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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soap nuts even cheaper

soap nuts even cheaper

The other day I was searching for other ways to use soap nuts.  We have been using them for our laundry for some time now, but I knew they could be used in other ways as well.  I came across a genius idea.  Which is still laundry-related :)  I’ll explore other uses soon enough.

Check out this original post on how to make a liquid soap using soap nuts.

I followed the laundry soap directions…mostly.

I boiled 12 nuts instead of 8.  After I boiled the 8 nuts in the 8 cups.  I then boiled the same nuts in 4 more cups. By doing this I made 12 soap nuts into 12 cups of liquid soap.  I use 2 tablespoons per load.

The original directions for using soap nuts in laundry is to put 8 nuts in a bag to toss into the laundry.  I usuallly reuse the bag 5 or so times.

Making the liquid has a two-fold benefit.

1.  12 cups will last at least a month but I’m thinking two (instead of 5-7 loads)  which makes this super cheap laundry soap even cheaper!

2.  The liquid soap provides an equally strong amount of washing quality vs. each load having less and less soap in it.

So there it is.  The absolutely least expensive laundry detergent ever.  The fact that it’s completely organic makes soap nuts a perfect fit for this frugal family.