Home made TV dinners

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Cornhusker, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

    Messages:
    16,262
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    I was toying with the idea of making some homemade TV dinners, and was wondering if anyone knew where I could get containers to put them in?
    I thought I'd make some up and freeze them for lunches and whatever.
     
  2. StaceyS

    StaceyS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    454
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Nevada
    I buy them from the dollar store. That way if they wear out, you're not spending too much to replace them. I've tried the plastic divided plates w/lids and found the lids just didn't stay on - at $10 for 3 it was a waste of money!
     

  3. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    10,357
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    SW WA
    I agree on the divided plates - I also had trouble with the lids. You can make little "pans" out of aluminum foil and place the different foods in them, then place it all in one foil pan from the dollar store (they have multipacks of cake pans, loaf pans, etc there), cover it with foil and they would be all ready to pop in the oven or toaster oven. Wouldn't work in the microwave, of course.
     
  4. Wildwood Flower

    Wildwood Flower Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK

    Messages:
    3,306
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    I live in Oregon part time, and Oklahoma part time
    I just use those little Glad sandwich boxes with lids (aprox 5"X5" by 2"). I pick them up when they're on sale, but they're usually about 50 cents each.

    You can get a hot dish in, or even an Easter dinner. Just kind of make little piles in the dish.

    Since DH & I are the only ones, I make these quite often. That way I have quickie meals whenever I don't feel up to cooking. Love it!
     
  5. Kmac15

    Kmac15 This is my life

    Messages:
    3,806
    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Location:
    SC
    I used to use the plastic, but am trying to get away from the plastic in the microwave thing. I use glass containers I get from walmart, in the food container aisle, that come with plastic lids. They go in the freezer and microwave with no problems. I pay about $4 for the lunch size and $4.50 for the larger entree for 2 size.
     
  6. Ode

    Ode Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    My mother had a boyfriend once who made his own TV dinners, he bought the foil trays by the case from someplace and covered them with heavy duty foil and then plastic wrap. The ingredients were written on a strip of freezer tape. He was actually pretty good with his dinners, making big batches and setting up assembly lines to portion out everything efficiently. With 5 kids to raise, 4 of them teenage boys, he said it was the easiest way to make sure they were decently fed when he had to work and couldn't be home to cook. His wife had passed when the children were really young so he had quite a burden on his hands raising them alone.

    I bet you could get the foil trays from a restaurant supply or some other type of similar place. Maybe inquire at a costco?

    *edit here...I found a link to a place that sells these, I am sure you can find lots of other places too. :) http://www.kitchendance.com/tvdinner.html
     
  7. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    Ask friends, family, neighbours to keep any containers in which they get take-away meals. They can be washed and used over and over, especially the plastic ones.

    I get all my meals home-delivered (I am no longer able to cook for myself) and I keep all the containers and keep whole families in constant supply. Great recycling!

    You could also get containers from your local charity store, garage sales etc.

    Our supermarkets stock lots of different kinds of 'disposable' containers - plastic or foil. They are quite cheap, and can be used over and over. Take a look in the plastic/foil wrap section.

    Be careful with these cheap plastic containers. Most aren't intended to be frozen, and may crack easily. The solution is to allow the contents to defrost in the fridge before you empty the containers.
     
  8. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,994
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    NO VA
    Depending on the the meal or food option, what I have done in the past is place in individual portions on/in containers (either in ice cube trays, lined muffin pans -just recently saw someone using the large silicon muffin cups- or in piles on lined lipped cookie trays), then when frozen pop off/out of container and put in freezer bags.

    I'm thinking of doing this again, once I have a larger freezer. Just to have quick foods on hand for lunches and when I don't feel like cooking. Someday I'd like a pressure cooker so I am able to can soups...in the mean time I'll just freeze some up, but haven't decided how I'm going to do that. I may try the big silicon muffin cups for individual frozen blocks of soup and then bag up the cubes.
     
  9. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

    Messages:
    3,512
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Kenefick Texas
    Get yourself a vacuum sealer!
    I have a son and hubby who are working/living away from home and they have homemade meals right in the freezer.
    and its a great way to have full homemade meals ready at all times.

    I often use paper plates (the divided ones), or plastic food containers that fit in the bags,

    seal em right on up and write the re-heating instructions w/ a Sharpie marker right on the bag.

    works like a charm!
     
  10. WildernesFamily

    WildernesFamily Milk Maid

    Messages:
    2,873
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Missouri
    I don't make homemade TV dinners, but I use these same containers to pack hubby's lunch in that has to be reheated in the microwave at work. The ones above (rectangular with red lids) don't seem to hold their seal too well.. I don't know how they'd fare in the freezer.

    I've seen ones at Kroger recently, circular glass with blue lids, that seem to have a better seal. They're not the nice rectangular shape of the above ones though :(
     
  11. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

    Messages:
    16,262
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Thanks for the links and great ideas. :goodjob:
     
  12. Kmac15

    Kmac15 This is my life

    Messages:
    3,806
    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Location:
    SC
    To add another thing I do. I make large batches of somethings like lasagna or moussaka and divide it into serving sizes that will fit into the glass containers. I freeze the servings on a cookie sheet, after they are frozen I vacuum seal them so I can just open and pop into the glass container to sent in DHs lunch box.
     
  13. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    11,256
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    north Alabama
    If you are doing this for more than one person, you might consider just putting cooled portions into ziplock sandwich bags and freezing those. They are inexpensive, seal well, and are a good size for most portions. Run a bit of water over them to release the food from the bag and microwave it on the plate. The point of the exercise is that you can mix and match veggies and meat/chicken dishes rather than being stuck with a particular combo.