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Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes (Only $5 Each!)

By November 10, 2014Freezer Prep Session

Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes

Since I’ve made hundreds of freezer meals, the number one question people ask me is, “Do you have a huge freezer?!?”  The short answer is “no.”  I have the same refrigerator freezer combo as everyone else.

Here’s how I keep my freezer clean and organized…

  • I buy very little frozen food. (Besides homemade freezer meals, the only items you’ll find in my freezer are ice cream, chicken nuggets, garlic bread, frozen fruit, and opened bags of frozen veggies that were needed for other recipes.)
  • I keep a running list of what’s in my freezer so I can use it before it expires.
  • We eat homemade freezer meals almost as quick as I make them.
  • Every so often, I brainstorm how to use leftover frozen ingredients in new meal plans. (Like today’s post!)

Freezer eCookbooks

Here are the six freezer crockpot meals that I made with items from my freezer and pantry…

CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE RECIPES AND GROCERY LIST

By taking advantage of the produce, sauces, and spices that I had on-hand, I was able to keep my kitchen clean and save money at the same time.  I ended up buying the meat and remaining ingredients at Aldi for $30.  That works out to only $5 per meal!

Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes

All of the recipes are very simple, so it’s likely that you have a lot of the ingredients too.

These budget-friendly meals were all frozen raw so they’re very easy and quick to make.  That means they won’t taste like leftovers at all when cooked.  Yay!

I can tell you that we’ve eaten all of these recipes many, many times before.  They’re absolutely delicious!

Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes

Here’s how I prepped all six freezer crockpot meals in 50 minutes…

  1. I printed my recipes so I wouldn’t have to search for them on my phone/tablet/computer.
  2. I labeled my freezer bags so I’d remember how to cook them. (I use these simple printable labels.)
  3. I chopped the peppers and used a food chopper (affiliate link) for the onions.
  4. I opened all of the cans and filled all of the bags in an assembly line, adding the meat last so it would be the first item dumped into my crockpot.
  5. I squeezed the air out of my freezer bags (affiliate link), sealed them, and stacked them in my freezer (so it stays neat and organized!).

When we’re ready to eat, all I need to do is thaw in my refrigerator or in cold water, cook in my crockpot, and serve!

Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes

Thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

44 Comments

  • Stevi says:

    Hello,
    I was wondering if you had a printable for the labels you have on your freezer bags. Thank you!

  • Thank you for the suggestions! I would love to see a few recipe alternatives for those like myself with allergies to garlic and onions. Thanks!

  • Kimberly says:

    Thank you so much–again! 🙂

  • jewelie says:

    I’m curious how you use your crockpot. Cooking for 4 to 8 hours hardly seems like a leave it and go kinda time scale. If it needs cooked for 4 and I leave it on while at work it will be far overcooked…I don’t quite understand how there is such a large range in cooking times for many crockpot meals.

    • Kelly says:

      The time varies quite a bit between sizes and brands of slow cookers. My larger 6-qt one cooks chicken breasts in 3-4 hours, but my smaller 4-qt one needs at least 6. If you need to be away all day, I’d recommend considering a slow cooker with a timer. That way you can set it to switch to the “warm” setting at some point.

      Hope this helps!

      • Kim says:

        Hi ladies, I’ll share my little secret with you. When I have cooking time issues I use an inexpensive lamp timer from Home Depot(they have a big round dial and 2 little pins to set the on and off feature). It’s the kind you would use to turn your lights on and off to make it look like you’re at home, when you’re actually on vacation. It works beautifully either as a delay start ( allows some time to defrost) or as a little leeway time to get home without over cooked food. Also great to use in an RV/ trailer/ tent trailer with your crock pot freezer meals, great storage in a small freezer or cooler. I’ve used this method for over 30 years, it’s great to see you young gals take up the torch! Pssst I also use more than one crock pot and different sizes to accomplish my various meal plans. Have fun.

