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Freezer meals can refer to two different things: meals that one makes in larger batches, then freezes, or pre-made meals that may be purchased at the grocery store. Regardless of the type of meal, freezer meals can be very convenient and easy to just put in the microwave, or warm up on the stovetop for dinner. It may also be nice to make a number of meals that can be frozen for a friend or family member who is going through a difficult time and may not be able to cook.
Some people find that the best way to make freezer meals is to make large batches of a favorite meal, then divide it up among smaller containers. This works well for many different foods, including soups, meats, vegetables, and even some pasta dishes if they are made with sauce. Desserts such as cakes and cookies also generally freeze fairly well. Some people try to cook only a few times a month, in order to buy food in bulk and save money and time.
Freezing the meals in smaller, individual serving sizes, rather than large batches, makes it easier to take out one meal, defrost it, and enjoy it, rather than needing to defrost another large meal. It is important to use freezer meals within a few weeks to a few months of freezing. Though foods certainly keep for a much longer period in the freezer, they should not be left in the freezer for more than six months as a general rule.
Freezer meals that can be purchased at the grocery store are yet another option. These often require just a few minutes in the microwave, and come with a complete meal with a protein, vegetable, and starch, as well as a small dessert. These can be quick and convenient, but there are often some downsides to regularly eating this type of freezer meal rather than preparing "real" foods at home.
First, the sodium content in these freezer meals is often astonishingly high; in addition, they are often high in fat and preservatives, which some people try to avoid. As with most things, these freezer meals are perfectly fine if eaten in moderation, but it may be a good idea to try to make one's own meals some of the time, rather than always relying on those from the grocery store. Freezer meals from the grocery store should also not be kept in the freezer for months on end; eat them within a few months of purchase, and always date the package before freezing.