Easy to follow list for making 40 slow cooker ready freezer meals. Come and see the wonderful dinners you can have ready to go in your freezer!
This is the updated list (Feb 2014). We know some of you have had some issues with the list – and we found a few of our own 😉 However we do want to say that you should take a glance at the recipes before you go shopping! Double check us! If you do find any new issues – please let us know either in the comments here or you can email Heather@WhoNeedsaCape.com.
Here’s the link to the recipes!
Another side note – just a few hints – to make life easier – why not buy pre-minced garlic and ginger? And don’t sweat the small stuff – honest – if you have 1 extra chicken breast in your slow cooker – dinner will still taste good I swear! If you run out of an ingredient in the middle of making up your 40 meals – write what’s missing on the bag – you can add it later or the day you are cooking. I promise – this is a lot of work but worth it – just don’t make it harder than it is! I tried to put as much of the measurements as possible to give you an idea of how much you need to buy.
This is all also doubled – it SHOULD be enough to get you through all the recipes!
- 54 chicken breasts (boneless skinless works best)
- 36 chicken thighs .
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 lb boneless pork loin roast – 2 of them
- 4-5 pork butt roast – 2 of them
- 7 pounds of stew meat
- 4 pounds of boneless sirloin steaks cut into strips
- 24 chicken drum sticks
- 8 chicken leg quarters
Sauces and wet ingredients
- 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 C Spicy Honey BBQ sauce
- 2 C teriyaki sauce
- 1/2 C Ketchup
- 1 1/3 C chunky applesauce
- 1 1/3 C bbq sauce
- 2 12 oz bottles of hot sauce (or wing sauce up to you)
- 2 bottles of lawry’s herb & garlic marinade
- 6 T pesto
- 1 C and 14 T olive oil
- 15 T Coconut oil (olive oil would work as a substitute)
- 1 C vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 C dijon mustard
- 3/4 C maple syrup
- 4 T Red Wine Vinegar
- Rice Wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 C chicken broth
- 8 C plus 2 14 oz cans beef broth
- 2 1/2 C and 19 T soy sauce
- 1 C hoisin sauce
- 2 T lime juice
- 6 T lemon juice
- 2/3 C & 3 T honey
- 1/2 C Orange juice
- 4 T sriracha
Vegetables & Herbs
- 2 cans black beans
- 3 cans sliced mushrooms
- 8 onions sliced
- 3 1/2 onions chopped
- 2 onions cut in 1/2 in strips
- 2 finely chopped red onion
- 2 red onion cut into chunks
- 2 limes
- 2 C cilantro
- 2 large bags frozen corn
- 34 minced garlic cloves (or 1 large jar pre-minced)
- 4 4oz cans green chilis
- 4-6 T chopped jalapeno
- 2-10 oz cans diced tomatoes and green chilis
- 2 lemons (for zest)
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 2 red bell peppers cut in 1/2 in strips
- 2 green bell peppers cut in 1/2 in strips
- 2 C mushrooms
- 1/2 C fresh basil chopped
- 2 C chopped celery
- 6 peeled and chopped carrots
- 4 white potatoes
- 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 4 oranges (for juice and zest)
- chopped low salt peanuts (small amount)
- 2 small bags of baby carrots
- 4 20 oz cans pineapple undrained
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 8 C pico de gallo
Seasonings & Pantry staples
- 1 C brown sugar
- chili powder
- 3 ranch dressing packages
- chipolte powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried parsley
- sea salt
- fresh minced ginger (3 T)
- 4 packages of taco seasoning
- cayenne pepper
- 2 packages dry onion soup mix
Some of you have asked about printing this list – if you copy and paste it into a Word type program it should print easily 🙂 Happy Shopping!!!
I recently tried your smaller recipe/crockpot plan…what a miracle! I finally feel like a good mom! I had food at the ready, all I had to do was prepare side dishes, etc Love your recipes! Thanks for the huge help!!!
Isn’t it lovely? I finally had it together for a bit in the making dinner dept 😉
We love this! could we have this emailed to us, please! =)
Do you plan on ever adding in some vegetarian crockpot meals? These are so tasty, I’d love to see what you could come up with that is vegetarian. I’ll probably do some vegetarian soups, maybe some with rice or a noodle soup for now, but wondered if you had any ideas 🙂
Thanks for this great site!
