What is a Freezer Meal Party?
So you might be wondering, what exactly IS a freezer meal party? A freezer meal party is when a group of friends come together to prepare, cook and package freezer friendly meals for their homes and families. With multiple recipes made in bulk, participants all go home with a variety of freezer meals that they can use for months to come.
Benefits of a Freezer Meal Party
There are many unexpected benefits that come from hosting a freezer meal party. The benefits that come from working as a collective are invaluable.
- It’s an excuse to spend an evening with friends. As a mom of littles, it’s hard to find time to hang out with people I enjoy and not be interrupted 15+ times by sibling squabbles or spilled milk. Setting aside a night to come together and to have something to work on together was the perfect excuse to have a girls night. I got to catch up with much-loved friends AND make meals for my family. I can’t think anything I’d rather multitask doing.
- Variety. I know I’m not alone in that I tend to cook the same types of food over and over again in a regular rotation. I stick to what I know and breeze past recipes and ingredients I’m not familiar with. However, when cooking 6 different recipes with friends who all have different tastes and preferences, it is inevitable that I’m going to go home with recipes I normally wouldn’t try. I like learning how to make new recipes and give my family a little more variety.
- Learn from each other. When you cook with other people, you will inevitably learn something new. Everyone brings a different set of skills and experience to the table and when you team up to make a recipe, tips and tricks are passed on.
- Save money. Buy in bulk, baby. It is usually cheaper to buy most ingredients in bulk than it is to buy them in smaller quantities. This is especially true for meat. In the long run, we all saved some money by buying ingredients in large quantities and then split up.
- Save Time. A freezer meal party tends to run about 3 hours long. This shakes out to be about 30 minutes a meal. In contrast, if I were to make these meals at home by myself the cooking time and clean up would be much longer. Plus, think of all the time this saves on all those little grocery store runs throughout the week. Having freezer meals really will save me loads of time in the long run.
Brainstorm up to 6 people who would enjoy a party like this, as well as benefit from a stash of freezer meals. Pretty much anybody could benefit from having a stash of great meals in their freezer so don’t rule anyone out. For the party we threw, we decided to invite our closest friends and make it not only a freezer meal party but a time to just hang out and catch up. It’s rewarding to spend time together AND accomplish a task.
Practically speaking, a few weeks before the party, contact those you want to participate. Explain the concept of a freezer meal party, share any expectations you’d have for them (provide their own containers or any shopping or food preparation you may want them to do) and make sure they have the date and location. Also, think about if you will be providing any drinks or snacks for the group or if you want your friends to each bring along something to share.
Here is an example email you may send:
I’m putting together a freezer meal party and I’d love for you to be part of it! If you’ve never heard of one of these, let me explain. In short, 6 of our friends will come together one night and assemble 6 different freezer meals. That way we all go home with 6 different freezer meals!
Here are some more details:
When: ___________ Keep in mind this party may last around 3 hours depending on how fast we work. It’s hard to say how long it will last exactly, so make sure your night is flexible.
How: I’ll take care of providing all of the food for the recipes AND the freezer containers. Most of the recipes in the party plan can be stored in ziptop bags, so I’ll just get a box for everyone to share. We will cook and assemble the meals at one time.
Cost: Once I get all of the groceries purchased, I will split the cost 6 ways. You can just settle up with me at the party. My guess is the total cost for each person will be somewhere around $12.00 a meal, depending on what quality of food I buy or even where I get it from. So your total will likely be somewhere around $72.00. Maybe a tad more since I’m buying containers as well.
Bring: A cooler to take home your meals in and ___________ (i.e. a bottle of wine, an appetizer to share, etc).
If you could, let me know within a few days if you can make it!
It might also be a good idea to remind participants to clear out some space in their freezer. Since each person will be going home with 6+ meals, having some freezer space is necessary!
Pick Which Recipes Your Group will Make
Now it’s time to decide what you will be making at the party. You could start by searching through our freezer meal recipe index.
However, before you spend too much time trying to figure out what to make you may want to check out the two freezer meal party plans we created (see links below). Each party plan includes six recipes and a shopping list. Both plans have a wide variety of meals that are simple, healthy, and family-friendly. We have hand-picked these recipes because they are not only freezer-friendly, but easy to assemble at a freezer meal party.
4. Make a Plan for Food and Freezer Containers
As the party planner, you have two options: 1) Shop for all the food and split the cost between 6 people - This option is appealing for a few reasons. First of all, it requires little to no work for the participants. They simply show up and the food is there for them to cook. It will also likely save everyone a little money. On the flip side, we quickly learned it is very easy to make shopping mistakes when buying this much food. It’s surprisingly hard to multiply recipes by 6 and buy enough of everything. Needless to say, this option puts a lot of work on the host but it is doable. If you do go this route, simply take the ingredient list that we have put together and do all of the shopping. You could save money by buying in bulk, shopping at discount grocery stores and using coupons. You will also be providing all of the freezer containers for the party. We have included these on your shopping list that is in the freezer party plan. Most of the recipes we have chosen can be frozen in ziptop freezer bags, so this should save you some money.
OR 2) Delegate recipes to your participants. With this option, each person will receive one recipe that they are in charge of bringing the ingredients for. This minimizes any shopping errors that one person could make if they were buying all of the ingredients in bulk. (It’s a lot of math to do!) It also takes the pressure off of the host to remember everything. This option also allows for flexibility in how many people attend the party. On the flip side, you may not be able to buy in bulk as much, and it requires more work for the participants. It also won’t be split evenly financially, unless everyone brings their receipts and one person figures out the differences and who owes whom (not an easy task!). Both options have their pros and cons. You simply have to decide which one will work best for you and your participants.
5. Print out all of the recipes and freezer meal labels
Before you have your freezer meal party, you will want to have a hard copy of each recipe available. In fact, we printed 7 copies of each recipe so that everyone could take one home. We wanted to avoid having a bunch of computers and phones out so having a hard copy of each recipe helped out a lot.
We also printed off a bunch of freezer meal labels. These are important to have ready to put on each meal when it is completed. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget what is in each container, not to mention the directions on how to cook it. Having a freezer meal label available to put recipe information on, as well as the date it was made, is key to keeping things organized. You can buy our Freezer Meal labels here and print them as many times as you like.
Now that you are prepped and ready to have your freezer party, it’s time to host it! In our next post we will walk you through what hosting the event actually looks like, as well as tips and tricks to help it go smoothly.