Fake Freezer Cooking – PB&Js

PreMaking and Freezing Peanut Butter Sandwiches at ASlobComesClean.com

I saw this on Money Saving Mom recently, and it hit me like a load of DUH.

Have I mentioned how much I LOATHE making lunches? Because I do. It’s like a slap in my face each day when it’s time to throw the sandwiches and chips and fruit and such together.

I consider myself a creative person, but when it comes to making lunches, I feel like there is a hole in the bottom of my foot where all the creativity (and energy) just drains right out.

So have I properly established that I don’t like making lunches?

Good.

But . . . even though I am anti-lunch-making, I’m also an idealist. And the kind of idealist I am is the kind who can’t justify buying pre-made lunches or pre-made sandwiches or even individual chip bags. (I almost defected to the Individual Chip Bag Side after a good sale at Costco last fall, but couldn’t. Chips are just too cheap at Aldi.)

Now, please don’t be offended if you’ve already gone lunchable. I admire you. I do. I totally respect people accepting their own constraints and being willing to pay for convenience.

I’m actually a little jealous . . .

Anyway, when I saw that Crystal makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ahead and freezes them, I realized that was what I had to do. Even though it’s not even Actual Cooking Freezer Cooking.

Which also somehow goes against my idealism.

Anyway, I did it. My kids thought I was a genius. I gave Crystal credit.

Frozen Peanut Butter Sandwiches at ASlobComesClean

Oh, but one of the kids had to get over his confusion when the other two kids told him about the upcoming frozen-pb&j-filled-lunches. He heard “frozen peanut butter sandwiches” and thought of the ones his friends bring to school. You know, the ones their moms BUY.

He was confused because he knew without a doubt that HIS mother would never do that.

Yep.

I’m not going to do any How-Tos or Step-by-Steps in this post, since . . . ummmm . . . I’m pretty sure you already know how to make them.

PB&J for the freezer - ASlobComesClean.com

One loaf of Nature Valley Honey Wheat bread was enough for nine sandwiches. Which is enough for three days. Which is an irritatingly short amount of time.

 

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--Nony
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Comments

  1. Do you do the trick where you put PB on both sides of the bread and then the jelly in the middle so the bread doesn’t get soggy? I read that in a blog and has totally made me bringing an occasional sandwich to work SO much nicer. And my daughter lives on PB&J.

  2. Elizabeth B says:

    I was going to ask about the condition of the sandwich at kiddo lunch time. I think Kim answered it. I’ve been an anti-make-lunch-ahead person because the thought of a soggy sandwich at lunch was a turn-off :). I think I’ll do a couple of these and see how they work out! I have caved to the convenient method, but when I look at the size of that sandwich and my 13 1/2 yr old boy…well, let’s just say more than one sandwich goes in the lunchbox! LOL One ‘real’ sandwich works for him, though. Thanks for the motivation!!

  3. Pampered Chef makes a sandwich cutter that cuts off the crusts and seals the edges. My daughter’s friends kept asking where she got the roast beef Uncrustables. If you save the crusts for meatloaf, it feels less wasteful.

  4. What an “aha” moment! I’ve never thought of this either. My husband is the lunch maker but this is one way I can help him out. I think we’ll give this a try this weekend. Thanks for the tip!

  5. OK- I don’t even have kids, but I think this idea is BRILLIANT! I may make up a few for myself. Some days lunch or even supper almost just doesn’t happen because of scheduling conflicts. (See my comment on your post about 1 in 1 out and schedules and you’ll know why.) Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!!

  6. I have done this for years…it help SO much! I have two tricks I have found that keep the sandwich from getting soggy. First, I put a half sheet of paper towel around the sandwich. Second, I use the super cheap fold-over sandwich bags instead of the zip lock style. As the sandwich defrosts, the extra moisture can be absorbed by the paper towel, and the moist air can escape since it’s not sealed up tight. Makes a huge difference!

    • Wouldn’t they get freezer burn if you don’t seal them tightly?

