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!