Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MyFreezEasy MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership Review

My family had the privilege of trying the MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership from MyFreezEasy for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum and family/farm life. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. Affiliate links are in this post. Thanks for supporting this blog.

Erin Chase, $5 Dinner Mom, is the brains behind $5 Dinners, $5 Meal Plan, Grocery Budget Makeover, FreezEasy, and now MyFreezEasy. She puts out a free weekly email newsletter that I subscribe to where she shares recipes, tips and tricks for getting the grocery budget under control. I have loved these valuable emails and delicious recipes throughout the months. I also follow her blog where she posts recipes, coupon matchups and deals, printable coupons, and more to help save you and I money. Her Grocery Budget Makeover I cannot really vouch for myself as I have not taken this 10-week course, but from reviews I have read it sounds like it really works in cutting your grocery spending in half. FreezEasy is her freezer cooking meal plans that will help you prepare 10 delicious meals to load into your freezer in under an hour. MyFreezEasy is new. It is similar to Basic FreezEasy, but gives you even more control to personalize the plan.

The MyFreezEasy Premium Annual Membership gives you access to the online program and website for a whole year. Each month members have access to all eight meal plans to download: Traditional, Gluten-Free, Slow Cooker, Clean Eats, 20 Meals, All Chicken, All Ground Beef, All Pork Chops. The majority of the months meal plans have 5 recipes that have been hand-picked by Erin for that month. With these plans you make two of of each meal to freeze so that you get a total of 10 meals. These premade meal plans are all set for only 4 servings...so if you need more or less it is wonderful that MyFreezEasy Premium plan has the opportunity to Build Your Own Meal Plans unlike the Basic FreezEasy that only lets you purchase premade ones.

Along with the freezer cooking plan downloads you get a number of bonuses. First, you can also get a overview of the program by going to the How MyFreezEasy Works Resources and Instructions page which includes a how-to PDF, a Favorite Side Dish Recipes E-Cookbook to download, and a link to the Freezer Cooking Workshop videos to get you started. You can also download printable labels for each meal plan (that she recommends be printed on Avery #6874 sticker paper). Each month, they release highlights & tips videos for all 8 new meal plans, along with 1 assembly instruction video for the Traditional Plan in the Video Library. These assist with the production of making the freezer meals.

From the Build Your Own Meal Plans area you could select the recipe by three different aspects on this page: Type of Protein, Cooking Method, and Dietary Preferences. In each of these search categories they have the recipes further narrowed down. In Type of Protein you could pick from Chicken Recipes, Ground Beef Recipes, Other Beef Recipes, Pork Chop Recipes, Other Pork Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes. In Cooking Method you could pick from Slow Cooker Recipes, Dutch Oven or Saucepan Recipes, Baked Recipes, Skillet Recipes, Grill Recipes, and One Dish Meals. In Dietary Preferences you could pick from My Favorites, Gluten-Free Recipes, Dairy Free Recipes, Gluten Dairy Soy-Free Recipes, Paleo/Whole30 Recipes, and Top 8 Allergy Free Recipes.

MyFreezEasy: 1. Search Categories, 2. Select Your Recipes, 3. Print/Download Your Meal Plan

Once you select one of these categories you can pick from the recipes listed in that certain one. You can click on each recipe title to see a popup of the actual recipe and also choose the serving size (2, 4, 6,or 8) in the drop down menu. You can then either drag and drop 5 recipes you want to prepare in the drop box or add them to it with the + sign from the popup of the recipe. You can go back to the main menu and select a different category as well for more recipes. You can also clear the whole drop box list or drag the recipes you don't want out of the box one by one. After you have selected 5 recipes total for the My FreezEasy Recipes drop box with the correct serving size you can hit the Review and Print button. This will take you to another page to see the 5 that you picked for one final look over before you press Print My Meal Plan and Print Labels (which actually downloads 2 separate printable PDF files onto your computer). You can also select Email which emails you the Complete Shopping List by Recipe with handy check boxes beside each item to take with you to the grocery store.