      • You are so right…I forgot to mention that part. If I only make enough for the week, it’s not a problem. If I am making more than that, I put the bagged sandwiches inside of a freezer bag or Tupperware container.

        • Jessica McGuire says:

          You are a genius! Thank you so much for the awesome idea given that my now 11 year old son is convinced that sandwiches made with the same ingredients, in the same way because I taught him, taste better when I make them-and has hit that preteen boy growth spurt so he could eat 5.

  7. My mom used to do this when my brothers were teenagers and ate constantly. Every Sunday, she would make one loaf of pbj and one loaf of bologna and put them in the freezer. I’m pretty sure she just put them back in the bread bag to put them in the freezer. The boys would grab one each on their way to school and put in baggies. They ate them for snacks since you know teenage boys who play sports must eat like every 30 min.

  8. My mom did this with ham and cheese sandwiches. No mayo but she would use butter. We always thought they were better when they were still a tiny bit frozen. Never tried pb&j though

  9. I love this idea and am going to try it for my 6 yr old. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Genius! How did I not know this sooner!!

  11. Somewhere, I have photographic proof that I experimented with simple Bento. I might have been waking up at the same time as hubby, but the food was stable enough to spend overnight in the fridge. Or up to 48 hours because of 3-day shifts.

    I recommend Monte Cristo if they need more protein. Lunchbox form is ham and turkey on cold french toast, raspberry jam or cheese optional.

  12. Martha Magallon says:

    Hi
    I noticed you had flour in your freezer…..I just never thought about freezing flour..hmmm

    By the way love your post about the sandwiches…Genius!!!

    • Yes, I had bugs in it once a few years ago and read that keeping it in the freezer prevents that!

      • STOP IT!!! Freezing stuff gets rid of those nasty bugs??? Well shoot, I’m doing that from now on. AND the frozen PB&J… Man I am learning all sorts of things

        • Freezing the flour kills the eggs. Eggs are present in virtually every bag of flour. They will hatch if it sits in your pantry long enough. The cold freezer kills the eggs so they won’t hatch. You can even freeze the flour overnight and then move it to the pantry.

          • Windy Shaffer says:

            Freeze dry goods for 72 hours to kill off bugs and and their eggs, then store in air tight container. I store nuts in the freezer to keep them from going rancid. When freezer space is needed, out come the nuts and then they go back in once there is space.

          • Freeze pasta for the same reason! Don’t have to leave it in there till you use it, just for a few days and then take it out.

      • Jennifer says:

        i had bugs in my flour a few years ago too and have been freezing (or at least refrigerating since we’re running out of freezer space) ever since.

    • Same is true for rice. We keep it in the freezer and/or refrigerator for the same reason. We learned this the hard way after having to throw out a huge ($22) bag of Jazmine rice :-(

  13. Ah ha! Genius! I, too, have a kid with a multiple PB&J a day habit. And he occasionally gets those expensive “Uncrustables” as a treat at sporting events, so he’s GOT to be open (picky tho he is) to the idea of a frozen PB&J. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Three days IS too short. Do two loaves at once – or even three!

  15. A friend turned me on to this! I make regular old PB and J = ten sandwiches at a time, on Sunday night. I cut half in half, and leave the rest whole (based on each kid’s preference). I LOVE your blog! I think we are so similar! I too bag all the chips and shop at Aldi. I loathe making lunches. And my natural state is slobby.

  16. I never thought to freeze ahead of time, I’ll give it a try. Whenever I do make PB&J for their lunches I always make them with frozen bread (it started one day because I forgot to thaw out the bread!) I soon discovered it’s a lot easier and quicker to make them on frozen bread, not as sticky and mushy. I have four kids and totally relate to the lunch grind!

    • Love this idea!!!! Thank you! I always have bread in the freezer, so this will work out perfect!

  17. I always made my pb&j sandwiches with pnut butter on one side, butter on the other with the jam in-between. Something about the combo always had me salivating. I bet banana slices on the frozen sandwich would probably be delicious as well!

