Believe it or not, home cooked freezer meals make for a fun and frugal holiday gifts for nearly everyone on your list. Gifting freezer meals shouldn’t be given only to new parents, new neighbors, and the bereaved. Truly anyone would enjoy a homemade meal prepared with love. Especially from you.
While I once associated the holiday season as a time to buy and receive gifts, generally believing that receiving goods from my own holiday wish list would make me happier. In reality, my life was already cluttered with a myriad of unnecessary things. What I truly needed in my life wasn’t anything material, but simply the love and friendship of family and friends during the holiday season.
This was especially true several years ago when our neighbors, out the blue, gifted us a smoked ribs and trimmings dinner. Our neighbors wanted to bless our family. They just wanted to be good neighbors.
It was through that crazy, brave, generous act of kindness that leads me to rethink my views on my own holiday gift-giving habits and the overall mass consumerism of the modern holiday season.
Did I also mention how awesome those ribs were? Every last part of that meal was savory and delicious. Even more important was the break it gave me that night. Not only was it nourishment for our bodies, but it was solace for my soul. And my holiday budget, too. That meal was given during a time when my family had first started working our way out of debt, so being blessed with a meal meant we would have more resources and ingredients to allocate back into our menu plan in the days and weeks ahead.
That meal also inspired me to come up with ways that I could pass my neighbor’s act of kindness onto others. While I was not really into the idea of cooking and delivering hot meals to friends and family for all of December, I did enjoy the thought of giving others freezer meals that they could prepare on their own schedule during the holiday season. So the idea of gift giving freezer ready meals was born!
For me, freezer cooking was a great way to save time, economize, and give the gift of great eats to those on my gift list all in one fell swoop.
It also goes without saying that you need to put the same amount of love into giftable freezer meals as you would any other gift. Consider buying inexpensive reusable dishes for your meals. Or consider gifting mason jars of soup. To do this, simply fill quart mason jars with soup up to the fill line (the etched glass line under the ring of the jar), freeze your jars until set, and then add rings, seals, fabric, and decorations as needed!
When it comes to gifting freezer meals make sure that dinner isn’t the only meal you consider. Quick, healthy breakfasts and lunches are invaluable to anyone who works a busy job or odd hours. Also, should you meal pair perfectly with bread or salad on the side, be sure to include that into your gift as well.
Moreover, never underestimate the comforting power of a good dessert. Is there anything more loving than a plate of warm banana nut muffins or chocolate cake? Consider making large batches of a favorite holiday cookie, cake, or dessert for those on your list this year!
Be sure to also remember that presentation matters. People taste their food first with their eyes! Tie a bow on each package. Add parchment paper and striped bakers twine to a jar. Consider putting food together in a small wooden crate, lined with a festive napkin, and coordinate it all together with a bow.
Now if you are ready to try your hand at giving a few freezer ready meals this holiday season here are a few recipe ideas (including some serious throwbacks from my early days of blogging) to get you started:
So savvy savers, remember that when you give the gift of holiday freezer meals what you are really gifting others is time, comfort, good health, nourishment, and a moment of a much-needed break from the stressors of life.
More importantly, you are giving the gift of love. A freeze-it-forward kind of movement, if you will. And that’s always something worth sharing.
Now it is your turn! Are planning to gift a meal? How do you do it and what tips have you learned that you might be able to share with others? Please share them in the comments below.
Here’s to the holidays,