Skip to Content

5 Easy Freezer Meals: Eat Better for Less!

5 Easy Freezer Meals: Eat Better for Less!

Freezer meals save my sanity and my budget! Feeding a large family on a small budget can be a challenge. In fact, it can be almost as challenging as finding delicious, nutritious cheap dinner ideas that your kids will actually eat! Since I don’t have a lot of time to cook, I’m always looking for cheap dinner ideas that are easy to make.

Freezer meals are a lifesaver for our family. These easy make ahead meals help me save money and feed my family better! I can spend a single afternoon in a kitchen and prepare thirty dinners for my family. It saves me time and money all month long!

I was recently told that a household our size (7 people) spends, on average, well over $1200 per month on food. Who can afford $1200 per month for food?! That’s insane!

I have tried dozens and dozens of freezer meals, so this list might grow over time. However, we’ll start out with five of my family’s absolute favorites.

How to Save Money with Freezer Meals

Freezing your food won’t automatically help you save money. You will need to strategize your meal plan to help you cut down on costs.

Buy In Bulk

When you cook everything in advance, you can buy items in bulk that you wouldn’t normally be able to. You can buy a lot of meat and even perishable foods (like vegetables) without worrying about things going bad before you have the chance to cook them.

Shopping at a bulk retailer, like Winco, Costco, or Chef Store can help you save more money when you’re preparing your freezer meals.

Use Similar Ingredients

You’ll notice that several of these recipes include the same ingredients, such as potatoes or ground beef. That’s because it helps me double-down on my bulk buying. I learned early on that it’s more economical to make five of the same meal that five different meals.

Using the same ingredients in multiple meals also makes it easier to prep. I blanch a lot of potatoes, cut up all the veggies, and cook all the meat at once, instead of doing it meal-by-meal. After everything is prepped, simply assemble the meals into their containers!

Make Meals You Like

If you make a lot of meals you hate just because they’re cheap recipes, you’ll end up wasting money. You won’t want to eat the meals you’ve prepared, and you’ll find yourself eating other things instead.

When you prep your freezer meal menu, make sure that you’re planning meals that you will actually want to eat when the time comes. Believe me, I have a frozen bag of coconut curry soup in my freezer that’s been there far too long. It sounded good at the time I made it but it hasn’t sounded good since!

My Favorite Freezer Meals

These are the Thelin family favorites. I’d love to see your favorites in the comments!

Breakfast Casserole

My family loves this meal and will eat it any time of day! It’s also one of my favorites to serve when we’re having a lot of people over. With delicious flavors like bacon and sausage, it may sound expensive. However, these ingredients stretch nicely because the dish is mostly potatoes and eggs! 

The first step to making breakfast casserole is to blanch a ton of potatoes. If you don’t want to blanch your own, you can buy a big bag of frozen potatoes but this will increase your costs. Chef Store has large bags of cubed frozen potatoes for a reasonable cost.

To blanch potatoes, cut them into small chunks, boil for three minutes and then freeze them on a flat sheet until they are frozen solid. Don’t try to use potatoes in a freezer meal unless they are blanched!!! I did this once and the potatoes were awful, all black and nasty.

While they’re freezing, chop up bell peppers and onions into small pieces. You’ll also need to cook up ground sausage and bacon. I usually use at least 1/2 pound of each per meal. Sometimes, if I have a little extra, I’ll use more.

To freeze the meal, just fill a large Ziploc bag halfway with potatoes. Add the bell peppers, onions, bacon, sausage and shredded cheese. Freeze this together.

When you’re ready to cook it, dump it all out in your crock pot. Make a scrambled egg mixture and pour it over the top. Mix it all together. Cook it on low for about six hours. You’ll want to stir it two or three times to ensure that the eggs cook throughout.

Serve it with toast! I like to make sandwiches or burritos out of it because it helps the meal stretch a little farther.

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

This meal from Delicious As It Looks is one of my very favorites. Just layer potatoes and chicken in a casserole dish… top with salt, pepper, green onions, bacon and cheese! Add some butter and a milk drizzle… then pop it in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for about an hour and a half. 

Like the breakfast casserole, you’ll used blanched potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, onions and shredded cheese in this dish. You’ll also need to precook the chicken and cut it into little cubes. Once it’s assembled, it freezes beautifully and is easy to reheat!

Café Rio Chicken

If you’ve ever been to Café Rio, then you’ll know why I’m obsessed with this delicious dish! All you need is chicken, zesty Italian dressing, minced garlic, ranch dressing, chili powder and ground cumin. It. is. divine. I make it exactly like Mandy recommends on Mandy’s Recipe Box. It makes a divine freezer meal!

Serve it with tortillas, on a salad, in a sandwich… you really can’t go wrong.

Taco Chicken

This meal costs approximately $1 per person for our family – and we always have enough left over for lunch the next day! It tastes great in burritos, tacos, salads, soups or just by itself! This is one of my very favorite meals of all time.

All it requires is frozen chicken, salsa, and some taco seasoning. I usually use a three-pound bag of chicken for our family. I cover it with salsa, sprinkle on some taco seasoning and leave it in the crock-pot on low all day (8 hours or so). When it’s done, it shreds beautifully and tastes oh-so-good.

taco chicken for

To keep costs down, I sometimes add a can of corn, a can of refried beans and some Spanish Rice-a-Roni that I made on the stove. These cheaper ingredients can help extend the meal without requiring more meat.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

We absolutely love anything with taco seasoning in it. In fact, my two-year-old’s favorite word is “TACO!” But I digress.

This Chicken Enchilada Soup is the absolute cheapest of the cheap dinner ideas that I make for my family. It only costs about $0.40 per person per meal for our household… because it makes enough to feed our family for two meals!

I start with a bag of Cugino’s Chicken Enchilada Dry Soup Mix and add any leftover taco chicken I may have. I add slightly less water than the soup mix calls for… but I also add refried beans, corn, enchilada sauce, salsa, onions, peppers and whatever else I may have that sounds good.

The most expensive part of this meal is the $3 soup mix. It’s easy, it’s fast and it’s very, very good.

Freezer meal and ingredients

And, for the picky eaters who resent anything that looks like soup, I sometimes puree their portion, smother it in shredded cheese and wrap it in a tortilla. It also makes a tremendous chip dip!

This post was adapted from recipes and blogs that originally appeared on my personal website,

FAQs about Freezer Meals

If you’ve got questions about freezer meals, I’ve got answers! I’ve been cooking freezer meals for my family for over 10 years.

How do you make potato freezer meals?

If you’re going to put potatoes in freezer meals, you need to blanch them first. If you don’t blanch them, they will discolor and the texture will be awful. Always blanch potatoes before adding them to a freezer meal.

How do you find cheap easy freezer meals?

Look for recipes you already like. Try to find 3-4 recipes that use similar ingredients, so that you can buy in bulk and prepare all the meals in one day. Reusing similar ingredients really help cuts down on costs and it makes the cooking process easier!


Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.