  18. I’ve done this for camping before. I do the peanut butter on both sides trick and then freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen solid they go back into the bread bag for storage. We put them in our ice chest and eat them as needed.

  19. Since you don’t like making lunches, could that be a ‘kid job?’ Like the youngest could bag the chips, and the two oldest could do the sandwiches? Then Mom could just supervise. :)

  20. I love this idea! My college freshman often totes PBJ for lunch. I’m wondering if it will work for Fluffernutters (PB & marshmallow cream). Do you think that the marshmallow cream would freeze well?

  21. My baby isn’t big enough for a sandwich yet, but my husband take PB&J whenever there aren’t enough leftovers at dinner to make him a lunch. We might try this.

    Although lately we’ve found that My least favorite part is getting the stuff out, he hates the actual sandwich making. So he brings me the stuff, I make a sandwich, and then he puts everything away. It’s perfect.

  22. I do two breads its enough for a whole week. And I also put other spreads on them. I normaly have three speads. Peanut butter, Nutella and extemely dutch spread tasting like holiday cookies. Then I cut the sandwiches in half and pack three halves for my two schoolgoing kids. So they have three kinds of sandwiches with them.

  23. Bummed, we can’t send anything with peanuts to school:(

  24. Wahhhh…both kids are in “nut-free” classrooms! Love this though! I do something similar with goldfish. I buy the large economy size, then spend some time filling snack-size ziplock bags. Easy for kids to grab and easy to grab for lunches. (Fit nicely next to the nut-safe Lunchables! Lol!)

  25. My mom did this in the 80s with deli meat sandwiches. My brother and I like different condiments, so she cut mine in triangles and his in rectangles to know the difference. Worked like a charm.

  26. Will have to try this with cream cheese and jelly sandwiches!

  27. We dont eat bread or peanut butter or jelly…Lol. BUT ! THANK YOU for the idea ..I am going to try it with meat and veggie rolls and see how they hold up. I hate always cooking. We can add the lettuce at the last min.

  28. My son only eats fluffernutters sandwhiches so I too was wondering if they froze well? Has anyone tried it?

  29. Okay, so, I think this is brilliant, but I have to wonder: do the sandwiches get soggy? I would think the jelly would make the bread soggy. Am I totally wrong?

  30. Christina says:

    I do this. I do it with bologna, and peanut butter & marshmallow sandwiches too. I’ve got 5 kids to make lunch for, that’s a lot of sandwiches :D

  31. susan lawlor says:

    I have been reading your web pages and really enjoy the tips and suggestions made by yourself and these other fine and upbeat ladies!
    I also freeze oatmeal, farina, corn meal, etc …pancake mix…anything with grain. Even kibble dog food can be tossed in the freezer ( I have a chest freezer downstairs).
    I also freeze grapes which are so refreshing on a hot day. Snack cakes (twinkies) etc . They all help to keep the lunch boxes on the cool side until lunch time. They thaw out by then just like the sandwiches
    .Living in a rural area near the beach , we also have a problem with occasional power outages. I rinse out and freeze 2 liter Coke bottles (leave some headroom for expansion.) and fill the chest freezer with them. As the freezer gets low in food, I add more bottles. If I need the room for freezing more food, I just ditch a few bottles. This serves 2 purposes. In an outage, 2 liter bottle takes a lot longer to defrost than bags of ice….especially if there are 15 of them in the freezer! AND it is also fresh drinking water if you are on a well or cant drink the tap water. Keep up the good work! Love this site!

  32. Seriously….thank you so much for reposting this!! I pack lunches for my two boys, my husband and me every day and I HATE it. I don’t know why, but I do and making sandwiches is the worst part. I’m going to do this tonight! Hooray!

  33. When my kids were little, we did this and they were the envy of their friends because they had “purple peanut butter.” I always stirred the peanut butter and jelly together until smooth to use as spread; the bread never got soggy, and there was never a worry about a blob of grape jelly dropping out the bottom of the sandwich. I put the extra in an empty jelly jar and stored it in the fridge.

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--Nony

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