Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Freezing Meals

Photo above by Ralph Anderson via Southern Living

I’ve decided I’m going to give myself the next three weeks to get all the essentials ready before our bub arrives, that way I can spend the remaining month taking things easy. One of my ‘essentials’ is stocking my freezer full of meals for us to use in those first weeks when we arrive home from the hospital. Our freezer isn’t all that big however so I need to find an efficient way of storing things so I can cram as much in as possible. I’m keen to find the perfect storage containers, preferably ones that are BPA free. I bought a few Pyrex dishes the other day as then I can reheat meals straight from the glass dish but these tend to be pricey.

In my searching for meal freezing ideas, I came across a few handy resources. I love the idea of the labels below as I think it’s important to have the date of frozen meals labelled. I will definitely be printing off a little batch of these to use. The link for the PDF file for these labels is

Image above from Martha Stewart

Another useful find was a table listing the freezer life of different foods. I’m always phoning my Mum asking her questions about freezing or reheating dishes, so this table will be handy for me. I might put it up somewhere inside our pantry. This article on the Taste website is also handy for knowing the best way to store particular dishes.

I’m keen to know which storage containers you all use. Do you use different ones for different dishes? Are you too avoiding any plastics with BPA? Which meals do you find are the best for freezing? So far I’m planning on freezing spaghetti sauce, lasagna, muffins, cookie dough, pesto, soup and perhaps a curry (although I’m not sure this is the best idea with breastfeeding?) What else would you add to my list?


  1. What a lovely idea! Enjoy the beautiful day, Kellie xx

  2. Hi Amanda, I definitely avoid plastics with BPA, but it's hard to find any that don't say BPA free which is great. I love the sistema tubs - the ones that have lids that click. All sorts of sizes that come in handy, plus little ones too that are great for weaning. Microwave friendly which is essential me thinks. In terms of what to freeze, bolognese like you say, I also do shepherd's pie, beef stews, fish pies and chilli. My favourite source of recipes is BBC Good Food (I used to work for the magazine) and the recipes can definitely tripe tested. Here's a link to freezable recipes:

    The carrot and lentil soup is also a great one. Sorry about long comment!

  3. A brilliant idea Amanda and it's exactly what I did before all ours were born. I'm currently updating all my storage containers, one by one, as I'm also keen to get BPA free products. Pyrex is great. I steered clear of curries while breastfeeding all my girls and for my third daughter foods known to cause wind. A midwife gave me a list which included grapes, stone fruits, broccoli, peas and a few others which escape me now. She was my most content infant so there may have been something in it?! Hope your last weeks are easy... gxo

  4. Phew, for a minute I thought that the first photo was your actual freezer and was getting a little concerned.I am hopeless with freezing. I get all enthused then forget and end up having to throw stuff out because it is way out of date.

  5. Vanessa - Thanks for your advice. I saw the Sistema containers yesterday and wondered what they were like. Thanks so much for the BBC link, will be sure to check it out before I begin all my cooking.

    Georgie - Thanks for the list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding, I'll look into it a bit more.

    Deb - I wish that was my freezer :)

  6. I so wish my freezer looked like that!!! For storage I have a lot of Pyrex containers that I have bought whenever I see them on sale, often at 40-50 % off. x

  7. You are so organised! I love the idea of these labels. Sadly I have no advice as I store things in my freezer all helter skelter.

  8. Such a good idea Amanda, anything that will help make life that little bit simpler when your new baby has arrived. You are so organised I am so impressed, I need to use these print out labels that is for sure. Monday night I thought I had taken split pea soup out to defrost for dinner, turns out it was apple sauce! Didn't eat a whole bowl of apple sauce for dinner : )
    Hope you are feeling well.

  9. Amanda, you are inspiring me to try and get as organised as you :) Just last night the hubby and I realised we may need an emergency plan B with a "whole family bag" packed for hospital in case our babysitting options for the 'firstborn' fall through! How are you feeling? Hope you are well. Can't believe they make us take 2 GTT blood tests this time around even when the first result is negative! AS for decent plastic, ditto the sistema tubs suggestion.


