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Batch Cooking to Save Time and Money

One of my favorite things to do to save time as a homemaker is to combine like tasks. When I can combined tasks to get more done in a shorter amount of time, I will. I love to cook, but I don’t always love all the time it can take to get tasks done. When I can I will batch cook to save time.

Batch cooking can save you time and money | Frugal Family Home

How Batch Cooking Saves Time

Batch cooking is just making more of an item to store up for future use. I will usually use batch cooking when meat is on sale at the store. I’ll buy the big packages of meat that are on sale and then get them ready for the freezer.

By dealing with the raw meat, which I hate to do, all at one time, I only have clean up once instead of many times. Which cuts down on the kitchen cleaning time.

I purchase large packages of meat and then divide or prepare them for recipes. Cutting up a large amount of chicken and then having it in the meat packages ready to go, saves so much time. When I’m ready to make the dish, all I have to do is thaw the meat package and drop it into the pan. No cutting and clean up needed.

I also cook meat ahead of time for dishes. I will cook chicken for casseroles and soups. I brown 5 pounds of ground beef at a time. It saves an extra step on so many recipes I make. It’s easy to drop the thawed browned hamburger into the slow cooker, add the rest of the ingredient and dinner is underway.

Save time and money with batch cooking | Frugal Family Home

How Batch Cooking Saves Money

I used to do once a month cooking. But more often than not some of the recipe called for ingredients that weren’t on sale. Driving up the cost of the meal. Being a frugal homemaker, that just didn’t sit well with me. But I did love having all of those freezer dishes in the freezer.

Instead of once a month freezer cooking, I batch cook when I find the main ingredient on sale. The main ingredient at our house is usually meat. So when I find a super good deal on chicken, beef or pork, I will buy as much as I can and stock the freezer.

Most of the meals I make for the freezer are meal starters. Which are packages of meat, cut up and ready to go in a recipe. Sometimes I will add a marinade and sometimes not, it just depends on the recipe. Sometimes I will make most of the meal like when I make chicken pot pie packages for the freezer.

By purchasing the meat only when it is on sale, I save a bunch of money and we always end up with a variety of meal starts in the freezer this way.

Do you batch cook? What items do you prepare for your freezer?

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11 thoughts on “Batch Cooking to Save Time and Money”

  1. I think that is why I’ve never done OAMC. I prefer to cook with sales. I like to keep browned hamburger and shredded chicken in my freezer, plus extra batches of chili. I always have some rolls in there as well as extra cookies and desserts, for when we get surprise company!

        1. I do rolls of cookie dough and balls. I find they hold up better in my freezer. But I have baked the cookies first and it is nice to have them already baked.

  2. My daughter and I are going to do a little batch/freezer cooking in a couple of weeks. I have a huge upright freezer and a regular fridge with a freezer on top in the garage but I’ve noticed it’s filled up with stuff you have to defrost and make. I want some meals in there that we can just pop in the oven, crockpot or microwave and call it good! I’m especially excited to get some individual meals prepped and frozen so they are super simple to heat up.

    I have a question, do you prep meals that you plan on using in the next 30 days or are they good for 2 or 3 months? We’ve never done this so I’m not sure how fast we have to use them.

    1. If you wrap / cover your freezer meals well, most should last for several months. I’ve been freezer cooking for years and never had an issue with my meals not lasting in the freezer. It is wonderful to be able to pull a meal out of the freezer and be ready to go. Have fun cooking with your daughter!

    2. Sakura, if I make meat packs (raw meat with the marinade over them) those last for me about 6 months without any problems, in zipper freezer bags. Fully prepared dishes, like lasagna, if wrapped well, should last 2-3 months. Fully prepared meals I usually wrap in plastic wrap tightly once they are fully cooled and then slip them into a zipper freezer bag. When I prepare the meal, I wash the zipper bag so I can use it again.

  3. I have frozen pumpkin in the freezer at the moment. 🙂 Other than that, I don’t do a lot of batch cooking, because we don’t buy a lot of meat. And we typically eat whatever I make either in one meal or for leftovers within a few days.

    But I do help save time in the kitchen by cooking pastas and putting them in individual bowls in the fridge for later that day or the next. This makes it easy when my kids are looking for something to eat. For myself, I cook a big pot of sweet potatoes and then divide portions in individuals bowls for easy meals over a few days. I really LOVE sweet potatoes, and I like that I can make a lot to enjoy throughout the week.

    1. Sandra, I do the same for our side dishes. If we will be having pasta, potatoes or salad I try to make enough for the whole week. Makes getting our dinner on the table so much easier.

      Sounds like you have a good meal prep system set up for your family. 🙂

  4. I prefer the batch cooking approach myself – as opposed to OAMC – but they are still a great resource for freezer recipes! In addition to the things already mentioned, I’ll batch cook things like Fried Rice, Pancakes, “Polish” Egg Roll Filling, browned sausage, a special Mexican shredded chicken and so on.

    I’ll take a break from it for a while, then I’ll be back at it, spending a large chunk of time on the weekends getting things prepped and in the freezer. I work full time outside of the home so I don’t often trying to do anything during the week. Unless I can make double of what we are having for dinner and freeze half!

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