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7 Batch Cooking secrets for quick and affordable dinners
In today’s fast-paced world, most people stress daily about what’s for dinner. One way to solve this stress is to start batch cooking. You can batch cook for any meal of the day, and it’s an easy way to save money and time.
Here are seven batch cooking secrets for quick and affordable dinners:
When you come home from work starving after a long day, the last thing you want to do is cook a huge meal. So, you may turn to fast food or frozen convenience foods. Unfortunately, those types of foods are not as healthy as home cooked meals, and they’re also more expensive. Batch cooking allows you to have a freezer full of pre-cooked meals that you can serve in minutes.
Bulk ingredients are almost always less expensive than smaller packages of food, but you may not want to eat the same food every day for a week. With batch cooking, you can use bulk ingredients to make many meals and freeze them. This way, you can eat those meals over the course of a month so you still have some variety in between.
While cooking a huge batch of meals takes more time than cooking a single meal, it saves time in the long run. When you set aside a few hours each week to get all of your cooking done, you only have to do dishes once, plus the kitchen stays cleaner since you don’t have to continually clean up after yourself every evening.
You also save yourself from multiple trips to the grocery store each week, because you already have everything you need for dinner right in your freezer. By allocating your cooking to a big chunk of time when you’re not hurried or stressed, you have more time on busy days for the things that are important.
Choose Freezer-Friendly Meals
When batch cooking, choose meals that freeze well, otherwise they’ll spoil before you get a chance to eat them. Good options for this are soups, stews, and casseroles. Dishes like lasagna and chili are perfect for batch cooking.
By the time you get around to eating what you cooked, you may not remember what’s in all those containers. If you clearly label every container, there will be no “mystery dinners” to worry about. In addition to writing the name of the dish, write the date it was cooked. That way, you can keep tabs on what you should eat first.
Divide into Reasonable Portions
Consider the amount of food you and your family normally eat in one meal, then divide it up accordingly. That way, you can keep portions of food frozen for another day without worrying about leftovers spoiling in the refrigerator.
Clean Out Your Freezer
Once a month or so, take stock of what’s in your freezer. Move the older meals to the front so you can eat those first. It can be easy to forget about a container of food languishing in the back corner of the freezer if you never clean it out. You can also put a meal calendar on your refrigerator door where you write down the best days to eat each meal. Add some fresh-cooked meals to your calendar menu on nights when you have more time so you save your freezer meals for days when you need them the most.
Batch cooking is beneficial and adaptable to meet your needs. Try it and you may be surprised at how much money and time you’ll save, not to mention the lack of daily dinner stress.