Monday, November 16, 2009

November OAMM Freezer Meal Day Recap

So my November once a mont cooking has come and gone. This month was different than the previous few months. I had a few fewer meals on the freezer portion of my menu, which equated to less time in the kitchen on cooking day, thankfully!

To start off the all-day "extravaganza," I flipped through all the recipes and gathered all my non-perishables the night before, placing them on the counter where I would spend a lot of time working.

And after getting the H1N1 vaccine Saturday morning, we headed out to pick up our Angel Food Ministries order for November. For those of you who are new to my blog, I started buying from AFM a little over a year ago when our financial situation became really tough. We are actually living off a smaller income now than a year ago, and so I continue buying each month from AFM. I also incorporate my freezer meal cooking day with my AFM order pick-up day. To read more about Angel Food Ministries, click here.

We ordered one standard box from AFM. A standard box, or regular box, has enough food to feed a family of four for about a week, or a single adult for about a month. The menu changes each month and comes with a variety of meats, fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables, and more.

Our standard box came with 1.5lb ribeye steaks, 1 lb boneless center cut pork chops, 2 lb chicken fried rice skillet meal, frozen beef stroganoff meal (lasagna was on the menu, but they must have run out of this and substituted the beef stroganoff), 22 oz breaded fish patties, 1 lb lean ground beef, 1.5 lb breaded chicken breast fillet, 1 lb frozen zucchini, 1 lb frozen cauliflower florets, 1 lb frozen broccoli florets, 1lb hash brown patties (hubs will definitely love these), 8oz box cereal, 2lb bag onions, 32oz 2% shelf stable milk, 1 dozen med. eggs, and dessert

We also ordered a fruit/vegetable special box. For $22, we received 1 stalk celery, 3lb sweet potatoes, 3lb Idaho potatoes, 1 head green cabbage, 1 lb carrots, 3 lb oranges, 3lb red delicious apples, 1-8oz bag shelled pecan halves (I'll use these in my pecan pie or Thanksgiving), 4 bosc pears, 1-12oz 100% pure honey bear, and 2 ruby red grapefruit.

And finally, we picked up a Thanksgiving box that I preordered a couple months ago. For $36, the box came with 7lb Perdue roasting hen, 2.5lb boneless netted ham, 2lb frozen diced sweet potatoes, 3.5 frozen corn cobbetts, 2lb frozen green beans, 1lb frozen cranberries (which I'll use in some cranberry-orange muffins that I plan on making), 17oz ready to cook corn bread dressing, 8ct heat & serve large dinner rolls, 4.5oz brown gravy mix, and dessert.

So after taking pictures of all the AFM order, I stashed everything that needed freezing into the freezer (see below). The top shelf, from what you can see, was definitely packed. I reserved about 1/2 of the bottom shelf for all my freezer meals.

Here are some highlights of the meals I made:
Minestrone Soup--the zucchini from the AFM standard box worked out perfectly for this meal.
Oh, and I had a little helper off & on throughout the day. Here's the "on" period when she wanted to help. Isn't she cute in her chef hat & apron??!!

Hamburger Vegetable Soup--I used the lean ground beef from the standard box for this meal. This ended up having the consistency of a stew or stoup; the pasta just sucked uup all the broth.

Ham Jambalaya--This recipe came out of the Ham 365 cookbook I received in the mail for free. I didn't use the ham from the AFM Thanksgiving order--that went into the freezer. Instead, I used some of the picnic ham that I bought a couple months ago. It smelled sooo good cooking up in the skillet with the sweet pepper and celery!

Always important: the proper container for your freeze meal. I'm usually not very concerned about freezer burn as the freezer meals normally get eaten within a month. Still, it doesn't hurt to do what you can to ensure your food is protected from the 'burn. I used a food saver bag to store my Hotch Potch. I find it works best to fold over the edges of the food saver bag, and also freezer bags (not pictured) to prevent the food from spilling and getting on the outside of the storage bag, and the food saver bag seals up better, too.

So how did I do with getting everything into the freezer? See for yourself:

Everything fit! Ok, well, I can't keep a secret for long. I sort of cheated. I put one meal into the fridge since I had it on the menu for Monday night. And there were a few freezer meals that I didn't actually have to make because I had precooked the chicken and placed them in freezer bags, so they were already in the freezer (I was aiming for some time saving meals). :)

All in all, it was a great day, and I did get finished earlier than I have in previous months. Not too shabby!


  1. Hi. Do you really think the AFM boxes are a good deal? I have been looking seriously at taking advantage of them.....but not sure if they actually beat out Walmart or the other stores on sale. Would love yoru input!

  2. Hi Lorian,
    Yes, I do believe AFM to be a good deal. They really helped my family get through a tough time. The grocery stores around here are rather expensive, and Walmart and I had a "falling out." I decided to avoid WM and stick to the sales ads at the local grocery stores. AFM gave me at least 1 week's worth of food that I didn't have to think long and hard about. I worked really hard to build up a solid pantry of items that were at rock-bottom price. It took me close to a year, but I did manage to meet my goals on groceries. I stopped buying from AFM earlier this year once we got to the point that we had enough to carry us through one sale to the next without breaking our budget. But I still have a lot of regard for AFM. I was just telling my husband a couple weeks ago that I was thinking of buying from AFM again because I really did enjoy the variety of food and the savings, and not having to really think about shopping for one week. I haven't made any decision yet, so we'll see. My freezer and pantry are so full right now, so I'm not in a rush.

    Good luck to you, and return back to let me know what you decide! :)


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