Each meal plan PDF for 5 recipes is laid out for easy instruction. Each one has the Recipes, Shopping Lists (Complete Shopping List by Recipe, Complete Shopping List by Store Section/Category, Freezer Meal Prep Day Shopping List by Recipe, and Freezer Meal Prep Day Shopping List by Store Section/Category), and Assembly of Meals (Assembly Prep Instructions and Meal Assembly Instructions).

Each recipe is laid out well. At the top of each recipe you have the title, yield, active time, cook time, and a small summary. Then it goes into Ingredients for Single Meal, Cooking Directions for Single Meal, Assembly Prep Directions for 2 Meals. Under that there is Freeze & Thaw Instructions, Special Notes, Dairy-Free Modifications, and Gluten-Free Modifications for each recipe.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

We received the MyFreezEasy Premium Annual Membership which gives us access to the online program and website for a whole year! We started the membership back in September and also got access to October's meals this month so far. I made two of each of the 5 meals that I chose for September for the freezer so far. We have access to each month's meal plans as they become available every month. These were easily customized and I really loved that fact.

Freezer Meals -1 that we made for dinner that same night.

Having a family of 6 I couldn't really just go with the premade meal plans because they were all set for only 4 servings. So, I opted to make my own freezer cooking meal plan from the available recipes in the Build Your Own Meal Plans area. For September I made a list of 5 recipes that sounded good to me at the time: Baked Honey Mustard Pork Chops, Ranch Chicken & Baby Potato Bake, Roasted Cod with Pesto, Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, and Slow Cooker Taco Soup.

I had a few problems with MyFreezEasy...
  1. When I went to change the serving size to 6 I think things got a little jumbled. The canned ingredients didn't really convert well and so when the ingredients lists were read, we had things like: 3/4 x 1 15 oz. can(s) black beans...of which I thought was quite awkward and to me really didn't make sense. Also some of the ingredients in the different sections had different amounts, for example, Slow Cooker Taco Soup for 6 says 1/2 cup(s) beef broth in the Ingredients for Single Meal, but for the Freeze & Thaw Instructions it says 2 cups beef broth. This is inconsistent and quite confusing.
  2. The My Favorites online didn't seem to work for me. I couldn't add any recipes to it by dragging and dropping them into that section and when I hearted them from the popup recipe they didn't seem to go to that section either.
  3. After I baked the Ranch Chicken & Baby Potato Bake I noticed that the potatoes in the dish didn't taste right. From what I am told certain ingredients including raw potatoes need to be blanched before freezing so they maintain their integrity and correct texture. The recipe never mentions blanching and so instead, the potatoes turned out gritty and watery...inedible in my family's opinion. The Ranch Chicken & Baby Potato Bake also took me the longest to prepare for the freezer because of all the chopping of chicken and potatoes (because I couldn't find "baby potatoes"). It also said to get bacon crumbles and I couldn't find these so I made actual bacon and crumbled it myself. This recipe took the longest and was a big disappointment, so I will not be making it again.

Roasted Cod with Pesto (top) and Slow Cooker Taco Soup (bottom)

All in all most the recipes that I prepared and tried were really good. I especially loved the Roasted Cod with Pesto (we made this recipe the same night we put the ingredients for all the recipes together) and the Slow Cooker Taco Soup. These didn't take me long to prepare for the freezer and they were delicious and easy to cook. I am excited to still try the Baked Honey Mustard Pork Chops and the Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa of which were both also very easy to put together for the freezer. I am also excited to try even more meals in the months to come.

The MyFreezEasy MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership is well worth the investment in my opinion. Even with its quirks it definitely takes the edge off of finding something delicious for dinner and getting a meal thrown into the oven/crock pot/skillet/grill etc. quickly. The freezer meal prep doesn't take too long either and you can get 10 meals prepared in an hour although I do admit that it took me longer. I highly recommend this to busy parents everywhere.

Basic Monthly is $7 a month. Basic Annual is $77 per year with 1 month free. Premium Monthly is $10 a month. Premium Annual is $95 per Year with 2+ Months Free!! Get Started!

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