Once a Week Cooking from Freezer to Crockpot

Crockpot Freezer Meals - Week 1

Is your life busy and hectic?  Do you dread the time when dinner time comes and you still don’t know what you’re making?  Here is one of my go to weeks when I’m feeling like I’m in a time crunch and I don’t have a ton of money or time to spend on food. I’ve got a cutie little 3 month old baby who really prefers to be held 24/7.  Since he’s been here, we’ve been known to eat at off the wall times (like 9:00 p.m.!) because I couldn’t figure out when to make dinner between nursing and nursing and nursing….oh and did I mention, I nurse him?  :)  I figured that I HAD to figure out a way to get dinner on the table before that….and I knew it would involve some help from my children when necessary, so it needed to be relatively quick and easy!

If you’d like to give it a try, here’s Week one of Chaos Cooking via the Crockpot.  If you’d like to purchase a printable copy, so you can have everything together on one page, you can for $2.99.  The printable menu comes with the recipes (and pictures), assembly instructions, shopping list AND freezer labels.  Click the “Add to Cart” button below:

Add to Cart
Mexican Casserole
Beef Stroganoff
Chicken & Rice Casserole
Taco Soup (or leave out the corn and it’s chili)
Tater Tot Casserole
Chicken Tacos
If you want to quickly prepare it all in one day, here’s the steps you’ll follow:

Brown 5 pounds of ground beef
Chop 3.5 onions
Chop 1 Green Pepper
Chop Mushrooms for Beef Stroganoff (if using)
Cook 1.5 cups of rice according to pkg directions (to yield 3 cups of cooked)
Begin assembling each recipe above.

Hint 2 cups of browned ground beef = 1 pound of ground beef
That doesn’t sound so hard does it?

Shopping List:


2 bags of chicken breasts, frozen
5 pounds ground beef
Canned/Boxed Goods
2 cans green beans
1 can corn
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
3 cans rotel
1 can cr of chicken soup
5 cans cr. Mushroom soup
16 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cans chili beans
long grain rice
egg noodles
2 pkgs taco shells
Spice & Condiments
chicken bouillon granules
¼ t garlic powder
3 packets taco seasoning (or 4T)
chili powder
minced garlic
packet of onion soup mix
worcestershire sauce
3 c. grated cheddar cheese
Milk (1/4 c needed)
sour cream
4 onions
1 small green pepper
1 16 oz bag broccoli
32 oz bag tater tots
Nonfood items:
Freezer bags if you plan to pkg it for the freezer.
Paper bags if you plan to use them to keep canned goods separate from the rest of your pantry
If you’d rather just print it easily from a nicely formatted cookbook, it’s only $2.99.

Add to Cart

Buy It
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  1. Vacuum Sealers Unlim says

    Great plan. There are a lot of easy things to cook. Cooking isn't always as hard as it is perceived to be.

  2. says

    I am so excited to try out your recipes!! I am relatively new to crockpotting (is that a word???) so my current meals in it are pretty limited…roasted chicken, beans, an occasional meatloaf. I'm trying to develop a list of meals so that I can do some freezer preparation and then crockpot cooking. Partly for health and partly for budget.

  3. Maureen says

    Is there a way to print the recipes and the page with all the meals and shopping list? I don't see a print tab.t thanks, Maureen

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      At this point you'd have to go to each recipe and print it and then print the page with the shopping list. On Week 4, I provided a printable shopping list. I do plan to put these all in an e-book one of these days…but haven't gotten there yet. I hope that helps!

  4. Kelli says

    Thank you!!! This has changed my life. I have 4 little ones and work 3-4 days a week and dinnertime was suffering. I even enlisted my 8 year old to help me and we got everything done in 1.5 hrs! Thank you! If you made an ebook I would buy it in a heartbeat!

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      You don't know how much that means to me! I'm so glad that this has helped you! I'm thinking of doing an E-book…but it'll be a while yet. :) Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Julie says

    I can't wait to try some of your recipes! I'm a full-time working mom of 3 so having dinner ready when I get home is such a lifesaver. And if I can prep a whole week's worth of meals in one day that's even better. From one busy Mom to another, thank you for taking the time to post all of your recipes to help us out!

