Monday, May 14, 2012

Save $1000 This Year: DAY SIX: Batch Cooking

I hope that everyone had an amazing weekend, the weather sure was beautiful! Welcome to Day Six in the quest to save $1000 this year! If you were following along last week you may notice that you potentially could already be on your way to saving $1000, but since not every point will work for every family/budget and the results will vary I have another whole week of posts for you! If you save more than $1000....even better!

Day Six's topic is Batch/Freezer Cooking, a relatively new concept to me, however it has certainly had a big impact on both my pocketbook and my health! I don't know if I was just lazy, uneducated in the concept, or lacking confidence in the kitchen (probably a combo of all three) but I never realized the impact that a little effort with my leftovers could have such a big impact.

In January I attended a Parent's Night on the subject of Batch Cooking and it gave me the extra boost I needed. I started small...previously when I made a pot of chili or pasta we would stick the leftovers in the fridge, maybe get a lunch out of them and the rest would inevitably go bad and get thrown in the garbage. I made a point to start freezing the leftovers (yes I know I should have been all along) and that gave us a quick and easy lunch or dinner- making us less likely to grab takeout when we didn't feel like cooking- a plus for both our budget and our waistlines! I have since began to double my batches so I have some to freeze (with help from Amy...THANK YOU!) as well as create meal plans that offer rollover options. Rollover options are things like having a roast chicken on night 1, using the leftovers for sandwiches for lunch on day 2, and then if you are super ambitious making chicken stock from the remainder for soup,etc. This month we even used up our yogurt that was not yet at expiry but we just weren't "feeling it" for breakfast anymore to make a batch of smoothies that we froze for a yummy treat! The kids LOVED IT! As I'm still trying to grow my knowledge on this subject you may also find this article helpful: Freezable Foods- yup, you can freeze that.

Even in my early stages of implementing this point the impact has been significant. I estimate that it saves me
 AT LEAST $20/month=$240/year
and I see this as one of the points that can continue to grow with some more education and practice to save me significantly more, and provide my family with less processed, healthier options that we can enjoy!

Total Savings Day 1+2+3+4+5+6=  $1652/year
 ***Today's assignment: Are there leftovers in your fridge that you can freeze? Don't forget about them! **

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