        • Andrea says:

          I love this idea! I’ve avoided making many meals because the meat and vegetables are over cooked and have been thinking of the best way to time my cooker. I will definitely try this idea soon!
          Thanks for sharing

    • katie says:

      I plug my crockpot into a wall timer. That way my food doesn’t overcook.

  • Natalee says:

    Just curious if you’ve ever “dumped” the additional ingredients to a recipe in with already frozen meat? Is that even doable? Most of my meats (specifically chicken) are already in my freezer because I buy large quantities fresh from a farm and portion them and freeze immediately. I have just recently come across your blog and these recipes\ideas and love them but am a bit perplexed as to what I could do since my meat is already frozen…

    • Kelly says:

      Yes! That’s not a problem at all. You can either add the frozen meat to the bag with the rest of the ingredients or add it the day of cooking.

  • […] Six Cheap Freezer Crockpot Meals in 50 Minutes (Only $5 Each!) [New Leaf Wellness] […]

  • Natalee says:

    Excellent, thank you! 🙂

  • Enaid says:

    Will try these after Thanksgiving; Tom’s taking up a lot of room in my freezer!

  • Sam says:

    I was wondering how long you can freeze these meals for before using them.

  • Kelly says:

    I made all three and here’s my take… Assembly was VERY easy. It took less than 50 minutes. Closer to 40, in fact! YAY! The ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find. I loved it!
    Chicken Chili with Cornbread Topping: VERY GOOD! Not much of a chili, though. It’s more like a shredded chicken dish. We loved it and won’t change anything about the recipe.
    Beef and Lime Chili: GROSS. It was flavorless. I think I will keep a beef chili as part of this freezer meal set, but will swap it out with a different recipe. On the upside, I didn’t know that I could cook ground beef straight in the crock pot like this. I always thought I had to brown it first. Never again!
    Shredded BBQ Chicken: VERY GOOD! I used about 2.5 lbs of chicken and there was still WAY more sauce than needed. I scooped out about two cups after shredding. It would have been too soupy for hamburger buns, other wise. I will make this again, but use the sauce recipe for two bags of chicken, instead of doubling it for two bags, as recommended. I served it on hamburger buns with baked beans, salad and sweet potato fries. I had enough chicken for two dinners (5 person household), which was great. The second night I served on buns again, but with salad and cinnamon rice as a side.
    Thanks for the recipes! Two out of three ain’t bad! And swapping out the beef with another chili recipe is easily done.

  • raquel witt says:

    I just found these and they sound wonderful to try. The only thing I can’t find is, the per serving. how many people can one bag serve? I need to feed a family of seven. That is four adults, two teen age girls and a seven year old. Also, since publishing this have you found new recipes you found interesting and tasteful that you might add to this site?

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Raquel! Thank you for the kind words. You can find the serving size for each recipe on the printable pdf. I believe they each serve 4-6.

  • Jennifer says:

    I thought you couldn’t put hamburger meat in with the other foods uncooked to freeze and I also didn’t realize that you could put it in raw to the crockpot? Would that work for other recipes?

  • emily says:

    these sound delious! this is honestly the simplist list of ingredients i have found so far for crock pot meals! thank you im so excited to get these wrapped up tomorrow!

  • Alyx says:

    I love that you included a grocery list. I hate grocery shopping, so this will take a lot of the prep work out and keep me focused and organized. I would love more options in addition to those listed on here; are you planning on adding new recipes?

  • krystal says:

    I was wondering how you decide when to freeze sauce and when not to. You freeze tomato and pasta sauce but not stock, why? Secondly, this might be a dumb question but when a recipe calls for salt do you wait and add that on the day of cooking? Lastly, have you ever encountered extra moisture after thawing, and if so how do you deal with that?

    Just want to say thanks your site is amazingly helpful. I’ve been trying to start meal planing and prep and felt lost. Thanks to your site I’m on a roll and have week one done.