I have a couple in mind, but not sure if I want to concentrate on crockpot vegetarian meals or just vegetarian meals altogether. I need to concentrate on this! 🙂
YES PLEASE!! Vegetarians need love, too 🙂
I love this idea. Please email me this list. Ty
Courtney – we have provided the list here. If you want to print it – copy and paste and put it into a word type program 😉
Heather, how many does each meal serve?
4-6 people (some will have leftovers) Enjoy!
When you say that the ingredient list is “Doubled” at the bottom of your page, do you mean that will give you 80 bags of meals?
No. The recipes are doubled to give you 40 bags of meals. there is one recipe that is already doubled – but in the instructions it tells you to use 2 bags 🙂
So when you say double do you mean double everything on this list so instead of 54 chicken breasts you need 108?
Nope – the shopping list is already for the doubled meals – you will have to double the recipes not the list
Hello, I LOVE this idea!!! How many people does each meal feed?! We are a family of 7…
oh a Family of 7? 🙂 You may need to make 1.5 times of each meal to feed your family? or double them (if your crock pot is big enough) to make 1 meal for your family. These on average feed 4-6 people depending on everyone’s appetite 🙂
We are a family of 9, with 6 of them eating like adults, so these meals would go quick! I can’t wait to try them!
Thank you for this post! I put it all together this weekend. I would recommend doing the shopping on one day and the prep on another. I have a question, though, about the pico de gallo. Your master shopping list calls for 8 cups, but in putting together the meals I only used 2 cups. Am I missing something? Also, I think four hours is optimistic. It took me seven, but as I get better at this it will probably take less time.
huh Victoria – I hope it’s not a typo but I’ll look into it 😉
This family of 5 is excited to try this..thank you for posting! I’m going to have to copy and paste all in one place for comparison because I’m a little confused on what’s doubled and where but I’m sure when I can see it all together it will make more sense. Have seen similar ideas but these recipes sound more like the flavors our family likes:)))
I’m going to try this!! I work 50 hours a week and have school. It’s only my husband and I so these should last us a long time! 🙂
What is the serving size of these meals? We are a family of 6.
I just finished the 40 meals in 8 hours.. (That’s how long it took me) I feel like I’m missing a recipe. What do I do with the chicken leg quarters??
I believe the leg quarters were for the honey chicken 🙂 And yeah – I’m slow in the kitchen lol cause I do a little work, get a snack for my kids, talk on the phone, do a little work 🙂
On average, how much does this cost?
I just bought all the ingredients in this list at walmart (except a few of the spices and herbs i already had) and I spent $450. But this feeds 4-6 (+ some leftovers on some) people for 40 days. If you have less than that many people it lasts longer than 40 days so I’m still giving it a thumbs up.
I have a question. With the bags you put all ingredients in uncooked minus the veggies?
Follow the instructions on each recipe. It will tell you what to do
How long are these good for in the freezer ? Love your recipes
Yes Debbie, here is the link to the 40 Meals in 4 Hours Shopping List:
Okay, my thing is that I’m a single woman on my own, so I’d be looking at pairing down the amounts rather than increasing them. Any suggestions?
Maybe make the meals just once instead of twice and have left overs?
I am getting ready to head to the grocery store now. My son has a peanut allergy, so I am omitting the peanut topping. Also, what sides do you recommend with these? I noticed on the pinterest page there were some with pasta, etc.
Pasta, rice, egg noodles, quinoa, steamed veggies, all sort of sides with the variety of dishes in this post. Enjoy 🙂
Hi Jennifer Hatch, my kids have peanut allergies too. Can you tell me how this impacted your 40 meals?
Is the shopping list updated to now reflect the items that were missing or do we need to add them?
Also, I see that you posted a shopping list earlier in the month, but no link. Thanks.
Casie the list should now be complete (hopefully!) and not sure about the list with no link 🙁
Soo I love this idea and I wanna do this but I need help. Lol
Sky – get a friend to do it with you!
What is the last ingredient under
sauces and wet ingredients…sriracha….Is that a misspelling or have I just never heard of this ingredient?
It is an Asian hot sauce http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sriracha_sauce (there are pictures on there) it is usually in the asian section of the grocery store (and it’s really a delicious sauce)
Thank you…I learn something new every day!
It is a wonderful sauce. I love the stuff but keep in mind that it quite hot as it’s made from hot peppers. I go through a bottle a month just by myself lol.
What is stew meat?
Brittany – it is packaged as stew meat in our stores – I think it may be top round cut up?
