but I'm still satisfied with these figures.

  • Freezer Bags
  • Freezer Containers
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Tin Foil
  • Chocolate Chips x 2
  • 7 Grain Tempeh x 4
  • Earth Balance x 2
  • Greek Yogurt x 4
  • Lowfat Yogurt x 4
  • Ezekiel Bread x 2
  • Tuna x 8 (for Stephen's lunches)
  • Frozen Strawberries (5 lbs)
  • Turmeric
  • Curry
  • Fenugreek

Would I do it again?

I'm still in shock from how much preparation + how many hours it all took, so it's a hesitant "yes" at this time.

First we need to see if everything tastes good a month later. After thawing, you know? And while I could be bummed I didn't see major $$$ savings, I am also trying to consider that a lot of the extremely low-cost meal plans I've encountered are for stuff like spaghetti + sauce or rice + beans; what we're eating will not only fill our bellies, but also fuel our running.

In my next post on this topic, I'll try to give some handy tips for making foods for freezing and then how to best freeze + defrost them. Till then, at least I know what I'm having for dinner tonight (and tomorrow, and the next day, etc.)!

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