How to Meal Plan With Food That's Already in Your Freezer
I’m going to organize the freezer, just to get things back in line with how they should be looking instead of looking like a packed mess.
I’ll start pulling out things and putting them on the counter to assess what we have so I can create a freezer meal plan.
1. Wipe it down
I'm going to wipe out the inside of the freezer now and then we'll get to all of this stuff in a minute.
2. What I had in the freezer
I have mostly bread, the prepared meals, broth, beans, and other things that I have already pre -cooked ready to add into.
I have cheese, easy dinner things like ravioli, pizza, naans to make pizza with.
And we also have some muffins I made not too long ago. And there is the meat and a bag of celery.
So let's figure out how we're going to organize this and get it all back in the freezer quickly.
I have these two bins that I've had for awhile and I'm going to see if they'll work.
The thought is we can put like-items in the bins together and then some extra stuff in the back. And so that way we can just pull them out when I need what’s in there.
3. Packing the freezer
I’m stacking tubs of chicken broth and black beans to use the vertical height on the top shelf so we don't waste a lot of space.
I'll have some homemade freezer jam. I also freeze pineapple juice because we make meatballs where this is part of the recipe.
We also have these little things of curry paste that we like to use and they freeze really well so that we don't have to waste anything. In the back as well. We also have some clearance prepared dinners that I'm just going to stack.
4. Freezer bins
I’ll put cheese and veggies in one of the bins and meats, like ground beef and sweet pork in the other. I'm actually going to put the celery back behind it because we don't use celery super often because it's not soup season, but it will be soon.
Put this big chicken in the back behind the other bin because we probably can come up in a couple weeks, but not super soon. The prize possession–the chicken nuggets–goes in front since we love them and grab them almost every single day.
I'm going to put all the bread items in the upper right shelf and try to organize them by how often we use them. It’ll be fine as long as I can see everything that we have–it will make meal time a lot easier.
I also have some waffles and ravioli which I'm just going to put in the front. We use these pretty often.
6. Before and after side door
Let's take care of this side door. It's really just some odds and ends and butter. We have some other smoothie options and items on the side door, too, including blackberries I picked.
There’s some sushi meat–eel–for my husband. And then we have some cream cheese here. I’ll put my husband’s things, like his breakfast sausage, on the top shelf and smoothie stuff and butter down here.
I think that's everything for the freezer. Here is the much more organized freezer and side of the freezer door, and we have some bins that will hopefully help manage all of the food that's in here.
Now I actually know what all we have so I'll be able to make dinners a lot easier and not go to the store to get something that we already have on hand.
7. Solving the bread storage problem
A few days later, I bought this nice container from Target and it fits six loaves plus like you can add a couple skinny extra loaves in the back.
Now I can just pull the packages of bread right out of the bin so that solves my bread problem.
8. Making my meal plan
Now that the freezer is cleaned out, I can see what I have. We are going to meal plan the dinners for this week.
What I really like about how I do meal planning is I just write the dinner ideas down just because I put it on Sunday doesn't necessarily mean we're having it on Sunday.
We can switch it around as needed, especially with the different fresh things that we need to use. We can switch dinners around to make sure we don't waste any food.
9. My meal planning process:
I’ll write down what we're going to have this week based on my freezer finds.
Sunday: So we're going to eat at my parents house on Sunday.
Monday: We’ll have spaghetti.
Tuesday: Then we'll do Kevin's chicken which is just a little frozen chicken dinner that's already cooked and ready to reheat.
Wednesday: Then we'll do some meatball subs to use up the bread that we found in the freezer.
Thursday: We could also make some teriyaki meatballs. We have some teriyaki sauce in the fridge that needs to be used up.
Friday: Then we could do some barbecue chicken sandwiches to use up those buns that we have and I was planning on getting some chicken this week anyway so that works out well.
Saturday: For the last day, we could do some of the sweet pork salads. We have the sweet pork already in the freezer ready to go along with the beans that we use for it.
Freezer meal plan
So that is what we’re going to have this week just from the things I found in the freezer after I organized it. Organizing a freezer can open up a lot of possibilities for meals that you didn’t even know you could do because so many things get lost in the freezer over time.
I hope this inspired you with some freezer organization ideas and meal planning tips. Let me know in the comments the creative things that you do when your freezer is jam packed.