In the few weeks before Denver was born, I spent time cooking up a bunch of stuff and stocking my freezer for when we got home and we didn't want nor feel like cooking.
We made a trip to the Farmer's Market and spent about $75 and then went to the grocery store and spent about $100 (on meat, butter, oil, eggs, cheese, etc.) and then got home and got to cooking!
My plan was to make as much as I could with as little as possible and not waste anything! (We're bad about getting stocked up at the Farmer's Market and then stuff going bad before we use it).
I stretched things as far as I could while still making everything "hearty" to please my husband. For example, I bought two whole fryers and boiled them (with poultry seasoning, chicken bouillabaisse and pepper) then split the chickens in half and used half for a chicken pot pie and the other half for chicken and rice. Then split the other chicken between chicken enchiladas and chicken tortilla soup and then used all the broth from the chickens instead of buying chicken broth.
I bought various dry beans, a 5 pound bag of rice, tomatoes (lots and lots), tomatillas, peppers, carrots, potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, squash, zucchini, corn, okra, lemons, bananas, cabbage, mustard greens, purple hull peas, and zipper cream peas.
I cooked all the peas and greens and put those up. Then I started cooking beans and put some of those up and then used the rest in recipes (chicken tortilla soup, gunk, etc).
Then I stewed tomatoes and split them up between okra & tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. I continued on like that until everything was all used up!
Then, I started making pancakes, muffins and bread to put up. I kept a serving or two out (of muffins and pancakes) to eat the day I made them and then froze the rest.
Here is the stuff I made:
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Beef Burrito Pie
Chicken Pot Pie
Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
Baked Potato Soup
Ham & Baked Potato Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Cabbage Roll Casserole
"Gunk" (pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, hamburger meat & rice)
Zipper Cream Peas
Purple Hull Peas
Sausage & Veggie Medley
Okra & Tomatoes
Chicken and Rice
Light Oat Bread
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Orange Juice Muffins
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Then, I finished my freezer with some ready-made things to make life a little easier:
Grands Buttermilk Biscuits
Hot Dog Buns
Denver is 3 weeks old and this is what my freezer looks like:
Believe it or not, it had more than this in it!
We'll be eating on this "stash" for awhile!
This definitely was the smartest thing I did before Denver arrived. It has been a lifesaver!