Batch cooking is a great tool to save money, save time and offer a family a variety of quick easy meals. Wait, in case there are just two of you in the house, yes, batch cooking works well for even small families. Once you have tried it, you may find that really cooking one day every two weeks pays off in the long run. Batch cooking is done by making several meals or mixes that can be frozen or stored and then heated and served. Creative cooks can make this work in their favor.
Put together a menu. It does not have to be an exact day, but a set of meals. Typically, you would check the sales paper of your local market and take advantage of the items that are on sale to help create your batch cooking items.
For example, if chicken is on sale, buy several. You can cook chicken in the slow cooker while you are busy making other things. When the chicken is done, the stock can be used in recipes, the chicken can be cut up, cooled completely and put in dishes that you are making are in airtight bags for freezing.
Now your menu may include chicken and noodles, Chinese chicken salad, Chicken Alfredo, chicken pot pies and many other chicken dishes. Since chicken can stay frozen up to six months, you don’t have to have chicken every night.
Those who do batch cooking at their best, have a current list of items in the freezer at all times. When something is taken out, it is simply crossed off the list. This way they can see what options are left from weeks before and really capitalize on sales.
If you are make an entire dish like lasagne, for large families make two or three and freeze the extra. If you have a small family, make one large and freeze in portions that will serve you for a meal.
Another fun thing to try with batch cooking is cookie mix. You mix up a big batch of cookie mix which can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. From this one mix you take out what you need and add the extra ingredients for the type of cookie you want and they are done in a matter of minutes.
It is much easier to enlist the help of family members when you can leave a note that says, “there is a casserole in the fridge. Please heat the oven to 350 degrees and pop it in at 5:00, thanks.”
When you get home, the main dish is cooked, you can make a quick salad and have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.
You don’t have to do batch cooking alone. Want to have some fun with friends? Get together and make the meals for everyone. Typically each person would be assigned two or three meals. You would meet to assemble them, trade and have a little party. You would be amazed how much money and time you can save with a little preparation and savvy batch cooking.