Update ~ Bulk Cooking Before Baby

I’m starting to feel the pressure to get things done around here. I spent most of Saturday baking and a good portion of today was dedicated to washing baby clothes. Tuesday puts us at 35 weeks, which for me means it could be any time. Our oldest was born at 41+ weeks, but the other 3 have been much earlier – #2 was 35 weeks, 3 days; #3 was 34 weeks, 6 days and #4 was 36 weeks, 2 days. So you see where I might be getting a little anxious.

However, I’m feeling pretty on top of my bulk cooking list I wrote up a few weeks ago. There have been several deviations from that list and a few snags along the way. (Snag #1 would be when I spent a whole day baking only to have us eat almost everything I made that day within a week. Oops!) But overall I am enjoying the sense of accomplishment I get as I watch my brand new 7 cubic foot chest freezer fill up. Oh, the joy!

While I usually do some freezer cooking every single month, spaced out over the first few days after our monthly grocery trip, this bulk cooking project feels so different for me. I am really breaking things up and only working as I feel inspired. If I just don’t feel like doing anything extra one day, I skip it without guilt. I can’t believe how freeing this has been and how much I’ve gotten done in spite of that attitude.

Most days I just do one or two extra things for the freezer. Since I first wrote that li st, I’ve only spent 3 days where a good chunk of my day was devoted to working on things for the freezer. This Saturday was one of those days.

I decided I want to get us really stocked up on muffins. We all love muffins and they are great to have on hand for breakfast, snacks or even to go with a light lunch. It was a chilly, rainy day and I love spending the day in the kitchen on days like that. So while my husband and kids cleaned the house and washed and folded 5 loads of laundry (lucky, aren’t I?), I baked up a storm. And best of all, I got to end the day by going on our last before-the-baby-is-born date night. That’s what I’d call an all around perfect day.

Here’s the result of my work from Saturday –

And everything all bagged up and ready for the freezer –

We did snack on some of the muffins throughout the day and we shared quite a few with my in-laws who baby-sat the kids. Here’s the tally from before those things happened:

So after that full day, here is what my current freezer stash looks like.

Until I pulled everything out today, I didn’t really have a firm grasp of just what all I had. I definitely had a vague idea that wasn’t too far off, but I decided I needed to keep a running inventory list. Here’s how that list looks so far:

Date

Food Item

Amount

8/18

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

4 bags

8/21

Ham & Cheese Pockets

8

8/27

Cabbage Soup

1 1/2 bags

8/29

Homemade Egg Noodle Dough

1/2 lb.

9/4

Ground Beef w/mushroom gravy

1 bag

9/4

Taco Soup

1 bag

9/4

Mostacciolli Veggie Bake

1 13×9

9/4

Brown Bag Burritos

15

9/4

Blueberry Almond Pancakes

16

9/5

Golabki/Stuffed Cabbage

6 rolls

9/5

Sausage & Cheese Biscuits

18

9/6

Chicken Parm Fingers

9

9/6

Chicken & Gravy w/ Veggies

2 bags

9/7

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 1/2 doz.

9/7

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 doz.

9/9

Mexican Chicken & Black Beans

1 bag

9/9

Tortillas

12

9/10

Mashed potatoes

1 8×8

9/11

Apple Spice Pancakes

12

9/11

Zucchini Nut Muffins

2 doz.

9/11

Blueberry Muffins

12 mini + 8

9/11

Mini Banana Nut Muffins

3 doz.

9/11

Mini Carrot Raisin Muffins

3 doz.

9/11

Tropical Carrot Bread

1 loaf

I still have a lot things I’d love to add to the freezer. I think I’ll keep tackling it a little bit every day (except for those mega days) and just be happy with however much I get done. I’m also trying to do all of this while still sticking to our monthly budget. I have $175 left for the month, which should stretch pretty far. We’ll see though. I may just get tired and spend that money on some convenience items! (Kidding…kind of.)
My husband also asked if I had a freezer map so that he, and whoever watches the kids while I’m having the baby, can find everything. I don’t, but I think it’s a great idea! So that is also on my to-do list for this week.

The other day I realized that there are a few freezer cooking questions I haven’t had time to answer yet, so I’m working on a post to answer all of those. If you have any freezer cooking questions, or if you have any great freezer cooking tips to share, please leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks!

12 thoughts on “Update ~ Bulk Cooking Before Baby

  1. You’re amazing. I never could have convinced myself to do even a fraction of that amount of freezer cooking before my own babies came. How lovely it will be for you to not worry about cooking after the baby is born!! Amazing AND wise.

  2. Wow how awesome!
    I am in the process of starting freezer cooking. We are moving next and im going to purchase a chest freezer.
    When you freeze cookies do u freeze the dough or the actual cookies after you have baked them?

  3. Wow!! That is alot of stuff! Before I have a baby I usually have about 10 meals in the freezer but not so much baking. Part of the reason is that I have relatives that bring lots of baking over.

    I just tried your ham and cheese pockets. So easy to make lunches with those.

    Make sure you take time to put your feet up too!

  4. You are doing awesome!

    I must say, I was already impressed from reading your plans, to the point where I was actually trying a little freezer cooking myself. Specifically, I cooked up 2 dozen bacon cheddar biscuits to put in the freezer. Went outside to talk to the handyman, and came back in to find only two biscuits still on the plate, a dog on the couch with half a biscuit in his mouth, and crumbs everywhere. 😛 I was so disheartened I stopped trying freezer cooking before I even really got started. Especially after the dog was sick all night (though I admit to feeling a tad vindicated).

    No more! I started today and made mashed potatoes for the freezer, with plans to add some food every few days. Thank you. 🙂

  5. Way to go! I was able to do this before our two kids and with the second, I was able to stock nearly 60 dinner meals and lots of breakfast foods, too. What a difference it makes! For the first 3 months, we were set and it eased an otherwise burden for me!

  6. How long do these recipes keep well in the freezer for and if you could include cooking tips for after it’s thawed out on the meals, that would be great! You have alot of great recipes!

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