I don’t think you understand the magnitude of this post and your efforts to address and perfect each recipe/ingredient/ comment. Time is the most valuable thing I have, and you’ve given me at least 2 extra hours/night with my family. I don’t care if this takes me 16 hours to do, the quality of my family dinner time is going to improve vastly. So, I just wanted to thank you…REALLY, thank you. Your efforts are recognized AND very much appreciated! 🙂
awww 🙂 That makes us so happy! Try our 20 meals next 🙂
I second that!! Seriously, thank you so much! I stumbled upon this post on accident and what a life changer!!! So much time you put into it, thanks for putting it online, for free, and helping me get more precious time with my little ones AND give them great healthy food!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!
It’s called chuck steak in Australia.
I order a lot of my food online. How many pounds of boneless chicken breast do you think I need to get around 54 breasts?
I would say around 20? That’s just a guess but if the breasts are around 1/2 a pound each…if they are smaller breasts you’ll need more.
Wow, thank you I soo need this. & thank u for taking the time out of your busy day to post it all to us 🙂
How long can you keep these in a freezer for? Also, when there is a broth/soup/juice do you add these in the bags or when you throw it in the crock pot?
I add the broth/soup/juice to the bag 😉
I kept some of my freezer meals for up to 2 months 🙂
Stupid question but…do you have a separate shopping list for the sides such as rice, tortillas, etc.? I ask because I don’t have a printer at the moment and I would like to put all the information in one place before shopping.
thank you so much!!!
Nope sorry – we didn’t tell you what sides or anything else 😉
my husband an i work a full day and would have to put the slow cooker on for about 10 hours on average before we get home from work….. should i just put the ingredients in the slowcooker frozen to use up some of the time…. maybe on LOW…??? any feedback would be great 🙂
it will switch to “warm” mode after the time is up however i find food still tends to over cook.
Yes – low and switch to warm. Taking the freezer meal out of the freezer and putting it in the fridge overnight – is the way to go – it won’t thaw completely but it will be thawed enough to get it out of the bag 🙂 and maybe on some of the meals you’ll need to add extra broth to the meal in the morning so it doesn’t dry out 🙂
I have a crockpot that is just low, high and off. When I know that I’ll be gone when the dinner is cooked, I plug in my timer on the cord to the crockpot. This way, I set the time it will turn on and start cooking and then set the time it will stop cooking. Set your crockpot to low and plug in the timer to the wall outlet and plug the crockpot electric cord into the timer. This way, I can dump the still semi-frozen mean into the crockpot, have it turn on in two hours, cook on low for 7 hours and then turn off. When I come home after 9 or 10 hours, the meal is cooked and its still warm.
PS: Got the timer at Lowe’s or Home Depot – I forget which. About $8.00.
This is a genius idea!!!!!
One thing we do from time to time, if we know it will be a long day, is to use a timer (like you would use for your christmas tree lights) and have it set to start at a particular time so it isn’t cooking too long.
I am (ueber) anal when it comes to making lists and making my time in the grocery store as efficient (and quick! I have a 2 year old pushing a “shopper in training” mini shopping cart into me… err, behind me!) as possible. We recently moved (overseas, to Korea) and my first time in the new Commissary, with my new smart phone, I took pics of the signs above each aisle. I went home and created a spreadsheet (because I LOVE Excel!!) for each aisle (aisle 1: produce, condiments; aisle 2: baking goods, canned veggies; etc.). It makes shopping SO much easier and faster. Love that you have this shopping list already created. Now all I have to do is plug it in! 🙂
Are all the wet and sauce ingredients already doubled?
Yes – the ingredients on the shopping list are ready for all 40 meals – doubled and then the 2 that are tripled. 🙂
Which two recipes are tripled?
(The Maple Dijon Chicken and the Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks are tripled to make the 40 meals!)
Thank You for all you do!!! just Thank You,
You are welcome. 🙂
On the list of ingredients what does the T measurement stand for?
My husband is a disabled Vet who stays at home. I work full time. He is going to be having shoulder replacement surgery in just a couple of weeks. There are only the 2 of us home. We don’t like spicy food. We like a LITTLE bite but not a lot of heat.
I am not really good at trying to divide recipes down. Do you have any of the crock pot meals that you would share in smaller portions without a lot of spice? I would really appreciate it. We are going to try and prepare things next weekend.
Honestly all of our recipes are for family size! Sorry! What you could do is prepare the whole recipe and split it into 2 bags. So you would have 2 meals out of our one. Check out http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/01/crockpot-chicken-dumplings/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/07/maple-dijon-pulled-chicken-for-the-crock-pot/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/09/slow-cooker-chicken-gravy/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/03/barbeque-chicken-roll-ups-in-the-crock-pot/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2013/02/crock-pot-honey-romano-pork-chops/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2014/01/slow-cooker-bbq-cranberry-chicken/ http://whoneedsacape.com/2014/02/simple-slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff/
those are some of our non-spicy slow cooker recipes 🙂 Good luck to your husband!
