Freezer Meals: Make it a Party or Do it Yourself?
We’ve been talking about freezer meals and have shared freezer meal recipes over the last several years! And today I want to share the pros and cons of having a Freezer Meal Cooking Group.
What is a Freezer Meal Cooking Group?
You’ve probably heard of freezer meals and all the benefits of making Freezer Meals. Have you ever considered gathering a group of your favorite people and working together to prepare a bunch of Freezer Meals?
Whether you’re doing make ahead meals or freezer meals, doing it in a group setting in someone’s home could make it even more affordable, faster and probably even more fun! Some call it a Freezer Meal Party, others just call it making freezer meals with friends. Around here, we call it a Freezer Meal Group!
The Pros of a Freezer Meal Group
Freezer meal groups are great because you get to stock your freezer with a variety of freezer meals and the work is minimal for you.
- Homemade meals in the freezer, ready to serve with minimal prep
- You get to try new meals/recipes from other families
- Ultimately saves time and money since you can buy in bulk
- It’s FUN! It’s always more fun to work alongside people you like!
The Cons of a Freezer Meal Group:
- Trying to find a chunk of time that works for everyone’s schedule
- Allergies: if a family has food allergies, it will limit the recipes you can make
- It might be challenging to find other families with similar tastes and family size
Different Types of Freezer Meal Groups:
There are a few different ways you can do freezer meal cooking. You can try out a few different ways and determine which way you like best!
Freezer Meal Swap Group:
- Gather a group of 4-10 people. Set a date for a meeting and everyone comes with their recipes that they’d like to contribute. Meet at a time when there won’t be interruptions from children. 🙂
- Everyone reviews the recipes, votes, and the menu is planned and recipes are assigned (I recommend having each person make about 3 recipes for each person in the group).
- A date is picked for the Freezer Meal swap (and at that swap you’ll select the next set of recipes)
- On your own time, you make the recipes you’re assigned… one for each member of the group.
- Bring frozen dinners to the swap.
- You’ll have to determine whether or not you’ll divide costs (this could get hairy).
- This way is more flexible because you can get the meals done on your own time frame and at your own pace.
- If you’re more controlling and want to make sure the prep environment is clean without kids and pets getting into food, then you might want to consider a cooking group! If you know the family well and this isn’t a concern at all… then this could be the best option for you!
Freezer Meal Cooking Group:
- Get a group of 4-6 people together and determine a menu.
- Pick a day to cook together (when schedules allow plenty of time and kids can be cared for by someone else so there are no distractions).
- Choose a hostess and co-hostess (they’ll do all the shopping)
- Distribute the prep work before cooking day
- Get together on cooking day for a few hours to assemble all the freezer meals
- Enjoy working alongside each other (maybe even learn a few tips and tricks) and split the bill (which is easier since one person does the shopping)
On Your Own:
- When you’re making dinner, simply double or triple the batch and freeze some for your family to eat another night.
- Pick one day a week or month or a quarter and cook up or prep for several different meals to freeze for another day. Make it as big or as small as you want!
Freezer Meal Group Considerations:
For a cooking group, I recommend staying at six or less in your group. It makes it easier to work around schedules. Consider how many meals you will have to make and receive, and if you have enough space to meet together comfortably.
You’ll want a system in place for communicating about meetings, recipes, and other things like that. Group texting or a private Facebook group may work well. For Facebook, it might be easier because you can have different discussion threads and keep files and links more organized than a group text.
The amount of meal required for each family should be about equal among the people in your group. Choosing people with a similarly sized family can be helpful. We have a few families of 5, and a few of 6. In our group, we decided that about 6 servings would be sufficient for each family, so we use that as a rule of thumb for meal sizes – an 8×8 pan or about 6 servings.
As I mentioned above, you’ll want to work with people who have a similar taste in food. Some people want to eat cleaner and don’t want anything processed in their meals. Other people can’t handle spicy meals. If your family really doesn’t like them, then you’ll be wasting time and money.
These are good things to discuss from the get-go (including food allergies)! AND, not to be rude, but it’s a good idea to work with people that are good at making food. 🙂
There you have it! I hope you feel inspired to try making freezer meals, in a way that works best for you, so you can enjoy the benefits of Freezer Meals in your family! Check out our extensive list of our favorite freezer meal recipes.