  10. First up i'm a Tupperware whore, no bones about it, their freeze & reheat containers (for sauces, meats, stews) are fantastic, worth the investment over a lifetime!!
    Second, i am not the cook in the family so prepared nothing before i went to hospital to have my babies. My husband is like magic & as it turned out, our babies were so easy, never cried, just breast fed & slept, we'd take them out to dinner once a week & i actually did some cooking as my husband LOVES nursing babies.
    Third, try any glass bowls & cover them in grease proof, same job, only cheaper than Pyrex brand & you don't necessarily need to worry about a lid & can reheat with grease proof on top (fasten with an elastic band, that paper will not stick).
    Fourth, on my blog today - i'm thinking of painting the school desk red, then sanding back, but the results (after hours more of sanding) are revealing a delightful 1960's wood, i might leave it raw??
    Enjoy the last few weeks, they will fly, love Posie

  11. sounds a little bit like nesting!! oh, how grateful you will be for all those lovely meals. brilliant idea. I was planning to stock the freezer before the twins were born, but their rather far too early arrival threw that plan out the window. My lovely mum and mum-in-law came to the rescue instead, thankfully. Enjoy these weeks xxx

  12. You are so nice and organised Amanda, I think what you are doing is such a good idea. I use sistema containers which a BPA free and hubby went a bit crazy buying up big when they were 50 % at Coles once and they seem to store things well. Soup is good for freezing and spaghetti but sometimes I find some foods when reheated are a bit dry like the green curry we had tonight but if that happens I usually add some more coconut milk to give it some more moisture. Enjoy your weekend lovely. xo

  13. You're so organised! Luckily I have my mother-in-law to cook for us when baby arrives otherwise I don't think I'd cope.

    Enjoy these last few weeks x x

  14. Sarah Elizabeth - I'm not organized yet, I haven't actually cooked anything so far :)

  15. as soon as I saw this picture I thought to myself - you must be getting very close now Amanda!! All the very best with the new arrival, take care,
    Jane xxx

  16. Hi Amanda, I'm also starting to think about stocking up on frozen meals,I find there are very few dishes that taste just as good after being frozen apart from lasagne! I'd love to know which dishes you decide on making in bulk. I'm also making a list of 'quick and easy' meals that I can keep handy on the fridge so I dont even have to think about it! Luckily we will be coming into Spring/Summer soon and BBQs will definitely be on our list - perhaps just stock up the freezer with steak, chicken satay sticks etc and then just make a quick salad. I recently printed some labels off for the freezer but found that they didnt stick, they peeled off with the cold temp in the freezer but I bought some 'freezer labels' online which are great. Hope you are feeling well, not long to go now!

  17. Kath - I found when I used normal labels they tended to peel off too. Where did you get your online ones from? I was thinking of making a 'quick meals' reference list too and as you say, with spring/summer coming up it will definitely make things easier!

  18. What a wonderful idea. If you can do it, it will help so much. I thought I would but I didn't get around to it! I ate curries when I was breastfeeding Bridget, with no problems at all but every baby is different! I use the glass dishes but they are expensive. There must be some kind of safe bag you could store food in? Bags obviously wouldn't take up much room. Good luck! Rachaelxx

  19. Here is the link: I just happened to come across them on this site as I was ordering a wall canvas for Jacob. But I'm sure there are others online too. Also here is a cute 'Top 10 Easy Meals' printable:

  20. Hello lovely Amanda...I'm at the same stage as you, pondering freezer meals & storage containers! I've never been a big 'freezer' of meals so I must admit I was a little lost! A super sweet blogger friend sent me a list of 12 meals to stock up on while waiting for babe (see link below). It was a good little list - and included some pretty simple recipes.

    I too almost died when I saw your pic and thought that was your freezer! Amazing!

    Hope you're having a bright day and enjoying the nesting also. x

  21. It's good to see that the nesting instinct has kicked in! Must mean that there's not long to go now!

    Those labels are great. I freeze things quite a lot too but I use pyrex and tupperware to store everything.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha @ 5 Minutes Just for Me


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