This month I've been taking you through my plan to fill my freezer with healthy meals in preparation for the arrival of my first baby in early June. I've got a list of recipes I want to make and all the supplies I need — now it's time to buckle down and cook.
So how exactly am I going to prep at least a month's worth of meals and snacks for my husband and me? This week I sat down and came up with a plan that works with my busy schedule.
The Math: 60 Dinners in 6 Weeks
I decided having about 30 days worth of meals for my husband and myself seems like a reachable goal. That means about 60 servings of dinner, 30-45 servings of filling snacks to sustain me while breastfeeding, and a couple dozen frozen burritos and pockets for lunches. If this proves to be too much food for my apartment-sized freezer, I may have to cut back, but this is what I'm aiming for at the moment.
It's about 7 weeks until my due date, but I'd rather finish all of this cooking in 6 weeks, just in case the baby arrives early and so I can hopefully have a small break before his arrival. Doing the math, that means every week I'll need to freeze about 5 dinners (at least two servings each), plus either a batch of snacks or a batch of burritos/pockets.
The Plan: Weeknight Leftovers & Weekend Cooking Sessions
The easiest way to reach my goal is to make the most of the time I spend cooking dinner on weeknights and freeze half of my leftovers three days a week. On weekends I have more time for longer cooking sessions, so I can make two full dinner recipes to freeze, plus either a batch of snacks or a double batch of burritos or pockets.
Many of the recipes on my list serve eight people, so I don't even think I'll need to double the recipe most of the time. (With only two people in the household, 16 servings of stew can get a little tedious!)
But all of these calculations are rather loose; if anything, I might find myself with enough food and a full freezer just four weeks from now, and that's just fine with me.
Anything else I need to know?
Your tips have been so helpful during this planning process — is there any other advice you want to share before I start cooking?
(Image credits: Anjali Prasertong)