By Amanda Wilkes:
For so many years I lived alone and always disliked cooking because I unfailingly would have too many leftovers. (I’d be beyond disgusted with my spaghetti by day three!) I guess I just didn’t know any better, but why didn’t I think to freeze my oversized meals to eat at a later time? After having this epiphany about freezing my food, I realized that maybe having leftovers or purposely cooking in bulk wasn’t such a bad idea, so I decided to give it a whirl. Along the way, I learned quite a few things from the mistakes I made and from the research that I did online. Now my freezer is always packed full of instant meals that taste just as delicious as the day I made them! Below are some of the benefits that I have learned about cooking in bulk….
Saves Money — Instead of shopping for only what I was craving, I began shopping for sales and found myself saving a ton of money! Maybe I wouldn’t eat the sale item that night; however, I could use it in a bulk dish that I would eat later on, which ultimately is still saving me money. Also, by cooking in bulk, I find myself pulling items out of the freezer on busy nights, rather than paying a hefty price for a meal at a restaurant.
Saves Time — For any working individual, parent or caregiver, time in the evening can get tight. By freezing your meals ahead of time, all you have to do is simply let the dish thaw, then reheat it. I have found that meals frozen for months taste just as good and sometimes even better than they did the first night I had them.
Healthier Choices — Because you have already prepared food in your freezer, you now have the ability to make healthier choices. Pulling something out of the freezer, letting it thaw and reheating it takes the same amount of time — or less — as driving to a fast food joint where you will eat unhealthy food!
- Use glass or freezer safe food containers, or freezer bags rather than plastic.
- Cut up and dice everything for multiple recipes. For example, if you are cooking in bulk and more than one of your recipes calls for onions, garlic, etc., simply cut up enough of that ingredient to cover all of your meals, rather than make one recipe at a time.
- Cook enough staple items for multiple meals. For example, if there is a sale on ground beef, buy it in bulk (5 lbs. or so) and cook it all at once instead of each time you need it. Then divide it into 1-lb. portions, freeze and use it later.
- Once you have cooked in bulk (soup, stew, sauce, muffins, grains, veggies, etc.), divide into meal-sized portions for an easy fixin’!
I absolutely adore cooking in bulk and am so thrilled with how much easier and healthier my meals have become! What is your favorite dish to cook in bulk???
Click the link below to find out the best way to freeze certain bulk foods!