This past weekend marked our 7th wedding anniversary. I would love to say we have a fantastic weekend spent doing wonderful things together but our schedules took us different ways and we spent probably a total of 45 minutes together between both Saturday and Sunday. I had an event early on Saturday morning and Mr. SFF had some photo work for most of the day Saturday and all day Sunday. He worked a total of 20 hours with 6 hours of driving time tacked onto that. So much for a romantic weekend!
As we knew this weekend was packed we decided to celebrate together on November when our schedules slow down (yikes, we are too busy) and that will probably just be a nice dinner together. We decided that we would not exchange any gifts or anything else as they would only hurt our financial independence goal and we are not big on gift giving anyways.
But as I did have a lot of free time this weekend I decided to do something to express my love. As Mr. SFF doesn’t work a traditional full time job he is often home in the afternoon and can prep and cook our dinners during the week. This works out really well for me as I like to exercise after work but does make me feel a little guilty as the burden is often on him. With fall being Mr. SFF’s busy season, he is going to have less time to cook and I know he is going to be more stressed so I decided to use my spare time this weekend to help solve this probably, at least temporarily. I have my next race in 7 weeks so I am not going to have any more time during the week to prep and cook so I planned out four freezer crock-pot dinners (five if you could the pasta and sauce I also purchased).
My weekend of food prep was wonderfully timed after Mrs. Frugalwood post about looking for freezer meals. I spent some time looking through the comments and found a few recipes that looked good to me. I put together my shopping list on Friday and then hit the store on my way home on Saturday. I find that one of my biggest roadblocks for weekday cooking is the prep and planning so this was a huge step for me.
I decided to prep three different meals, one which is a favorite of ours that I doubled. The first two, Honey Dijon Chicken and Crock-pot Cranberry Chicken were from the New Leaf Wellness site that I found through the comments section. Both were chicken based meals that were pretty simple to prep. If we decide we like these I may try to put them in our regular rotation.
The other one I made is a Canadian Beef Stew, which I doubled. This is one our our regular crock-pot meals come fall and winter but does have a lot of prep time involved. Actually, after prepping other other two I realized it has a LOT more prep time involved as you have to brown the meat. Although I do love this recipe I think it may make sense to find others that are less time consuming. I watched Netflix while doing all of the food prep making the time pass but I think I ended up spending about 4 hours doing all of this prep.
After completing all of the prep and cleaning up around 9 PM on Saturday I made little notes to put on the fridge for Mr. SFF. I knew he would be getting home late on Saturday and leaving at 6 AM on Sunday (our actual anniversary) but I was hoping he would see the notes and put a smile on his face before heading out for the day.
Mr. SFF did see the notes and very much appreciated the gesture, especially as he was exhausted when he got home at 9 PM on Sunday and had a busy day planned for Monday. Right away I pulled the Cranberry Chicken out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to be cooked on Monday (today).
Total spent on all five meals (including the pasta and sauce): $66.30
The great thing about most of these recipes is that they serve 6 people so we will have leftovers either for lunch or for dinner the next night. I have another weekend in October where Mr. SFF will be out of town from Friday to Sunday. I may try to do some meal planning for that weekend as well but will need to plan ahead of time as I will not have a car and I can only carry so much on my bike. If anyone has any good recipes that would like to share I am certainly open to suggestions.