This is what I was talking about. I love it! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/veggiechop-vegetable-chopper/?pkey=e%7Cvegetable%2Bchopper%7C4%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C2&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules
I’m going to be doing this (I think), but what would you guess the average person with average deals will spend for the shopping list above…provided I have the spices and pantry basics already? (Best guess since locations change prices I realize.) We’re really cutting our budget and it looks like a great way to do so with only 2 of us, it’ll do the meal plus leftovers the next night. 🙂 Any thoughts would be helpful! Thanks so much!
Laura – I think it REALLY depends on if you get the meat on sale. For me it’s WAY more expensive (I live in NJ home of everything costs more) than it cost Katie who lives in TX. The bonus of this is that you save money. end of story. You have lunches to take with you to work (especially if it’s just the 2 of you). You have dinner so no stopping for something quick (and expensive).
if I had to guess and I hate to do that I would say $200-400 depending on everything 😉
How often do you come up with new meals? I am a busy mom as well and LOVE that you built this list I am planning on trying it this week! Do you do new meals every month? Thanks!
Wanda – we have TONS of meals for freezer and crock pot cooking 😉 We have a 20 meals set and a 7 meals set (both with grocery lists). You could also make your own list with some of our other meals!
I don’t understand where the roasts come in? I bought four roasts and none of the recipes call for them! Also some of the recipes seems doubled but some dont. I understand the shopping list is doubled but are the recipes. I love this idea but there seems to be some serious flaws here.
Yes sorry you are incorrect. Both the green chili pork stew and the easy pork stew call for pork roasts. Not sure if you missed them or what happened.
About to have our first baby and this seems like perfect way to prepare!! Thanks so much! Just hope we have enough freezer room… I might start with 7 meals and see how that goes!
Can you give me a ball park figure on the cost of buying the whole list? I don’t know about buying all that meat at once!
Thank you Heather,what great ideas, I am going to give this a shot. You had me at the grocery list, what a help that will be. I use my slow cooker a lot, so this is right up my alley. I am going to share this site with all my family and friends.
Thanks for sharing and good luck!!!!
Just curious what your groceries cost? Here is the scenario:I have to cut our budget because both of our kids were accepted into college bachelors programs. Youngest child scored advanced., shes 13, and Sonis 15. They are starting in a few weeks. It will cost between 45-60,000 for two degrees. We have to pay cash, especially with them being young. We already paid for one child to go through. She started at age 16. .Challenge:
This is a BIG challenge, looking for suggestions from others. Can anyone tell me how we can purchase a weeks’ worth of groceries for our family for $120. We usually eat organic fresh veggies & meats. Budget was $200-$300 per week. NOW cutting is a MUST.
Must include each of the following 7breakfast, 7lunch, 7dinner and 3 healthy snacks per day for each person. We only drink decaf tea (with no sugar) or water.
We have a family of 4, one includes a growing teen boy.
It must be a diabetic diet & gluten free.
• We only eat chicken, turkey, turkey kielbasa & turkey dogs.(because Hubbers has gout, beef, pork & fish trigger it)
• Gluten free- We are NOT big pasta eaters. Especially GF pasta.
• We don’t buy GF bread because it runs over $5-$7 per package
• Limited beans maybe once per week. (Kidney or navy)
None of the following:
• Prepackaged foods
• Cabbage (only 2 people like cabbage)
• Limited squash (only 2 like squash)
• NONE of the FOLLOWING: beets, Kale, Collards, okra, spinach, peas
• No boxed cereal (We make our own from oats, I add coconut, raisins and stuff like that if we have on hand)
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
a grow your own garden would be my first step of advice – good luck to you 😉
Yup, plan on doing that. Thanks
Try making the chicken and pork recipes subbing the pork for chicken thighs. This has helped my family to enjoy healthy meals and me to lose some weight by eating better. The only allergy in m=our family is seafood, however, we don’t eat pork. Also, when at the store shopping, look for the marked down meats and always check the mark down section for other items like dented cans, My sons and I have been living off of $158 a month for groceries since March, no that’s not a typo, it’s $158/month. These freezer meals have came in very handy with keeping 2 teen boys full.
