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My Lunchbox Freezer Cooking Plan

School is back in session and many of you are packing lunches to send with your children. Or, you might be packing a lunch for your spouse or yourself to take to work.

Packing your own lunch is a great way to save money, but trying to put together lunches at the last minute can be time-consuming. And that’s where freezer cooking comes in!

For the next two weeks, we’ll be doing a Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series here on MoneySavingMom.com. I’ll be making a different freezer-friendly Lunchbox item each day — and I’ll be blogging about it, with pictures, and encouraging you to join in and make what I make or another recipe that would work for brown-bagging it.

I’m not 100% sure of all of the recipes I’m making, but here’s what I think I’m going to make (most of these are new to me, so I can’t vouch for them!):

Individual Mac & Cheese
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi Rolls
Pizza Lunchables
Broccoli Chicken & Rice Cups
Corn Dog Muffins
Homemade Pizza Rolls
Bean & Cheese Burritos (here’s another option for Burritos, if you want something with a little more variety in it)
Mighty Tasty Mini Lasagnas
Chocolate Chips Granola Bites
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Other Freezer-Friendly Lunchbox Ideas:

Barbecued Meatballs
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Brown Bag Burritos
Homemade Pizza Pockets
Ham & Cheese Pockets
Southwest Rollups

Will you be joining us for some or all of the cooking/ What are you plannign to make? Leave a comment with your list and links to your recipes!

Bean & Cheese Burritos

These homemade bean & cheese burritos are SO easy to make, and they're perfect for to-go lunches or make-ahead dinners!

I made Bean & Cheese Burritos for the freezer yesterday. These were so easy to put together — and quite inexpensive, too.

They aren’t anything spectacular and, if you’re a foodie, you just might be appalled that I’m posting such a crazily basic recipe. 🙂 But I’m all about keeping it simple  — especially when it comes to quick lunches on the go!

Oh and I took around 30 pictures yesterday afternoon when I was making these. I went to download them later to post this post and the pictures had magically disappeared.

Kind of like my phone did yesterday, too. Yes, we’re just all organized here… ahem. {Gratefully, after over an hour of tearing the house apart from top to bottom, I finally found it logged under our bedskirt. Don’t ask me how it ended up there! :)}

Jesse and I spent a long, long while trying to retrieve the photos last night, to no avail. I could have gone to the store, bought more ingredients, and re-made the recipe so I could have photos, but I just decided I’d “cheat” and use a few photos from a similar recipe I made recently. This way, those of you who are visual learners can see how simple these are to make. 🙂

Can’t have dairy and/or wheat? Check out Milk Allergy Mom’s adapted recipe.

More freezer-friendly burrito recipes:

Easy Freezer Burritos
Brown Bag Burritos
Southwest Rollups

See my complete Lunchbox Freezer Cooking Plan here.

Want more make-it-from-scratch ideas? I highly recommend Easy Homemade by Mandi Ehman. This ebook contains more than 60 recipes for homemade kitchen staples and it’s beautifully laid out, well-illustrated, and packed with great ideas and recipes.


Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Day 2)

We’re big fans of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins here. So, of course, when I saw this recipe recently, I just had to try it — especially since I already had all of the ingredients on hand — thanks to some free credit from Vitacost.

I thought it would be fun to change things up for our Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series and make these muffins, instead of our usual amazingly-delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe.

These were very easy to make and were surprisingly yummy — especially for the ingredients. But they aren’t anywhere near as good as our favorite recipe. However, they are much quicker to make. And, I’m guessing, they are much lower in fat and calories, too.

If you haven’t tried our family’s favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe, you’ve got to give it a whirl. I can almost guarantee you’ll like. Unless you’re one of those strange people who don’t like chocolate or pumpkin! 🙂 By the way, my friend Jamie, has an egg-free, milk-free version of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins over on her blog.

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!

 

Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: Mac N’ Cheese Cups (Day 3)

So, I was excited about this idea I had for making Mac N’ Cheese Cups, inspired by this recipe from Once a Month Mom. Only my idea pretty much flopped.

You see, I had some boxes of Annie’s Mac N’ Cheese on hand, so we used that instead of making the sauce from scratch. But then, since I never use muffin liners, I decided we’d skip using those and just put the mac and cheese directly into the muffin tins.

I was hoping that these would pop right out after baking. But they didn’t. In fact, it didn’t really stick together at all.

Oh well. I guess we saved you having to try it yourself — and it’s not like the Macaroni and cheese isn’t edible, it’s just not real lunchbox-friendly. 🙂

Live and learn, right?

Oh and I also wouldn’t recommend turning your back when your 3-year-old is in the kitchen helping you.

Because you might end up finding him painting the sliding glass door with mac and cheese! 🙂

Check out this recipe on Once A Month Mom for a more tried and true Mac N’ Cheese Cups recipe. You can also find a Dairy-Free/Wheat-Free Mac N’ Cheese Cups recipe over on Milk Allergy Mom.

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!

Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi (Day 4)

Okay, so this recipe probably won’t win the award for being the least time-intensive recipe to pull off… especially since it requires a few more steps than a typical PB&J sandwich.

However, it’s creative and different — and might be an fun option for a picky eater. And I think it was significantly easier than the homemade uncrustables were.

By the way, if you want to make things even easier for yourself, just make Freezer-Friendly Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches.

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!

 

Lunchbox Freezer Cooking: Chicken Broccoli Rice Cups (Day 5)

I re-created our well-loved Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole into a more portable version tonight. Honestly, after making it, I’m not entirely sold on the idea of putting it in muffin tins.

It would work well for an at-home lunch with little people who have small appetites. But for anyone over the age of three or four, I think it might be more convenient to make the casserole, bake it, and then divvy it up into portion-sized airtight containers to freeze.

This is a recipe that freezes really well — baked or unbaked. And it thaws well, and re-heats well. So no matter how you decide to divvy it up and freeze it, it’s hard to go wrong.

By the way, if you’ve not tried this recipe yet, it’s a big favorite of ours. In fact, my kids request to eat it for breakfast when we have leftovers in the fridge! (Truth be told, I usually let them. But hey, it has grains, dairy, protein, and veggies. So I don’t think it can be that detrimental to eat for breakfast. And it’s probably loads better than most boxed cereals on the market — especially if you make your own homemade soup mixes!)

Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!