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I have a special guest for y’all today. Laura with Laura Bray Designs is here with some fabulous advice on how to use mason jars for meal planning. I love creating freezer meals for my family and I can’t believe I have never thought to use jars for my meals! Read along below for her advice.
In an attempt to save time, money, and my sanity, I’ve developed the habit of planning out my family’s dinners for the week. It’s a housekeeping habit that has made a huge difference in my stress levels. Today, I’ll show you how I use mason jar storage as an important part of my meal planning process. An important part of making meal planning easy is to cook double recipes for meals that freeze well. If I’m going to make homemade tomato soup, it’s just as easy to make a double batch as it is a single and then I have the joy of knowing I’ve got a quick, homemade meal sitting in my freezer waiting for me.
For the longest time, I used plastic containers to store my food, but when we got a refrigerator with a bottom freezer it was difficult to find my stash of frozen meals in the drawer-like space. So I started using glass mason jars instead. They take up less room and make it much easier to find what I’m looking for.
Here are my tips for utilizing frozen meals in mason jars to make dinner time easier at your house too:
- Pack-up half of your doubled recipe right away. If your family is like mine, they just might go back for 3rds if they think anything is left in the pot!
- Leave some headspace in your jars and loosely screw on the lids for the first freezing. This will lesson your chance of an “explosion”. Once everything is frozen, I go back in and tighten up the lids.
- Allow the foods to cool before you place them in the freezer.
- Label the jars! I created some labels for you to download. Write down what is in the jar and the month/year you made it. If you have a bottom freezer like I do, you can just pull out the drawer and see all these jars, lined up and labeled, and you will feel like a super woman for a few minutes!
- When meal planning, be sure to pick out at least one meal each week that will freeze well. That way, you’ll always have a nice stash of premade meals on hand.
- Be sure to add some of your frozen meals to your meal plan each week. You deserve a break! I often look at my calendar when I’m meal planning and decide which days are my busiest, then I schedule my frozen meals for those days.
- Finally, even if you aren’t using mason jars for freezing, you might want to use mason jars as storage for your leftovers in the fridge. They take up less room (think vertical, not horizontal space on the shelves) and the dated labels make it a lot easier to figure out what is in the jar and if it is still good.
I hope these tips bring some peace to your meal planning. To learn more about creating a successful meal planning process in your home sign-up for my free, seven day ecourse here.
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