We’re glad you are enjoying the meals Jennifer. Here is a link to a post that was compiled by a fellow blogger that is hugely popular, it lists meals that are very budget friendly. Thanks for stopping over 🙂
You have my undying love for your inventiveness, generosity and PATIENCE. Hugs to you and thank you for sharing such a great resource. 😉
I save a ton of money every week making my own breads, rolls, tortillas etc. I make gluten free [for friends] and since I am on a low sodium diet it is a must for me to make my own if I want bread.
Definitely start a garden. Learn to can and buy a dehydrator [you can pick one up cheap at a yard sale]. Buy in bulk and plan your own meals accordingly – then freeze.
You seem to have enough kids – so take them to a pick your own farm and can the produce and fruit. Cheaper and better for you. My local farmer’s market will sell me a box of “second” tomatoes [bruised, etc] for less than half price [you just have to ask] and I make gallons of sauce for things like pizzas, pasta [which I know you don’t eat, sorry] over rice dishes, etc.
Herbs are another cheap thing you can grow and either freeze/dry yourself. And you can do it in a sunny window inside if you don’t want a garden.
I was amazed that beef triggers your husband’s gout. I have never heard that. The only thing the doctor told us to avoid was seafood. Which is easy, we can’t afford it. 🙂 But we do miss it.
Thank you! I’m going shopping tonight. This is exactly what our family needs right now…I’m due for a baby in a month, that’ll make 8 kids still at home and a major kitchen remodel in progress! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We are excited to give this a try! 🙂
Good Luck on the freezing AND the new baby! 🙂
Can u please tell me how many people one meal will serve?
This fed a family of 5 (2 adults 3 young children) one meal each. I find that some of them stretch for 2 meals for my family, but you will have to decide for yourself what works for your family. 🙂
What is the ballpark guess of the price to buy everything on the list? I know a couple of people have asked this question but I didn’t see an answer. It’s a great idea!
It really does depend on the area and how good at bargain shopping you are. I suggest buying things a little at a time when you can get a good bargain and then making them (obviously not with the fresh produce). We’d really not like to give a ball park figure because prices can vary so much depending on where you live and we are not opening ourselves up to that debate of “well you said it would only cost this much…”
Great Blog/List/Recipes – Question though?? In the Chunky Beef Stew, when preparing ahead and freezing, do you put all the ingredients into a freezer bag? Can you freeze potatoes without them turning brown? My thought was to bag the veggies and beef separate and putting the rest of the ingredients together in their own bag, since the veggies and beef are supposed to be browned before put in the crock pot.
I have tried a total of 20 meals using some recipes from the 7,20,&40 dinners,all I can say is WOW! It is great,I don’t have to plan a meal every day,not to mention saving time.The meals are very good too.
SO HAPPY! I LOVE LOVE LOVE not having to go “oh no what’s for dinner” every day at 3 😉 Glad you’re happy
I made my first freezer meals last week. They were all a huge success! The ones i made were to be grilled or baked. I have only one suggestion that may have already been mentioned. Buy the crockpot liner bags! They work and make clean up a snap!
I just found this post via Pinterest and I absolutely cannot wait to get the shopping and prep done and try these recipes. It’s just me for now and I want to start taking lunch to work so having leftovers works out for me. Bless you for doing this and making it easier on the rest of us.
I am so thankful for this site. We have 10 (some of them VERY VERY picky) people in our family so I generally have to at least double these recipes but this is working out really well. I have been selective in what we make to accommodate most of the crew. Sometimes they just have to suffer throught it:)
We have been doing this for only about a month now. My husband and I go out shopping for a week or two worth of meals, Come home, clear the kitchen and get started. He cooks what needs cooked up while I prep the other stuff, he opens cans and also does the dishes as we go so the kitchen is clean when we are finished. This is a wonderful way for us to get to spend some time together having fun and the kids all get to see us working together in this. It is amazing and seems to be really working for us so far. The crockpot liners are a Godsend. We are also looking forward to taking some of these camping with us. Thanks for these great guidelines to get us working in the right direction to save time and money. God bless you!!
I LOVE the fact that you provided a grocery list. I’m so disorganized when it comes to making my list! This is going to make it ten times easier!!! I do have a question though. A comment on Pinterest said that this all costs about $95. I’m a single mom and I literally have hardly any money to spend. Is that a true price??
Danielle – That person on pinterest may have only spent $95…but I don’t know where she lived and what she had to buy. If you have a lot of the staples and get things on sale – you maybe able to buy the ingredients that cheap. I live in NJ and there is NO WAY I could do it for that price 😉 Start stocking up on sales and coupons and you maybe able to do it cheaply!
