Saving Money Through Making Batches

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret that is gonna hurt frugal ears: I don’t enjoy cooking. In fact, if money allowed I would probably eat out every night. It stinks because we all know that $50/week won’t quite stretch to eating out daily so one thing I’ve learnt to do is shop the sales, cook in batches and freeze. In fact, freezing is my fave thing to do. The other hard thing about our family is that Tim isn’t keen (read:doesn’t eat) vegetables. Well, not a lot anyway but I love them. Instead of buying produce and watching it get nasty as I’d just cook for 2, I’d buy it, cut it and freeze some. Now, granted it’s easier with Isaac as I can cook for us but still, it meant I got good at freezing.

In Thailand food was a community affair and cooking it no different. I’d often invite Thai students over to cook up some American or English dish and we’d have a blast laughing and eating together. So much so that I miss it which is why last week I invited a friend over for a cooking and freezing session. All that turkey and cheese needed cooking up and freezing. April, knew this was good blog fodder for me and came prepared looking all cute. I, on the other hand, was not quite so well dressed so ignore the trussled hair look!

When starting: Set all your ingredients out and survey. Get all the necessary recipes, ziploc bags and containers. This way, if you’ve forgotten something you can run out now and not mid-meal.

We made some yum-o turkey meatballs that are so easy to freeze. I cooked them, flash froze them and then stuck them in a siploc. They’ll come in handy with the $.49 whole grain with flax pasta I bought at Trader Joe’s and $1 pasta sauce. A meal for around $2.49 for 4 people.

Another thing that’s important: I know it sounds silly but don’t just make one meal at once. We had some things on the stove, others in the oven and yet more freezing.

April buys chicken in bulk and came with 3 chicken recipes on hand. One fun thing we did that I’ve never done before was to freeze the whole meal together. In one small ziploc went the main part, in another went the uncooked pasta and then we put them together in a big ziploc and froze them. Sure, it costs a little more in ziplocs but will be super handy to pull straight out of the freezer and cook. Gotta love that!

In about 2 hours we battled through a very cranky little boy (mine) and managed to make 5 meals and a breakfast. We had a blast, it took the bore out of cooking and saved us money. Gotta love that!

Comments

  1. Eliana's mom says:

    I also made about 60 meatballs (3lbs worth) of Turkey meatballs with my bulk I bought when it was a buck a pound. I froze in Ziplocks. I made Spaghetti and Meatballs the other night. I got a great recipe off of the internet for a meatball and Spinach bake. I plan to make that too. It’s really tasty.

  2. To cut down on Ziploc bags, and this may be something you’re not interested in doing, but you can clean them with a mild detergent, then let them dry upside down and open. It works pretty well!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Clair, where did you go to Trader Joe’s? I LOVE them, but don’t have one nearby. Is there one in NW IN now? – Holly K.

  4. Kristi_runwatch says:

    Love the apron.

    I’m kicking around the idea of freezer cooking… I don’t know if I could ever be one of those people who cooks a month at a time, but I like that you did 5 meals!

    Right now we usually only eat half of any recipe, so if it freezes well I’ll make 2 9×9 pans instead of a big one and freeze one for later.

  5. LOL, thanks Holly! No, the closest one is Orland, yak!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What did we make that was suppose to be eaten as a breakfast??

    -April

  7. I do this with breakfasts. I make huge batches of pancakes, breakfast burritos, muffins, and french toast and freeze them.

    I also do it with lunch snacks. I have 2 kids a pack lunches for and I do Bento Boxes so we don’t use Ziploc at all! I freeze everything from brownies and cupcakes to tuna slabs! 🙂 OH! Do a post on school lunches!

  8. lubslady says:

    Clair,
    Would love to see the recipes you made.
    Thanks,
    lubslady

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