how-to prepare freezer meals

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It’s no secret that activities increase when school starts.  We get up earlier, have homework, jobs, meals, cleaning to accomplish, events to attend…things get real busy real fast.  I attempt to bring a slight amount of order to the chaos,  by preparing.

I’m sure many of you have seen make-ahead meal ideas floating around on the internet.

I had a wild hair yesterday and decided to stock-pile some meals. It’s always nice to have an easy out when something unexpected comes up.  It’s also nice to be able to have someone else throw something in the crock pot when I’m not around to explain how.

So I spent about an hour an a half slapping together some casserole and crock pot meals yesterday.  I came up with 11.

You can find some inspiration on my Pinterest board here and here.

I basically threw together as many meals as I could think of.  I didn’t stick to meals that were specifically for “make ahead”.  I made whatever looked good and I had the ingredients.  You can make just about any casserole or crock pot meal into a freezer meal.

Some of the exact meals I made from the board were:

Meatball Sub Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Cilantro and Lime Chicken Tacos I skipped the pesto this time and we’re serving over rice.

Chicken Mushroom Stroganoff

I did some impromptu bags for the crock as well.  What ever we had left with BBQ sauce, veggies, soy sauce ect.

I write the instructions for cooking and what to serve the meal with (rice, pasta, salad ect.) on the bag.

If you want to make more meals in the same time, cut the casseroles.  Layering eats up time.

How do you prepare for the back-to-school frenzy?

Being primed for the tumultuous days ahead give me rest.

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out camping

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We headed to the mountains Easter weekend.  It was a needed reset to our busy and work-filled lives.  Unplugging was a marvelous idea, indeed.

Let’s not talk about the all night party bunch.  Then we’ll forget all the good moments that we had.  We might block out the fact that we were all together and enjoying a camp fire and marshmallows.

How do you create memories on a budget?  What are your favorite childhood family times?

I always loved camping and spending the day at the river when I was young.  I haven’t forgotten even one of those trips.  It takes some planning and effort, but I think we are going to make a summer habit of these short weekend adventures.

pinterest+3 pallets=bed

Andre’s new bed.  My husband is becoming very handy.  He even installed a dishwasher, a dear friend gave us, this week as well.

Just as soon as we get more twin mattresses I have a sinking feeling that Desmond and the girls will be getting the same setup.  I think we’ll white wash the girls’ beds, but the clear coat Nick put on this one is perfect for a boy’s more, don’t you think so?

Nick has a couple of places around town that he finds great condition pallets, that are free.  I have a bunch more pallet ideas on my Pinterest page. (Click on the side bar link)

He used leftover 4×4 to support the middle, and make the legs.  He joined them with scrap wood, and used metal “L” braces we had to sure it up.  I love it!  Now, Andre is no longer on a mattress, on the floor.  Yay!

Aren’t free things so much more fun?