Soriya (in Las Vegas, NV)
Being a single mother with 2 growing children, I know what it is to be on a budget! I have found that shopping at our local .99 store, they usually have some fresh veggies and most of the seasonings and sauces that are required for some of these dishes! That store truly saves a lot of money! Unfortunately, meat is a little expensive, but considering chicken is probably the cheapest way to go (I buy about 4 bags of boneless skinless frozen, 3 bags of frozen thighs (skin myself), 1 bag of frozen thighs, and 2 bags of frozen drum sticks at WalMart), I can always spend a little more on the beef and pork!
Can you ball park how much you spent in groceries? Thanks!
I think your shopping list is Missing the tomato sauce from the garlic pesto chicken recipe. Or did none of the ‘sauce’ ingredients get frozen? I want to make sure to label my bag correctly.
Carrie – not sure – i will double check 🙂
Both of my parents are in their late 80s and are now unable to make their own meals. This freezer-crockpot list is a godsend! I can prep their meals, label them and freeze them. They can pop one meal into the crockpot and cook it for dinner and maybe a lunch a couple of days later. If they cook one meal every two days, they will have a selection to have for dinner and lunch throughout the week. The crockpot and steamable veggies will help them eat healthy and not have a lot of food prep or clean up to do. Thanks for this list and thanks for following through with the shopping list.
LOVE this 😉 Have you checked out our other meals? the 20 meal collection and the 7 meal? More options for you 😉
If I have 12 peope in family with 3 teenage boys do you think I have to double the master recipes? So instead of 54 chicken breasts I have to have 108 to get the 40 meals?
Oh Jessica – you are feeding a bunch of people. I would at least double what we have to get the 40 meals! You’ll probably end up with 80 bags (or so) because some of the recipes won’t fit into the bag if they are doubled. Good Luck!
For how many people do you make each meal? Just wondering if I need to change measurements at all.
I was able to get all the meals put together the day before I had my last baby. What a blessing it was! Never had to think about dinner the first month and only need to go to the store for milk and fruit each week! I even splurged and bought the liners for the crock pot so it even cut down on dishes. A lot of work but so worth it!
Thank you so much for doing all this! It has made my life so much easier. I am a teacher with a 45 minute one way drive. I hate having to come home and make dinner. We spend a lot eating out. I just tried 40 meals and I got everything for just under $300 and made it all in almost exactly 4 hours with clean up! These meals will feed us dinner for the next 2 months. I am so excited that I don’t have to make dinner for a long time!
Are the recipes themselves doubles or are they the original recipe? Thanks.
The recipes are singles – but the shopping list is already doubled/tripled 🙂
About how much do your f ind that this grocery lists costs? Interested in trying this for my family but we have a super tight grocery budget and just trying to plan before I get to the store and get surprised at checkout, thanks!
Morgan – I’d love to give you a definite answer. However, it really depends on where you live. Katie spent less than I would spend ( she lives in TX and I live in NJ). I would say $200-$400 depending on how much you have to buy (like staples if you have or not)
Is there a link to print all the recipes at once instead of going to each individual one?
No Sorry – have to do each recipe 😉
Is there a master list of the 40 recipes for slow cooker/ freezer? I’d love to print them all of fat once rather than every single on at a time… advice?
You could copy and paste them all into a doc on your computer but other than that sorry – you have to do them one at a time 😉
Thank you very much for offering this great system!
I spent all of today preparing and bagging these meals.
I am looking forward to less stressful meal planing for the next 2 months.
This idea was so helpful! The only issue I ran into was when the bags got frozen together. I have a small freezer and it’s hard to keep the bags separated. I was wondering if you had any suggestions to help alleviate this problem. I was think about using large Tupperware containers instead of the bags but I’m not too sure. Thanks again for this great idea!!
I have that right now in my freezer with Chili – GRRR – I try *not perfect* to go move them when they are almost frozen fully…but they aren’t yet attached lol – if that helps – that’s my only tip besides freezing on a cookie sheet and then standing them up when they are done 🙂
Does “C” mean container or cups?
C=cups, hope you enjoy 🙂
About how much does this all cost.??
I’m a signal parent of 4 three of whom are toddlers, I think this is going to be the best thing for me to do and save money and time as well. Thank you for posting this.
I am just starting to get into crock-pot recipes and freezing meals. I am so excited to try this…with a 45-minute commute each way and many after school activities this is exactly what I need after a full day. Thank you so much for putting this together.
