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Start the New Year Right with this Prep Ahead Healthy Meal Plan

Happy 2018! Let’s start the new year right with my Prep Ahead Healthy Meal Plan for January! Are you ready to cook from scratch in 2018?? Featuring inspiration for 28 quick,  healthy, from scratch meals plus seven easy tasks to fill your freezer, this plan will help you cook from scratch in 2018!

Start the new year right w/ a prep ahead healthy menu plan. 28 recipe ideas and tasks to fill your freezer will help you cook from scratch! #fromscratchcooking #menuplan #prepahead #freezercooking

Start the New Year Right with this Prep Ahead Healthy Menu Plan

If you’re looking to eat start cooking from scratch in 2018 so you can eat healthier and save money, this is your year. Follow along in January as I work with you to do just that. Let’s take control of cooking and eating in 2018, shall we? Let’s all cook from scratch a lot more this year!

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Monthly Menu Ideas

One of my largest obstacles to cooking from scratch is not being prepared. This healthy meal plan is here to save the day! Simply pick one option from each category and fill your week with quick and easy, from scratch meal ideas! There are enough meal ideas here for four full weeks!

Meatless Mondays

Taco Tuesdays

Wing It Wednesdays

Porker or Beef Thursday 😀

Pizza Friday

Soupper Saturday

From the Sea Sunday

Freezer Friendly Leftover Eggnog Waffles

Ditch the Breakfast Cereal with these Homemade Breakfast Ideas

Want to really make from scratch easier? Start filling your freezer! Cook from scratch with these tasks!

Seven – 30 minute {or there about} tasks for filling the freezer

It will help you cook subsequent meals quicker if you do these seven tasks on the first full week of the month. That way you’ll have leftovers for other meals this month that will make meal prep faster. However, if you’re really busy or don’t have the ingredients ready to go, just shift the tasks to a day when you are able to get it done! Again, flexibility is key.

You can read how I fill my freezer in 30 minutes a day over at Premeditated Leftovers – I wrote a blog post there a while ago.

1. On Monday, cook up a huge pot of dried beans and freeze in 3-2 cup portions, with the liquid. Make sure you soak the beans Sunday night! I highly recommend owning a really big stainless steel stock pot. I have a 12 qt stock pot similar to this one that I use for canning and cooking beans. It comes in really handy! I generally cook 8 cups of dried beans, which yields about 3-4 bags for my freezer after we’ve eaten the beans for lunch and also for dinner. If you’re not familiar cooking dried beans, you’ll want to soak the beans over night and then cook about 1-2 hours the next day in fresh water. You can read here for more details, need be.

2. On Tuesday, {preferably the week you eat regular ole tacos, so you also get your dinner prep out of the way too} make a huge batch of taco meat using ground meat of choice and beans from Monday’s cook or the freezer, and freeze extra portions of meat.

3. On Wednesday, roast an extra chicken, in addition to cooking a rotisserie chicken for dinner, so that I have cooked chicken ready for the remainder of the Wednesday chicken meals.

4. On Thursday, make enough crock pot ham so that you have leftovers to freeze. Also, cook up a big batch of bacon in the oven. Freeze some in whole pieces to use on the egg sandwiches, and also freeze some crumbles to use on the bacon pizza! Don’t forget to save the bacon grease as it makes a great, free fat in which to cook your eggs and veggies!

5. On Friday,  Make and freeze 4 extra potions of pizza dough for each of the other pizza nights in January.

6. On Saturday, make a huge batch of homemade bread. I bake bread in 5 loaf quantities and then freeze extra or store in my fridge. This task actually takes about an hour and half, start to finish – but really only about 30 minutes active prep and clean-up. I’d also make up a double batch of Artisan Bread Dough on Saturday too, so you have a nice crusty bread to go with your soups!

7. On Sunday, make a huge batch of fruit and honey granola to enjoy for breakfasts and snacks.

At the end of the 7 days, you should have quite a few meal components added to your freezer to simplify meal prep at a later date!homemade opt in

Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

15 Healthy Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

Happy New Year! If this is the year you plan to incorporate more healthy food into your diets, this post is for you! My freezer is empty and I need more healthy make-ahead freezer meals. Here are 15 recipes I either have tried, or am excited to try!
Healthy make-ahead freezer meals

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

Having prepared meals in my freezer saves me more often than I can tell you. When I don’t have meals in the freezer, take-out pizza and other unhealthy options rule. Take a few extra minutes when preparing a meal and double the recipe. Put one in the freezer, and voila! Another meal for a busy day with minimal effort = drive through avoided!

