Last month my sister started a Make Ahead Meal Group with her friends in her neighborhood, and asked me if I wanted to join too. This has been so awesome! Each person makes and freezes 12 meals (you make 12 of the same recipe) and then we all meet once a month to trade meals. So yesterday I came home and crammed both my regular freezer and chest freezer with meals that I just have to throw in the oven or crock pot. There are rules to the group so that everything stays fair. For example, you have to spend at least $80.00, you can't experiment on the group with a new recipe, and each meal has to feed 6 adults. Since these meals are so big and are supposed to feed 6 adults, they each last us for a long time. (Everyone with a 2 year old knows how much they eat, and obviously McKenna doesn't eat anything but baby food yet.) So I'll make a new one for about 2 or 3 nights in a row and then we'll just rotate the leftovers for lunches and dinners.
It is pretty stressful planning, shopping for, making, freezing, and transporting 12 frozen meals each month. If you think about it, I've just fed 72 people all at once. But the reward is sooooo worth it. When I think about all the time I've saved planning menus, writing grocery lists, going to the store once or twice a week- and out here there isn't a store within 20 minutes of my house; I just love doing this meal group. Now I mainly just have to go to the store for milk and produce. HOORAY!
Here is a picture of about half of the meals that I got yesterday.