For the chicken breasts, are you referring to whole breasts? Or halves? Thanks!
jeeZUZ you have a lot of high maintenance readers. thank you for your time and efforts to post this. it’s utterly great. to the vegetarians – figure it out, and post your own recipes. think of the endless gratitude you’ll receive. i’m sure the incessant whining won’t happen to you.
Hehe…Thank you for the giggle!
Just browsing and in awe at how much help has been provided and thought the same thing – be so grateful you have found this resource and adjust and shop for yourself. Thank you to the originator who provided a sampling for the rest of us to springboard from!
I have made approx 6 of these meals now and while most are a hit my one problem seems to be so much watery liquid when done cooking. It doesn’t matter whether it’s pre-frozen or fresh. I also find the chicken really dry, one was like sawdust.
Any advice from anyone on why everything is so watery and yet dry?
I’m cooking from frozen mostly on low for 6-8 hours.
Hey Shauna – if the chicken is dry it’s over cooked – some slow cooker are faster than others so it may be you have to lesson your cooking time. As for a bit watery – I think it’s just partially the nature of the beast of slow cooker foods 🙂 Good luck!
Thanks Heather. I guess I’ll have to ask for a programable slow cooker from Santa. ☺️
Shauna – some of our readers (I’d LOVE to take the credit but can’t) suggested that instead of buying a new (more expensive) crock pot/slow cooker – they buy a super cheap light timer – and it works. set it for the desired time! It’s ingenious I tell you 🙂
I understand that living in different places means price differences…but could I get an estimate on what this meal plan would cost? Maybe that’s an impossible question considering everyone has different staple items already in their pantry.
Some people have said around $200 – others have said around $400…it just does vary yes on where you live, what you have, etc 😉 Either way it’s a money saver (no more panic pizza calls!)
Would love a general idea
Hi, i might be an idiot, but i’m confused – I think the shopping list has everything to do every recipe doubled. So the 19 recipes on the ’40 meals in 4 hrs’ page need to be doubled and split into two bags? Or just split each recipe into 2 bags? Cause I’m not seeing this on the recipe pages anywhere. And one recipe requires tripling? 🙁
Hooray!! I’m a huge fan of freezer meals for the slow cooker, but have had limited success finding many that were dairy-free. Looks like aside from the 2 cans of cream soup, this recipe list is EXACTLY what I’m looking for! And as for the meal(s) that uses the cream soup, I’ll just put that one aside for when a convalescing friend/neighbor needs a meal. Thanks so much!
If I don’t use a crockpot, can I still use these recipes and just heat them up on the stove or in the oven?
I would think it would work – just not sure what to tell you to cook it at 😉 Let us know how it goes!
My husband gave this to me as a christmas present to do the “40 meals in 4 hours”. It took us exactly 4 hours with both of us working non stop. We made a “date of it”. Went shopping first thing in the morning and then set up a kitchen in our basement while our kid was being babysat upstairs.
YEA! I’m so glad that it went well 🙂 (and that you had no kids in the middle of it ;))
When you say the list is doubled, does that mean enough to double each of the recipes?
Yes! The shopping list is ready to make all the meals!
Just wanted to say that I am a student at Auburn University and you have made life much easier. My grades have even improved a little since I have started doing this, not to mention I actually can follow a budget now! This really is a life saver and I hope you know how much people appreciate you posting this online for free. Undoubtedly it took time to create and put together, but you have done a wonderful job! 🙂
I just wanted to say that we LOVE LOVE LOVE this 😉 Thanks for the positive Feedback (even if I’m a big 10 fan… 🙂 )
I am just wandering my family don’t like hot foods, what can i substitute them with EG Chilies,Jalapeno,chili powder,chipolte powder,mushrooms and bells peppers fussy i know
Hoping that someone can help me out
I really don’t know. I was going to suggest bell peppers 🙂 instead of the hot peppers. I suggest making subs that you know your family likes – or looking for some milder dinners in general we have different freezer meals such as 20 meals, 30 meals and 7…you could probably make up your own list 🙂
Capital C is for can bit what do the T stand for?
6 T pesto
Capital C is for Cup
T is for Tablespoon
and t is for teaspoon 😉
How much do you spend on average for the full shopping trip? And about how long prepping?
It took Katie 4 hours. (not including shopping). Some people have said more like 5 hours for them.
