3 Months of Meals in the Freezer!

Since I had the chicken enchiladas in 2 glass pie plates, it was harder this time to fit it all in the freezer but I did with room to spare!  I will go picture by picture on how I packed the freezer.....

1.  I freeze my 3 glass casserole dishes on the side ledge and divide them with cardboard so they don't get squished.  Then in the second photo, I'm showing you how I arrange the already frozen ziploc bags - standing up for easy access.  I freeze whatever I cook on a certain day in the tray on top and then when its frozen solid by next morning, I move it to the bottom.

2.  This was my first time using pie plates for a freezer meal - chicken enchiladas.  I had 2, so I came up with the idea to break apart a box and then place one on one side and then put the other side down and place it on top.  You can't see it in the photo, but I had another piece of cardboard folded into a triangle to keep the cardboard off the one on the bottom.  It worked perfectly!

3.  Next, I froze Friday's meals in the tray and moved them below on Saturday when they were frozen.

4.  Then on Saturday, I froze the meatloaves and beefy mac in the trays.  Notice how everything fits and there is still room under the tray on the left for more food!  All I have left to put in there is the mac n' cheese on Mon. night.

5.  Here are 2 shots of the freezer above the fridge.  This is where I store my spaghetti and pizza sauces, yeast, bananas for shakes, berries, junk food (yes, we occasionally eat junk), burritos, ice pack, ice, salmon patties, muffins, etc.  This week, I'm taking those 5 pounds of strawberries and making jam.  I'm actually going to move things around a bit in here next week but here is how it looks now:

I hope this helped show you how YOU can fit 3 months of meals in a small 5-cubic foot chest freezer!!  It's all in the packing!  We have packed a LOT of Uhaul's in our days - so we have learned a bit about making things fit and who knew it would benefit my freezer packing abilities lol. ;-)

Some have asked where we got our freezer.  We actually bought it from our 2nd pastor in Alaska, but you can find it here at Walmart for $199: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5751096

We have had this freezer, the Haier brand for 6-7 years now and it runs great.  We had a lot of ice build-up on the sides but hubby just chopped it off with a screwdriver and we melted it in the sink lol.  No need to turn it off and let it melt when it comes off so easily!  I keep mine on 2 and the food gets frozen solid as a rock.  I don't think I've ever used the highest setting of 3, don't see a need to.  The cost to run the freezer per YEAR is just about $20 on setting 2, I suppose its more like $26 a year on setting 3.  So cost is definitely not an issue here!  

You normally don't get freezer burn at all in a chest freezer, that is mostly limited to foods put in a freezer that is above a fridge.