Life is busy for all of us. It's so easy to get so busy that instead of home cooked meals we grab food through the drive through and eat on the run. A big timesaver is cooking for your freezer.
You can do this as simply or as complicated as you want. Some do once a month cooking. However, it's also handy to double up on a casserole or main dish that you're making and freeze one. This is a bit more manageable for me. For the most part, I cook meat and freeze it. Then use it to make a meal at a time.
My favorite thing to cook is ground beef. I just cooked up about 10 pounds of this and put it in my freezer. It is so nice to pull that package of frozen cooked ground beef and use it for whatever I need. Spaghetti, a casserole, tacos, burritos, anything! It eliminates a step and a pan to be used.
How to cook the ground beef:
I place several pounds of ground beef in my stockpot and then add some water. Usually a 2-3 cups. Then season the beef however you like. This time I just used salt. then break up the meat as it cooks. You don't have to stay right there with it. Just break it up occasionally to get it to the size crumbles you like. I like mine pretty fine.
Packaging the meat:
I use a strainer over a bowl to drain the meat and then put it in containers to go in the fridge to cool down. I usually like to let it cool before I package it for the freezer. I just use sandwich bag and then put them all in a freezer bag. Make sure that you get as much air out of the bag as possible. Don't forget to date it so that you know how long it's been in the freezer. Every now and then a bag can get away from you if you have a large freezer.
I highly recommend doing things like this to save time. You can freeze any meat after it's cooked. I even have some pork from a roast I fixed in the freezer. I have pulled a package out for a quick lunch and have it planned to use for bbq sandwiches soon.
The freezer is an awesome tool and one that I wouldn't want to be without. I would love to hear your favorite freezer tips!
P.S. Here are a couple of my favorite sites for freezer cooking.
30 Day Gourmet
There is a yahoo groups called Friendly Freezer that goes along with this. I highly recommend joining because they are a great group of helpful freezer cooks. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Friendly-Freezer/