The time I joined my friend Ashley in her kitchen to make 15 dinners was an incredibly happy day for me. I kept dreaming of the 15 evenings I wouldn’t have to make dinner. 15 days I could sit on the couch and watch the news. Bulk cooking is a gift of time to yourself. With a little bit of planning, you can have dinner at the ready when life throws you a curveball. Check the end of the post for great resources.
How Bulk Cooking Can Make Your Life Easier
There are numerous situations in which bulk cooking makes life easier:
- Just think. Dinner can be cooking away in the oven or crock pot while you are busy at a meeting, or when you’ve been invited by your girlfriends to have dinner out. Your family is fed and you’re not even home.
- You’ll save on fast food-both money and calories!
- When you buy in bulk you save. Take advantage of store sales to stock up on ingredients.
- If a friend is ill or has an emergency, you’ll be the rock star who has a meal on hand for her!
- Create a more leisurely schedule. We go to the beach each year with my husband’s large family. Each kid in the family (my husband) is supposed to provide dinner for the entire group. I simply bring along a meal or two from my bulk cooking session-and I don’t have to cook for the entire week at the beach!
- You may feel more inclined to have friends pop over for dinner if it’s less hassle. Meal is already made. Now all you have to do is straighten up the living room.
How to Cook in Bulk
This can be as simple as choosing one of your meals during the week to double and slowly building up your stock. Or, you can plan one day a month or quarter for a bulk cooking session. It depends on your schedule and budget. I’d rather spend one day a month cooking while listening to podcasts for the benefit of not having to cook dinner when life gets hectic.I'd rather spend one day a month cooking while listening to podcasts for the benefit of not having to cook dinner when life gets hectic. Click To Tweet
- Plan which meals you want to cook in bulk. Stews, soups, and casseroles freeze well. Taco meat in bulk and shredded chicken for fajitas. Here’s a great article for you from Once a Month Meals about what freezes beautifully. (I never get tired of that reference from Steel Magnolias!) Also, check out 19 Awesome Tips & Tricks to Freeze Vegetables for more information on freezing.
- Double or triple the ingredients depending on how much you want to make.
- Stock up on gallon size freezer bags. Professional Organizer Tip: After you’ve put food in the bag, flatten it and freeze it. Then stand it up like an envelope in a bin for LOADS more room in the freezer. Groom + Style shares 10 awesome freezer friendly meals broken down by breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sweet!
- Plan for a morning or afternoon without distractions. While the kids are at school for instance. Or arrange a play date. This will be much more enjoyable if no one is pulling on your shirt.
- Invite a friend to join in the fun! When I did my bulk cooking session with Ashley, one of us cooked the ground beef while the other chopped vegetables. We got twice as much made and had a great time catching up while we were at it.
- Don’t forget to mark the meal and date on the freezer bag!
Another GREAT resource for recipes (and all things kitchen!) is Village Bakery. Be sure to check them out.
Great Resources for Bulk Cooking
Fix, Freeze and Feast by Kati Neville
101 Recipes for Preparing Food in Bulk by Richard Helweg
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Easy, right? Just a little planning and you’ve saved yourself time and money. Life becomes easier for sure! And that’s what I’m all about.
Welcome to calm (pre-made) dinners!
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