Welcome to our first bonus episode! We will be including Feature Friday episodes once a month to help you understand a different feature of Plan to Eat.
This Feature Friday is focused on the Freezer feature in Plan to Eat! This robust feature is great for batch cooking and freezing meals for the future. We give you a rundown of how the feature works and demystify aspects we commonly get questions about.
Check out our help articles related to the Freezer:
The Website Freezer
The App Freezer
I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.
Roni: Hello everyone. And welcome to our first bonus episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. This is a Feature Friday episode, and today we are going to be breaking down the Freezer.
Riley: We're excited to do these feature Friday episodes because it will be a little bit more of a deep dive into Plan to eat features. And we hope this is really helpful for some of our listeners who are here for the tips.
Roni: Yeah, we're going to try and keep this quick and to the point so that you are just able to get some actionable steps for how to use different features in plan to eat. And one of the number one features that we get questions about is the freezer. So this is where we want it to start, hopefully it will help you better understand the freezer feature.
So in order to plan recipes that are freezer recipes, the first thing that you need to do is you need [00:01:00] to plan that recipe on your planner. So whether you're in the app or whether you're on the website, you need to put that recipe on your planner. And then you'll just be able to click on that recipe. And in the options you have the option to add to freezer.
Once you click the option to add the freezer, you get to choose how many meals you'd like to plan and how many servings each meal will have. And then you're going to click, add to freezer. And then that is now a freezer recipe and it lives in your freezer.
Riley: So let's talk about freezer. and meals right here right now, while we're talking about how to add these to your freezer. meals going to be, how many times are you going to eat that with your family? So like tonight we're having a meal, right? So that's the meal. So you might have, maybe you're saving, maybe you're making a huge batch of soup and you're going to save, Maybe you can save three, three dinners, three meals out of that big, big batch of soup.
So that's going to be three meals. And then if it's just you and your husband or you and your spouse, then you will have, let's say two [00:02:00] servings per meal. So it's three dinners for you and your. Of two servings each. So that's the difference between meals and servings? You could save that for any number at all.
It could be 10 meals of four servings each, or two meals of eight servings. Each that means you're gonna eat it for two nights that week. and you're gonna have four servings when you, when you hear. Is it a little bit of a confusing aspect of the freezer. And so hopefully that clarifies it just a bit.
Once you choose how many meals and how many servings Plan to Eat is going to do the math for you, and increase all of the ingredients that are in that recipe to meet that amount. So, um, you got four meals of four servings. It's going to increase it so that you have enough for 16 servings of that recipe.
So you can freeze it really easily.
Roni: Yeah. So this is similar to scaling a recipe in your recipe book. So say if the original recipes served four and you need it to serve eight, you go in and you update the serving size from four to eight. And then the, all of the ingredients are going to update on your shopping [00:03:00] list for that new serving size.
This works that exact same way. It's not dependent on what the original serving size of the recipe is. Once you make this change to the number of meals and the number of servings each meal has, it's just going to update all of the ingredients so that you're always buying the exact right amount.
Riley: So to plan your recipes from the freezer, you, if you are looking at our desktop site, you will go to the freezer section. You can go to the freezer section in the app as well. And then you will either click to plan from the app or you will drag and drop that freezer meal onto your meals. What's going to happen is that it's going to reduce the number of servings and meals that are listed in your freezer section, because you're putting it on your meal planner.
So it's going to deduct that from your freezer, and then you will get a note on your meal planner that says freezer. So you know, that it a frozen recipe.
Roni: If you happen to have any recipes in your freezer that you maybe didn't quite, uh, keep track of in Plan to eat. So like maybe you had freezer recipes that you added to your Plan to Eat freezer, and then you kind of [00:04:00] forgot to drag and drop them onto your meal planner. You can easily go in and just delete recipes.
From your freezer. So you basically just go in and click on the recipe. ask you either that you could update the serving sizes or there's an option to just remove that recipe from your freezer. So sometimes that can happen where you make a plan, and then you forget to add it to your meal planner.
And that's just a really easy way to quickly remove things from your freezer. If you no longer need them there.
Riley: One other thing to know about the freezer section is that it does keep track of what date you froze it. Which just helps you have an idea of if that meal is still good, or if you probably need to get rid of it. And so you can see it's time to get rid of it. You can easily delete it, but if you also feel like you've, you have time to eat it again, you can plan into your planner. Just keep a note about made it.
Roni: And if you're new to Plan to Eat or you haven't used the freezer before, and you have items that are currently in your, at home physical freezer, that you want to be able to add into your plan, to eat freezer. We just recommend adding those recipes to a date in the past on your planner, [00:05:00] which is then going to help you keep track of those items in your freezer.
And if you remember the date that you froze them on, it would be great to add them onto that date in the planner so that you have. Accuracy there. But this is also going to prevent you from having any extra items on your shopping list, from things that are already your, at home freezer that you don't need to shop for.
Riley: Okay. A little quick, uh, confusing thing about the freezer is that, if you're choosing to make and freeze a meal today, plan to eat is going to total the meals and servings, and it's going to increase it by the amount that you plan to freeze. it's not taking into consideration that you might eat it tonight.
If you are planning to do that, you can increase your serving size and meals according. Um, and you can, keep, keep that item on your, on your meal planner and then drag one out of your freezer. So you know that you've, you're eating it tonight. you could plan the one you're eating tonight and then the amount you're going to freeze in two separate recipes, to just keep track.
Roni: So finally, one thing that we want to touch on is the difference between the freezer [00:06:00] feature and the leftover notes in the planner. And when you might use these two different features.
So the freezer is much better. If you are batch cooking, if you're making multiple meals of one recipe to freeze and, you are going to probably eat them out of. More farther, farther in the future than the current week that you're on. Whereas the leftover feature is better used if in the current week that you're on you increase the serving sizes of a recipe or the recipe just happens to make leftovers.
You can just quickly go to that recipe and add a leftover note and then move it to whichever day you plan on eating those leftover. It's the leftover note is more of a reminder that you have leftovers that need to get eaten in your freezer right now. Um, so that, I mean, in your refrigerator right now, so that you, they don't go to waste.
Riley: I tend to use a freezer, for big batches of things, just like you said, Roni. And if I'm planning to eat it and like the next two months or something like that, and then if I'm planning to make a really big batch [00:07:00] of food, like, white chicken chili, we're going to have that this week and we're going to plan to have it for dinner tonight. And then for two lunches this week, I'll just use the leftover feature, to keep track of that. So hopefully that helps you differentiate when to use those two.
This is a feature that we get so many questions about and we're happy to help you. So if you would like to contact us, to ask more specific questions, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Roni: We hope you guys enjoyed this feature Friday. if you have suggestions for features that you want us to cover, you can email us probably at email@example.com for something like that, so that we can help you in the moment. But then we also know that maybe we should make a podcast about it.
Thanks for listening.