Teacher Recharge Challenge Week 4 {Time Saving Tips for Teachers, Reduce Stress, Get Organized, Prepare for the New Year}

The focus of this site is to help teachers organize and manage their classrooms. Taking some time during the school vacation to get organized at home can greatly reduce your stress level and make your school days much more relaxed. This series contains "challenges" you can do that will become teacher time savers during the school year.

Challenge #4: Explore Freezer Cooking and Make a Menu:

I always enjoyed lots of garden-fresh veggies and grilling in the summer, but as soon as school started those healthy dinners were sadly replaced with lots of takeout meals and pizza boxes. That was until I discovered freezer cooking and was able to plan ahead for the hectic back-to-school season during my slower, laid back summer vacation weeks leading up to it.

Make ahead freezer meals not only save you time, but also lots of money. There are so many recipes out there as well as systems for freezer cooking. 

Here are a few tips for planning your food ahead of time to make the school year less stressful:

  • Many people spend one entire day a month preparing meals to freeze. This is beneficial because you only need to make one big grocery trip (that alone will save you time and money) and spend one day prepping foods, cooking and washing dishes.

  • Some find it nice to team up with friends and each take responsibility for a few meals. Coordinate who will make what so you have variety. Each person prepares enough freezer meals for everyone in the group. For example, you may be responsible for preparing six lasagnas to distribute to five friends, but in return you get five different meals to put in your freezer. For added fun you can plan a potluck where everyone brings a cooked version of their meal to sample as well as the frozen version for friends to take home. This would be great to do with a group of teachers from your school.

  • What I find works very well for me is to make a triple batch of a dinner. We eat one for dinner and freeze two for future nights. This works fantastic because over time I build up a nice collection in the freezer, the inventory rotates frequently and we have meals available for most weeknights.

  • You challenge this week is to explore the idea of freezer cooking, find recipes your family will enjoy, and start stocking your freezer while you have some extra time to make your weeknight’s less stressful when the school year begins.

Feel free to post pictures on social media as you complete the challenges. Use #CFCRechargeChallenge. Do you have any tips for saving time and money on food as a busy teacher?  Add them in the comments below.

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