You’re going to need some big, heavy duty, quality freezer bags and a little freezer room, but it’s so worth it when you put a hot, fresh meal on the table each night by doing nothing but dumping a thawed bag in a slow cooker each morning. Here’s how it works, explains Chef Crystal, who spends an hour each Sunday being her own sous chef.

First, chop and place all ingredients — your meat, veggies and seasonings — in a gallon freezer bag for each meal. If you’re really in a hurry, you can buy pre-sliced veggies in our Produce Department. Use the Slow-Cook Formula here, and each thawed bag will make enough to feed 4 to 6 people — and then there’s leftovers for lunch!

You can even add sauces to the bags, but if you are using a liquid broth, store it in a separate plastic freezer container. Speaking from experience, Chef Crystal has cleaned up after a leaky bag one too many times!

If you are using ground meats like beef and turkey, be sure to brown them and let them cool before adding them to your bag. Monday’s meal can be left in the refrigerator overnight. Freeze meals for the rest of the week and simply take a bag out each evening and put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Try not to put frozen foods in your slow cooker, though it’s been done ….

In less than an hour, you can literally have five meals ready to go, and come home each day to the delicious aroma of cooked meats and spices — tender, juicy, hearty and ready to eat! Epicurean efficiency at its finest!