Food costs are rising and budgeting is becoming a must! So how is it possible to feed a family of four on a small budget? My solution is Freezer Cooking! This is an inexpensive healthy method to feeding your family! Plus you prepare the meals ahead of time so it also saves you tons of time! Freezer Cooking is becoming more popular as food costs rise, and families get busier and busier! Here’s what it’s all about; first you need to plan your menu. I suggest making things such as Chicken Tortilla Soup, Vegetable Beef Soup, Meat-Loaf, and Chili. You could replace ground hamburger in meatloaf and chili with ground turkey, which reduces your fat intake! I also recommend using frozen vegetables, look through your local grocery ad to see when these things go on sale! That is the best time to go shopping! Organic foods are also healthier, and although they seem expensive, it’s usually only by a couple dollars if that. If you plan your menu, and cut out the junk food you can afford organic food. The second step to freezer cooking is going shopping. Make sure that you make a list. If you go in knowing exactly what you are going to get, and only buy things that are on your list, you will save tons of money! Another great tip is to never go shopping when you are hungry! Hungry people tend to buy more because they crave whatever they see! If you would like to make Vegetable Beef Stew you will need one can of tomato juice, two bags of frozen mixed vegetables, and a pot roast. You can find smaller pot roasts in the meat section of your nearest grocery store, and if you buy the pre-packaged ones they will be cheaper than buying from the meat counter! To make this stew just put all of the ingredients listed above in a Crock-Pot (slow-cooker) and let it cook for around four to six hours. You can make three meals that will feed a family of four from one batch of this soup! Next is the fun part, preparing the food! You can find great recipes at http://www.squidoo.com/freezer -cooking! Of course after the food is prepared you will need to let it cool down for around thirty minutes, so you do not burn yourself. After it has finished cooling use a ladel or a measuring cup (1 cup) and transfer the food into Ziplock freezer bags. I recommend actually using Ziplock brand. I have found they are the only bags that do not allow my meals to get freezer burnt. For the meatloaf you can just put it in a bag and flatten it out. All of your meals will lay flat in your freezer so they don’t take up much space and you can fit store more at one time! Always make sure to label and date your meals. Freezer meals are good for up to 3 months after being frozen. There are many meals you can freeze, some things you can experiment with and see how well they freeze. I would stay away from freezing cooked potatoes and cooked noodles unless they are part of a soup.