Freezer Meal Club: A Frugal Approach to Meal Prep
Understanding the Concept of a Freezer Meal Club
A Freezer Meal Club is a group of people who collectively prepare meals, freeze them, and then exchange them, providing each member with a variety of homemade meals without the hassle of preparing them individually. Now, let's explore this concept further through the lens of a freezer meal club member and her unique experiences.
A Firsthand Account: One Member's Freezer Meal Club Journey
“I began the club in August last year when I decided it would be fun to build up a supply of freezer meals in preparation for harvest. We farm in Nebraska, so harvest time is SUPER busy around here!” shares Abbie, a freezer meal club enthusiast from Nebraska. She called five of her good mom friends who had previously expressed their need for easy meals and started their journey.
In her club, each member makes the same meal six times using pans and lids from Sam's Club. They meet on the second Monday of every month at someone's house to swap their meals, with each meal containing some sort of meat, usually beef, pork, or chicken.
The Benefits of Joining a Freezer Meal Club
Abbie's account highlights the various benefits that joining a freezer meal club can offer.
Time and Cost Efficiency
“We use up more of the ingredients, plus you're not buying all the things to make six different meals,” Abbie explains. She also mentions how they save significant time in the kitchen by cooking in bulk. “If you're going to brown a pound of hamburger, you might as well brown six pounds!”
Diversity in Meal Choices
Members of the club go home with six different meals each time they meet, offering a variety of meal choices that wouldn't otherwise be possible if cooking alone.
Health and Convenience
Freezer meal clubs encourage the consumption of home-cooked meals, ensuring healthier eating habits. They also offer the convenience of having a meal ready to heat and eat, especially during busy periods like the harvest season.
how to Start a Freezer Meal Club: Tips from an Experienced Member
Abbie shares her experience and tips on how to start a freezer meal club.
Gathering a Group
Identify a group of people who share the same need for easy meals. It could be friends, colleagues, or neighbors. In Abbie's case, she called upon her mom friends.
The Importance of Planning
Set a consistent meeting date for the meal swap, ensuring everyone's availability. Abbie and her group meet on the second Monday of every month.
Cooking and Packaging
Decide on the type of meals to be prepared. Abbie's club ensures that every meal contains a form of meat. Also, ensure to package the meals in a way that they can be frozen and easily reheated.
Common recipes in a Freezer Meal Club
Abbie's club has seen an array of recipes, some of which include tater tot casserole, lasagna, teriyaki chicken, soups, chicken and pasta dishes, cube steak with sauce, beef and cabbage casserole, and taco bakes.
Sample Freezer Meal Club Emails
Abbie sent out an initial invitation to potential members, explaining the concept and asking if they'd be interested in joining the club. Here is what Abbie's looked like:
I was going to contact you real quick to see if you'd be interested in something……I'm trying to start up a freezer meal club. Basically, I'm going to try and get six people to join. We will either make 1 or 2 freezer meals (6 times) and then bring them when we meet and swap – allowing you to go home with meals from the other five people!
I haven't set up any specific details yet, as I'm just trying to get an idea of people and who all is interested. Is this something that you are interested in? And please don't feel obligated to say yes! I had mentioned this to Aubrey, and she thought of you!
Just let me know either way! Have a great day!
Once her club was formed, Abbie sent out a more detailed email, thanking everyone for being a part of the club and outlining the basics of how it will operate. Here is what it looked like:
And here is the “original” letter I sent out once we had the ‘club' formed:
I want to first thank you all for being part of my “experimental” freezer meal club! I'm super excited about this and can't wait to get started! I just want to let you know that I'm no expert on this, but I have been doing some research. If you think something needs to be changed at any time feel free to let me know. It's kind of an experiment for all, so any feedback helps!
Our meal club members include: myself (Abbie ), _____, _____, _____, ____, _____. (We can do some formal introductions the evening of our swap!)
I have gotten a hold of the majority of you and have decided to make our first “swap” on Monday, August 13th. Would 7:30 pm work for the time? We can meet at my house.
The basics of the freezer meal club is to prepare 5 of the same meals (6 if you want one for yourself) to swap with the other members. It's much easier to make 6 of the same meal, than 6 separate meals. I would classify a “meal” as a main dish – more than likely some type of casserole. (Basically, just not a bag of frozen cookies or a small side dish that is frozen) After talking to most of you, it's been decided to prepare our meals in 9 X 13 pans. I think using disposable foil pans would work great, but if anyone has a different idea, please let me know.
I am also wondering if anyone has any food allergies? Please let us know so we can plan accordingly.
Last, but not least, please “reply all” to this email and let us know what you are planning to make for the first swap. This will help to make sure there are no duplicates.
I think that covers all the information! I'm sure I've forgotten something, so feel free to let me know. I feel like I have this perfect scenario in my head, but I may be forgetting something while trying to explain it to you. If you have any questions, or are confused with anything, please feel free to email, call, or text me.
Thanks again! I look forward to hearing from you all!
A freezer meal club is a practical and fun approach to meal prepping. As Abbie's account shows, it's a fantastic solution for those seeking to save time, money, and enjoy a variety of healthy meals. With proper planning and commitment, anyone can start a freezer meal club and enjoy the many benefits it offers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a freezer meal club? A freezer meal club is a group of people who prepare meals, freeze them, and then swap these meals with each other.
- Why should I join a freezer meal club? Joining a freezer meal club can save you time and money. Plus, you'll get to enjoy a variety of healthy homemade meals.
- How do I start a freezer meal club? Gather a group of interested participants, discuss meal preferences and logistics, then each member prepares a specified number of the same meal for swapping.
- What types of recipes are suitable for a freezer meal club? Recipes that can be made in large quantities, freeze well, and retain their quality and taste are suitable for a freezer meal club.
- How should I pack my meals for the freezer meal club? Meals should be packed in freezer-safe containers, and labeled with the name of the dish, preparation date, and reheating instructions.