    • Kelly says:

      Awesome job, Krystal! Keep up the good work. 🙂 To answer your questions: You can freeze stock in the meals, but sometimes my bags get too full so I usually wait to add it the day of cooking (or freeze chicken bullion granules in the bag and add water the day of cooking). I add salt right to the bags when freezing. No problem with extra moisture. Hope this helps!

  • Natalie says:

    Hi there. I recently found your site and I’m so excited about all the recipes. I’ve tried to so far and I thought them out before putting them in the crockpot. I have a pretty large crockpot so this may be the issue but by
    the time I got home from work both dishes were burned. I had the crockpot set to low, so I thought it would be okay but I was a little worried that there wouldn’t be enough liquid when I tried the second recipe. So my question is this, can I just put the crock pot ingredients into my pot frozen so that even if it needs to cook a little more after I get home from work at least it shouldn’t burn? Do you ever throw your meals in still frozen? Thanks for your input and I look forward to trying another one of your

    • Kelly says:

      The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends thawing meat first. It probably has to do with the size of your crockpot and the total amount of cooking time. Have you considered buying one with a timer? I got one in March and it’s awesome. Here’s my review of five slow cookers.

  • […] Beef & Lime Chili From New Leaf Wellness. I used 2 little limes. […]

  • Elizabeth Gunther says:

    I just want to let you know that this literally made it so my family had healthy tasty food the last week. My range broke and combined with several other financial issues all happening at the same time. I was really at an edge stress wise. I’ve always wanted to try freezer cooking and this pushed me to do it. I needed meals I could make in the crock pot (as my only other cooking source besides a kettle), and I only had $80 for a family of 6 for two weeks. Today our new stove was installed and I still have one more evenings worth of dinner. If it wasn’t for you being willing to share these recipes for free it would have been nothing but instant oatmeal and ramen for us, and we might have run out of that. It was so easy and convenient to prep just that one night and I was even able to spend a few nights de-stressing rather than cooking and got all our other issues organised and under control. As soon as we are back on our feet I am getting the eBook bundle if only to say thank you for helping my family make it through these two weeks, though I know I will use and love it. So sincerely, thank you.

    • Kelly says:

      Elizabeth, I’m going to email you a copy of the bundle for free. I hope it’s the first of many good things coming your way. xo.

  • Dawn says:

    I made the beef and lime chili today and everyone enjoyed it. Husband added hot sauce to his dish but all agreed it is a keeper. I haven’t done freezer meals yet but trying them first to see if everyone likes the meal first. Can’t wait to try my hand at making freezer meals this weekend.

  • […] Beef Lime Chili (recipe at New Leaf Wellness) […]

  • Bekah says:

    First off, you are my hero for making all of these crockpot meals! Secondly, I am currently eating the mexican chicken chili with the cornbread topping and OH. MY. Goodness. it is delicious. Thank you times a million because I had no idea this was even possible in the crock! You are awesome!

  • Krista says:

    In the barbecue chicken recipe, can I just use my favorite pre-made bbq sauce with chicken instead of the rest of those ingredients?

  • […] advice but important enough to bear repeating; don’t spend your hard-earned money on fast food. Cook it yourself, learn to love it, and eat its leftovers for the next couple of days. Before you move into your new […]

  • Annie W says:

    I always love easy freezer recipes that are inexpensive. Not because we eat them but because my grown children (and their spouses). When it comes time for gift giving events (holidays and b-days and just-because-they-are-busy-with-life), they usually ask for me to make them freezer meals.

    I love my crock pot and frequently put in meals at 6am to eat at 6 pm on low, with no one home in between, and they turn out fabulous. By the time we get home to eat, all I have to do is stir it then through some bread under the warmer to get crispy and eat. it is even great to throw left-overs back in the freezer for couple more weeks for snacks, ‘fend for yourself’ nights, or ‘surprise nana you’ve got the kids’ weekends.

    Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to more. ~Annie

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