Tips to get started.
1. Choose the number of recipes you want to make and assemble in your allotted time frame (some people like to spend a whole day once a month, others a few hours every couple of weeks, and you can just make dinner and create a double batch to toss in the freezer).
2. Make an organized and detailed shopping list. I created a separate freezer recipe binder book, I head to and know that I already my freezing and prep instructions laid out for me to follow so there is no guess work involved. The binder is divided into pocket tabs in sections: Dishes to Try, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Breakfast, Desserts.
3. Prepare your the meat the night before. Throw chicken in the crock pot, brown the hamburger. If you have time shred cheese and doing any preliminary chopping to make assembling the dishes even quicker.
4. Start with a clean kitchen. Create enough elbow room to for you to effectively work, clear the counters and the table, empty the trash can. Have space cleared in the freezer for finished dishes to go right to. Setup your tins, bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, marker, freezer inventory sheet, labels etc. Have an easy to read location for your recipe to sit (I use a clothespin and clip it to the vent of my microwave over the stove where I do most of my cooking).
5. Cooking Day. Roll your sleeves up and go for it. The first time to follow the recipes will take longer but once you get familiar with them and build your own inventory of recipes of winners you'll shave your preparation time more every time. Prepare, assemble, package, label, and freeze.
6. Keep your sink filled with soapy water. As soon as you are done with a pot or pan for one recipe dump it in the dish water and get it cleaned for the next recipe. Plan on quickly washing dishes for the next recipe rotation as you go. This will save a huge amount of clean up time and minimize dry dirty dish build up.
7. Relax and put your feet up. Take a couple of minutes and stare at your handy work, your newly acquired freezer treasury. Tag your your freezer inventory sheet on your fridge with a magnet or if you don't like the fridge clutter use a clip board and use a command strip hanger and attach it on the inside of kitchen cabinet you get into often (if the clip board won't lay flat you can buy sticky tack at Walmart for about a $1 in the office/business supply area, and stick a chunk under the clip board).
onceamonthmom.com/recipes/ (Great step by step instructions, and variety of recipes with pictures that are super helpful).
onceamonthmom.com/category/resources/get-started/ (Tips and ideas of how to organize yourself to make and prepare make ahead meals effectively).