Batch cooking is a great way to have healthy meals when I’m short on time during the week because of work. It also means I don’t have to eat out all the time, which saves me money as well as trying to lead a healthier life. But cooking in large batches in and of itself is a great money saver, and can work for you, too! So, if you’re looking for more ways to save on your food budget, then here’s how to do it with batch cooking.
What Is Batch Cooking?
You might be wondering what batch cooking actually is. Basically it’s cooking large amounts of food at once to store and freeze for use at a later date. You can do it many different ways depending on what works best for you. If you have a deep freezer and a whole weekend, you could cook up food for the entire month. If you don’t want to spend that much time or don’t have the storage needed for that kind of batch cooking, then cooking in advance for the week might be a better alternative for you. I started out with weekly batch cooking and it works for me since it’s only me and my husband. For larger families, a month’s worth of batch cooking can be an option.
How to Cook in Batches
Cooking large amount of food to freeze can seem overwhelming. If you set aside a whole day it’s doable. Just double, triple, or quadruple your recipes and place in freezer bags to save room in your freezer.
You can also cook up large batches of sauce to freeze, or roast a chicken and cut it up to freeze to use in meals throughout the week. You don’t have to make a whole meal to have throughout the week.
Cooking up the basics that you will use in a meal will not only make meals easier to make, but it also saves you money. Jar sauce is convenient to use in recipes because you don’t want to spend the time cooking sauce every time you need it, but if you have some made and frozen in your freezer it can be cheaper – especially if you have used in season ingredients. When you end up with a whole bunch of tomatoes at the end of the summer like I do, you can cook up a large batch of sauce that could last you all winter long.
Whole chickens can generally be bought cheaper than chicken pieces. So cooking up large batches of chicken, shredding it, and freezing it to add to meals as needed is a huge money saver – not to mention the time saver.
Tips So You Aren’t Wasteful
If your major goal in bulk cooking is to save money, then the one thing you do not want to happen is for the food that you worked so hard to cook to go bad. To keep this from happening, here are some tips:
* Properly wrap your food to prevent freezer burn. Make sure you use a wrap that is meant for the freezer and that as much air as possible has been removed and it’s sealed tight.
* Label the item with what it is as well as the date it was prepared. Foods can last 6-9 months in the freezer, but you need to label it with how long it has been in there.
* Do not place piping hot food directly into the freezer. Allow it to cool some before freezing.
* When reheating, to keep food from drying out reheat at a slightly lower temperature than what you normally cook it on.
Following these tips will ensure that you make the most use out of the food and that it tastes its best. This way you aren’t throwing away the food you worked so hard on.
Batch cooking can be a real great money saver. You won’t be eating out as much because meals on busy days will be so fast and easy. You’ll also save money by buying in-season items in bulk. Batch cooking might not be for everyone, but give it a try to see how much money you can save. Share with me your experiences in the comment section below.
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