Big batch cooking for your budget

You may already know the benefits of buying things in bulk when it comes to trimming your grocery bill. But when you get those groceries home, did you know that you can really benefit from big-batch cooking as well?

Big-batch cooking can be a real time and budget saver, but you’ve got to plan ahead.

Plan before you start

You’re not just putting together a grocery list; you’re compiling a specific grocery list to meet a specific goal.

You can approach this from a few angles. You can either seek out recipes with the sole purpose of stocking your freezer with multiple batches, or you can do the “eat one- freeze one” strategy.

Either way, select four or five recipes that suit these strategies and go from there. You’re essentially getting two week’s worth (work weeks) of meals out of the way. Once you’ve got the recipes in hand, make that list!

Stick with what you know

Now is not the time to experiment with foods that you’ve never cooked before, are unsure if your family will like or that you are unsure if they freeze well or not.

Don’t forget that you are making a lot. And how heartbreaking to waste all that time, money (and food!) if you can’t use your meals for the purpose you intended.

Use inexpensive meat cuts where you can and undercook veggies, as you’re going to cook them partially again when you reheat.

The whole package

When you’re making your list, don’t forget things like freezer bags, labels and reusable containers. You can’t freeze a bunch of stuff if you’ve got nothing to put it in , right? Beware of freezer burn as another food waster and budget buster.

Don’t forget to label dishes with ingredients or name of dish, along with date you made it.

Prep time

Any chef will tell you that when cooking in large batches, you’ve got to get your kitchen organized. Get all your ingredients out first. Use small appliances (food processors, etc.) to aid with chopping.

Use smaller bowls for each ingredient. Clean as you go too. It will save you a huge amount of time and headache!