I used to batch cook regularly, but somehow seem to have got out of the habit. However, I need to get back into it as batch cooking makes a lot of sense when you are eating on a budget.
Saving money and time
Batch cooking enables you to buy large packs of everything more cheaply. Although initially it takes a little more time to cook a large batch of something rather than a smaller amount, the difference is minimal. But then it saves so much time! If you have lots of batch cooked meals in the freezer but not much time to cook, it can be a life saver.
When you know you have a freezer full of meals from your batch cooking efforts, you are much less likely to give into those ‘let’s get a takeaway’ moments too, saving yet more money.
You can ensure you have healthy food for a ping meal when you need one, rather than something over processed, packed with salt and sugar, packaged in unrecyclable black pots.
With this in mind, this week’s meal plan includes some meals that will be from this weekend’s batch cooking efforts.
Batch cooking and this week’s meal plan
Spaghetti Bolognese with salad. Bolognese is an obvious starting point for batch cooking I think. You can mix it up and it as a base for a chilli or cottage pie if you fancy that instead of as a pasta sauce.
So I have bought in some large packs of lean mince, peppers, canned chopped tomatoes, celery and garlic for this purpose.
Slow cooked chicken curry. Again, I will make as large a batch as I can fit into the slow cooker and freeze what we don’t eat for another day.
Spicy vegetable and chick pea stew. This is such a simple and comforting dish which freezes well.
Spanish omelettes, made in a frying pan then finished off under the grill, with a simple carrot salad. Obviously, I can’t batch cook this one, but it’s quick and easy.
Nut roast. I will make a large one, slice it and freeze the slices individually. I will probably use Sarah Brown’s cashew nut and mushroom recipe, but I do have a bag of mixed nuts so might improvise a bit.
That’s enough batch cooking for one week! I will, however, make enough dinner tonight to eat tomorrow as well. I love a night off cooking on a Friday. So tonight’s dinner will be stir fried vegetables with chicken and noodles.
You guessed it – stir fried vegetables with chicken again. I might mix it up a bit with rice instead of noodles.
Meal planning has long been part of my strategy to keep our food costs down, as explained in this post. But batch cooking should definitely be a tool I use again as I am busy and it saves so much time.
Do you batch cook? What are you eating this week?