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to say something to me Julie . You don't even know how much that means! I'm glad to be of help to you! I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  6. Sarah says

    I feel like I've died and gone to heaven…..this is the rule of site I've been seeking for WEEKS! My baby #6 will be here any day and I'm not ready–I'm another sidetracked Sarah! Thankfully, not-so-sidetracked Mom/Grandma filled our freezer, but when we eat that, it's time to do something like this. Oh…and your blog colors are very appealing as well. (See, there I go getting sidetracked.)

    I'll be back as time and life permit….maybe when I'm in the hospital, haha! Please don't ever take this site down!


    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      oh wow, Sarah. Welcome, welcome, welcome! How funny that you're another Sidetracked Sarah. There's a lot of us on here! :) Congratulations on your baby that will be here soon. My best friend is due any day, too! I hope your delivery goes well and you find your groove soon!

  7. Heather says

    Just wondering.. can the ground beef be frozen with all other ingredients before cookingit, or does it already need to be browned?

  8. Sara says

    Just was wondering…for week 1 what is the grocery bill? I know some things will be different do to region. We are trying to cut down on our grocery bill, so I am trying to know what I need to budget. Also do you buy 1x a month or several times a month?

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      Hey Sara, I'm sorry for the delay in getting back with you. I was out of town and having trouble with the wifi. I'm not sure that I remember. I tend to spend about $100 to $150 per week, but that usually includes what I need for breakfast and lunches. Of course, it depends on how much I already have in my pantry as well. Sorry I can't give you a concrete answer, but generally I tend to be pretty frugal when it comes to cooking. I'm definitely not on the extreme side of frugal, though. I hope that helps. :) Next time I buy for that week, I'll try to take note and let you know. or….if you do it, let me know what you discovered and I'll add it when I update the pages.

  9. Renee says

    Hi I am new to this way of cooking. I think I might try it out. I liked a lot of your ideas too. I don't like onions and peppers and most of the sites I had found before yours had that in all the meals. I am going to try some of these and see if I can cook something different for a change. AAnyway thanks again for sharing.

    • Sidetracked Sarah says

      Hi Renee! Any time there's onions and peppers feel free to leave them out. I like them, but I don't always use them, especially if I'm out of them. I hope you enjoy this way of cooking. Thanks for saying hello!

  10. Beth Anne says

    Thanks Sarah! I am a major sidetracker… We have two college freshmen coming to stay with us for 3 weeks until their housing is ready for a summer mission trip and this jumped out at me as just what I needed to keep the food going while they are here. So now my "5" children and my hubby and I can spend the extra time enjoying each other, rather than racing around at 5 wondering what to fix for dinner! I will let you know how it goes! Thanks again, Beth Anne

  11. Kai says

    looking high looking low for all the recipes I can find to come up with a very versitile monthly meal plan..I LOVE MY CROCKPOT!..even if I get NOTHING else done that day..I feel I did A LOT when the timer goes off an dinner is READY! My husband asked me to find some meals that don't require the crockpot but I'm not sure about that..that would mean I have to COOK! LOL! I guess I'll throw in some baked something once or twice a MONTH!..thanks for sharing you way of doing things…

  12. NavyWife says

    I’m so excited to try these! My hubby is scheduled to be deployed when I give birth to baby #5 and we don’t live close to family. To add to that, some complications in my pregnancy could lead to me being on bed rest toward the end of my pregnancy. I have to really plan and be prepared. I’ve been looking for easy freezer meals that I can make now and have my 9 year old prepare for me if I need him to. I like the idea of crock pot meals because he doesn’t have to do anything with the oven or stove. Thank you for sharing all this!

  13. Heather says

    thank you so much Sarah!!! These recipes look amazing, and the fact that you made a grocery list already makes it even better. When do I have time to actually sit down and make a list?! :) I have fallen in love with crockpot meals, and as a busy working mom, it is nice to have dinner ready on those busy evenings.

  14. Stacy says

    Hi,I am going to give this a try with school starting and my kids all having extremely busy schedules. I M hoping to keep everyone fed! We have 6 in our family, and I am trying to decide how to adjust the recipe to make enough servings. Could you tell me how many servings these recipes generally serve?

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