Batch cooking. It’s a great way to save time and money.
And I am terrible at it. Terrible!
Of course, part of the problem is that it’s just me cooking for myself. I’m not cooking for anyone else. So a casserole that serves 4-6 people is going to last me for a week. If I’m willing to eat the same thing everyday, anyway.
Over the weekend, I made my favorite eggplant parmesan recipe. It’s light and healthy and freezes exceptionally well. And I love it. So I probably will finish it by the time the week is over. It’s been great coming home and knowing that there’s good, nutritious food for dinner, and all I have to do is pop it in the microwave. Clearly, I should continue this trend of cooking on the weekend, maybe even cook two or three things, and then freezing it so that I have options for the next few weeks. And yet, I never do it.
I think part of the problem is that I always make the same few recipes when I try to cook for the week, so I just get bored with them. Sure, I can eat eggplant parm for a week, but I don’t really want to eat it next week too. I have a lot of cookbooks at home, and I’m tempted to take two of my favorite healthy cookbooks (Crazy Plates and Looney Spoons) and try to make every single dish in them. Maybe not the appetizers or desserts, but everything else. I’m sure I won’t actually accomplish that, but instead of always making the same dishes, this way I can try new things and batch cook all at once. And be healthy – that’s key for me.
I’m in awe of people who cook one day a month and then feed their families for the next four weeks. I don’t know how you do it. But I’m sure it frees up a lot of time and saves money too. I suppose it helps if you have a big freezer, but either way, it’s definitely an accomplishment. Maybe someday. For now, I’m happy to feed myself for a week.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.