Shopping – depends on how much you have to buy and where you live really 😉
Where was this when my kids were younger? lol 2 have moved out and it’s just my son and me now – he’s vegetarian and I’m not so meal time takes so much longer since I’m making 2 separate meals for each meal. How long do you think these would be good for in the freezer? I’m willing to try to scale it down to 1 to 2 servings, but wondering if it’d be worth it or if the food would lose it’s quality (hate freezer burnt anything! especially ice cream, but that’s another day).
I didn’t have any problems with freezer burn – if used within 30-40 days. What you may want to look at is our 7 meals or 20 meals…scale those down and see how it goes (40 is awesome don’t get me wrong but maybe you want to start with smaller 😉 )
Does T stand for tablespoon or teaspoon
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
How much you spend total for the 40 freeze meal?
It varies depending on when/where/how you buy. This was also done a couple years ago, so costs will differ.
I was wondering how much will all this cost? It’ll help out a lot, thanks.. in a budget.
Hi Kayla. This was done 3 years ago (almost). I really can’t answer that. I know that when Katie did it (she lives in Texas) she had much better prices on many things than I did in New Jersey. It really depends on where you live. Try to find some of the stuff on sale – that helps! Or check out our 7, 20 or 30 meal sets if you want to do less to have it be less out of pocket!
The shopping list is 6 cans of black beans short.
Sorry, 2 cans short
How about a family of 9?
You have a bigger family than me. I don’t know exactly how much your family normally consumes – but if you have little ones I’d say doubling should do it – if they are bigger and eat more you might need more? Enjoy the meals!
This is amazing. I have never seen anything so helpful. We are living a sugarfree life so i will try to sugarfree where possible. Thankyou
The world needs more people like you
So is this list actually only 20 dinners but doubled? So each dinner will have 2 bags? i.e. 2 Mongolian beef, 2 honey chicken, 2 fajitas, etc?
close there are 2 meals that are tripled 🙂
What are the 2 meals that are tripled?
Have you thought of breakfast ones? I like to do mine up ahead of time as I don’t like to think in the morning! I am wanting healthy weight loss type stuff so I usually do hard boiled eggs. Be great to get a few of these that could be done also? Love what you have done, thank you so much and Merry Christmas!
Hi I’m doing this starting January but Today I started to take notes and getting everything ready and I just wanted to know what the C Meant for some of the sauce and ingredients sections and such.??? Thank you
C is cups good luck!!!!!
How many servings in these meals? Would it b enough fir family of 4 or 2?
The list says that it is doubled??? so the shopping list is for 80 meals??
No. The list is for 40 meals.
Are all the recopies doubled/tripled already?
lol Reading some of these comments I’m thinking what in the world is with some people! Y’all have done the hard work of planning and testing and measuring. People please, read through the recipes, make amendments if needed (like allergies, preferences) and do the rest of the work yourself!
I, for one, appreciate the time and effort that has gone into your website. Very helpful and if I actually stopped procrastinating, I would be enjoying some of these meals (instead of sitting here eating a bag of chips :/ ) 😀
Can not wait to try this. Can I get on your Email list? Thanks
Hope you enjoy! Just submit your email in the box on the right side, towards the center: http://whoneedsacape.com/
WOW these look great, but who can afford to but ALL of those ingredients at once, certainly not me and my hubby. It would have been better to have an individual breakdown
honestly – when you break it down per meal it’s not that pricey 😉 I get it though! Maybe you could start with our 7 Freezer Meals or 20 Freezer Meals – less meals so less products to buy 😉
Twin City Aerial
Wow, I am a single dad of 2 young kids with a full time job. I cant wait to try this, I think with only the 3 of us we may be having left overs the next day!
Goes to an advertisement there is no shopping list. 😣😟
I just clicked the link and see the complete shopping list.
I was just curious if anyone knew what the total was at the grocery store if you purchased all the items (not including the pantry items) all in 1 shopping trip? Thanks!
We do not have those numbers – so many of these things for the pantry I already had 🙂 good luck!
Is this the list for making 40 total? (It said doubled.. was hoping not 80!)
the list is complete – for 40 meals not 80 😉 you don’t have to double the list. You have to double the recipes when making the meals to make 2 meals
I cannot access the recipes!! Help.
Very good information. Lucky me I found your blog by accident
(stumbleupon). I’ve saved it for later!
How much freezer space do the finished recipes take up?
If you have a space issue – you are going to need most of your freezer (side by side) to do this 😉
Can I make these meals with one crock pot or should I invest in a second one
A slow cooker is a very useful pot it can be used for many dishes. I love your list.