Monday, October 6, 2014

22 Meals for two for only $80.00



My husband has recently had to take to traveling for work. Although its been great for our family, it does present some issues, when it leaves us trying to essentially feed two separate households.

The last time he left town, my daughter and I lived pretty much on frozen dinners and sandwiches, and my husband on Bologna sandwiches with potato chips. By the end of the week, we were all burned out and ready for a home cooked meal.

This time around, I decided to try something new. Ive seen all sorts of crock-pot meals on pinterest that looked amazing. Knowing that my husband could easily warm his food in the crock-pot while at work, right there in the hotel, I decided to fix us all some decent meals. I divided all the meals in half, and portioned them out so there would be enough for 2 adults (my husband and his brother are working together during their trips away from home).

Below, is a list of the recipes I made. I fixed all 22 meals within an hour!!

My Homemade Chili (yields 2 meals) {I doubled the recipe to make 4 meals}
1 lb of ground meat (I use dear, hamburger, pork or turkey)
1 lb can of diced tomatoes (juice drained)
2 lb can of light kidney beans (drained)
1 tbs onion powder (or a small onion diced if you have one)
1/8 c brown sugar
2 tbs cumin
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs minced garlic (I keep a jar of pre-minced garlic on hand in the fridge)

Brown ground meat and put all ingredients in a ziplock for storage. Cook in a crock-pot on low all day or simply put in in a large soup pot on medium/high heat for 30 - 45 minutes until heated through.

Chicken Pastry (Per-Cooked) (yields 3 meals)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 cups of water
1 pkg Flat Dumplings (freezer section)
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper

Boil the chicken in 8 cups of water with salt and pepper until cooked through. Remove chicken. Add the flat dumplings to the chicken broth. The package comes in sections of 3. I criss-cross them through the water to keep them from sticking. Adding 3 every 2 min or so until the whole pack is in the broth. I stir lightly with a fork every 5 min or so, cooking the dumplings for about 18 min. While the pastry cooks I use 2 forks to shred the chicken . After 18 min, I add the chicken back to the pot and cook for another 5 min. Then remove from heat and let it cool before putting in a ziplock for storage. To warm, simply microwave or put in a pot with a small amount of water until heated through.

Jambalaya (pre-cooked) (yields 2 meals)
1 pkg Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage
1 pkg Zannarans Jambalaya mix
3 tbs oil (I use olive oil, but vegetable oil works well too)

Slice up sausage and set aside. Cook jumbilia mix per instructions with oil. Once finished add sausage and mix together before putting in ziplock for storage. To warm, simply mirowave or put in a pot with a small amount of water until heated through.

Spaghetti (pre-cooked) (yields 2 meals)
1 lb ground meat (deer, hamburger, pork or turkey)
1 can of the cheapest spaghetti sauce available (I use meat flavored)
1/4 pkg of spaghetti noodles
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp of onion powder (or small diced onion if you have one on hand)
2 tsp each (Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano)

Brown the ground meat. Once browned, add the can of spaghetti sauce. Put garlic, onion, thyme, rosemary and oregano in sauce and simmer on low while the noodles cook. Once the noodles are done. Drain and put in ziplock. Pour meat/sauce mixture over noodles and seal.

Black Bean, Corn and Salsa Crock-Pot Chicken (yields 2 meals)
2 cans of black beans
2 cans of corn
1 pkg taco seasoning
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup of water

Drain black beans and corn. Put all ingredients in a ziplock and store in freezer. Cook on low all day.

Chicken Teriyaki (yields 2 meals)
1 lrg bag of baby carrots
1 red onion sliced in large chunks
2 cans crushed pineapple
4 tbs minced garlic (or 4 cloves)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce

Drain pineapple. Put all ingredients in a ziplock and store in freezer. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Slow Cooker chicken with Apples & Rosemary (yields 2 meals)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 apples, peeled and sliced
1 squirt of lime juice (per bag)
1/2 onion diced
2 tbs spoons of rosemary
*salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a ziplock and store in freezer. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples and Sweet Potatoes (yields 2 meals)

4 pork chops (I used boneless pork loin chops)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in large chunks
4 apples peeled and sliced
1/2 onion diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbs balsamic vinegar (optional)
*salt and pepper to taste

Assemble all ingredients in a ziplock and store in the freezer. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Apples and Carrots (yields 2 meals)

4 pork chops (I used boneless pork loin chops)
1/2 large bag (or 1 small bag) of baby carrots
4 apples peeled and sliced
1/2 onion diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Assemble in a ziplock and freeze. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

This was amazingly easy to assemble!! Now I have over 2 weeks worth of meals for less than $100!!! Below is the purchasing information from my shopping excursion (note: I keep a plethora of spices on hand at all times. I also keep ground meat in the freezer, for these meals I used ground turkey purchased for about $2.50/lb).

Frozen Dairy

Old Fashioned Flat Dumplings
3.99

                                                           
3.99

Grocery

Canned Pineapple                          (1.29 x 2)
2.58
Canned Kidney Beans                    (2.39 x 2)
4.78
Canned Black Beans                       (0.68 x 2)
1.36
Canned Diced Tomatoes                 (1.49 x 2)
2.98
Canned Corn                                (0.68 x 2)
1.36
Can of Spaghetti Sauce                        
0.84
Teriyaki Sauce    
1.59
Taco Seasoning  
0.68
Jambalaya Mix
2.59
Salsa                                                      
1.77


20.53


Meat

Smoked Sausage
3.29
Boneless Thin Pork Chops
6.59
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (6lb bag)
(7.39 x 2)
22.17
                                                                               
32.05
Produce

1 Jumbo Red Onion                                        
0.55
2 Large Sweet Potatoes                                  
1.66
4lbs Apples                                                    
5.96
3lbs Yellow Onions
1.87
Lime Juice              
1.19
2 lb Bag Baby Carrots                     (3 x 2.99)
8.97

                                                                               
20.20

Subtotal            $76.77
Tax                       1.61
Final Total:       $78.38

Do you have any fantastic freezer meals to share?? Id love to get more recipes to add to my collection!

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