Unfortunately, even thought I KNOW that freezer meals save me big, I’ve gotten off the bandwagon in the last year and have been pretty lazy in the kitchen. This January, I’m taking it back. Staring this week, I will double at least ONE recipe and put at least ONE meal a week into my freezer. Here are the recipes I’m considering this first week in January.

15 Healthy Make-Ahead Freezer Meals

Make Ahead Freezer Meals

Stuffed Taco Shells – Shugary Sweets

Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets – Happy Money Saver

Quick & Healthy Bean Burritos {for the freezer} – Wallflower Kitchen

Healthy Make Ahead Freezer Meals

Freezer Friendly Baked Ziti – I Wash You Dry

Spinach Mozzarella Meatloaf – Simplify Live Love

Chicken, Broccoli, Bacon & Potato Bake – Kylee Cooks
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Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

Healthy Hearty Make Ahead Freezer Meals


Our Favorite Taco Meat – make a large batch perfect for the freezer – Simplify Live Love

Three Bean Chili – Cadry’s Kitchen

Ground Beef Stroganoff – Simplify Live Love

Healthy Chicken Make Ahead Freezer Meals

Freezer Crispy Cheddar Chicken – Mommy Savers

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie – Meal Planning Magic

Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe {An Easy Freezer Meal} – Thriving Home

Healthy Make Ahead Casseroles for the Freezer

Three-Cheese Penne – Skinny Mom

Make Ahead Lasagna Recipe with Cottage Cheese & Secret Veggies  – Simplify Live Love

Easy Taco Casserole Recipe – Eating on a Dime

What are you waiting for? Check out these recipes and start cooking for your freezer! If you want more freezer friendly recipes, I’ve got a whole category of tried and true freezer friendly recipes!

More posts to help you save time and money in the kitchen:

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Let me help you Cook from Scratch! Get your free weekly meal plans by clicking here.

25 Genius Meal Prep Ideas

Homemade baking mix recipes to help you cook from scratch

15 Ways to save money on organic food

Prep ahead weekly meal plan perfect for fall

5 Practical tips to help you start cooking from scratch

printable labels for freezer meals

How about printable labels for your lovely freezer meals? Download them free here. Print them on 4" x 5" labels like these and them sick them on your containers! Easy-peasy.

 Get your healthy eating back on track with this collection of 5 make ahead healthy freezer meals! Make one for dinner and another to freeze. A quick and easy way to fill your freezer.

Healthy make-ahead freezer meals
Healthy make-ahead freezer meals

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Parmesan Garlic Chicken Easy Recipe to Double for the Freezer from SimplifyLiveLove.com

I first got the inspiration for Parmesan Garlic Chicken in one of my favorite cookbooks Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead. I really like this cookbook not only because there are very tasty, freezer friendly recipes included in it, but it also calculates the amounts necessary if you were to make the recipe time x3, x6, or x9 for freezer meals. My basic math skills aren’t too shabby, but having the figures pre-calculated for tripling a recipe is really handy. That’s my plug for the cookbook Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer if you’re into freezer cooking!

Regardless of if you like freezer meals, you need to serve up this parmesan garlic chicken for dinner tonight! It’s a huge hit with both kids and adults. It’s so easy to make – yet looks fancier than it is. And it’s sure to be a hit at any family meal or dinner party. If you’re looking for an easy recipe that freezes well and tastes just as good after it’s frozen, I highly recommend this easy and delicious parmesan garlic chicken.

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June Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

It’s June and time for another meal plan! Here’s another month’s worth of recipe ideas plus seven more 30-minute tasks for filling the freezer! I hope you are enjoying these posts. I know they are really helping me stay on track.

June Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

Monthly Menu Plan & 7, 30 Minute Tasks for Filling the Freezer

Recap from May –

In May I didn’t share a menu plan at all because I just never wrote one! I did well with my April Plan, so we had a lot of food to eat from the freezer in May. I also traveled to Springfield, Missouri and didn’t cook for the week we were gone.  When we were home, I didn’t enjoy not having a plan. Even thought I don’t follow my menu plans exactly every month, they do help keep me on task. I’m glad to make another plan this month as we’re so busy on the ball fields with four kids playing ball, that I need something to work from or we don’t end up eating well at all.

Monthly Menu Ideas

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