Meal Planning Simplicity

This episode of “Meal Planning Simplicity” is about how I dealt with the meat I purchased on my recent shopping trip. My daughter Leanne and I spent 1 hour in the kitchen and got 5 meals in the freezer.

Here is what I purchased:

6#’s hamburger
6#’s boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 ½ #’s pork riblets

This is what we made:

From the hamburger:
3#’s were made into meatloaf
3#’s were cooked and frozen for a meal

From the chicken:
3#’s + 1# were put in ziplock bags with a delish marinade sauce (recipe link coming). The 1# bag was made for my daughter Emily. She is in the midst of tax season and working 14+ hour days so I’ve been making her a few meals for her freezer to make her life a little easier.
2#’s were made into a chicken chili freezer meal

From the pork riblets:
All of them were put in a Korean marinade

Here is how my shopping day went… I started the morning by putting a pork roast in the crockpot. I went shopping and came home and unloaded it all. Then I put on a pot of beans to cook (for the chicken chili). I used 3 cups of black beans and 3 cups of pintos. However, you can use whatever type of beans you would like. I then cut up a big bunch of red potatoes and mixed them with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. I put them in the oven to roast (for that nights dinner). I then cut up broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot sticks for a veggie platter. I served dinner, cleaned up, got my hubby out the door to work and then got busy with the meals.

Leanne started by making the marinated chicken. This is the recipe she used: She has made this many times and it is wonderful! We love it and it is easy to make and easy to cook up. She bagged the chicken and poured the marinated ingredients right into the bag. Labeled and sealed…

Then she made the Korean marinade. I’ve share this recipe before and it is amazing. You can find this marinade here:  You can use the riblets, pork chops or steaks. I’ve used this marinade on chicken and beef as well.

While Leanne was busy doing that I took half the hamburger and made meatloaf. I divided it into 2 pans and wrapped them in foil for the freezer…

Then I cooked the rest of the hamburger for a meal coming up this week. I bagged it and labeled it for the freezer.

Finally I took the last 2#’s of meat to make chicken chili. By the time we got started on the meals the beans were done cooking. I drained the beans and reserved 1 cup of the bean broth for the chili. I had more beans than I needed. I usually cook more than needed so I can freeze some for another day.

Here is a pic of the ingredients needed for the chili and the recipe follows…

Crockpot Chicken Chili (freezer recipe)
1 can of olives, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn
2 #’s chicken
6 cups cooked beans + 1 cup reserved bean broth
8oz cream cheese
1T chili powder
2t cumin

Layer all ingredients in a one gallon zip lock bag. Label & seal bag for the freezer. On serving day put contents of bag in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and salt if needed, according to your own taste.

At the end of our kitchen time we had spent 1 hour start to finish, dishes washed and kitchen completely cleaned up and had 5 meals (not including the extra meal for my daughter or the extra bag of beans) in the freezer. This will make next week go amazingly smooth.



  1. Another great post crystal. I am horrible at meal planning and grocery shopping.. spend way to much money on groceries every week. Usually spend $100 or so but we are only 2 people :0

  2. I've been hunting for some new chicken recipes. Can't wait to try the Marinade Chicken. :-)

  3. Do you ever pull frozen chicken out, thaw it then put it into a freezer meal and refreeze it. I run out of time and end up freezing whole packs of chicken breasts and then have to get them all out at once and cook them. I would rather create a freezer meal with them.

    1. Hi Jennifer, no you should not defrost meat and refreeze it without cooking it first. Often times if I don't have time to make a whole freezer meal I divide my meat up into meal size portions so I'm only defrosting just what I need. When I can, I make freezer meals with it.. or as in the this post put some sort of marinade or sauce over it.. just one less step on cooking day. :)

  4. Wow! Just found your blog and I love all of your helpful tips! Just one question: does the chicken chili need to be defrosted prior to crockpotting, or do you put it in the crock pot frozen? I love the idea of freezing the marinated meat, genous!



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