This is part of an extensive series on Freezer Cooking. Be sure to read the archives here and on my food blog Good Cheap Eats for the complete 411 on how to save money by “make-ahead and freeze” tactics.
Or just buy my book.
Without a doubt, convenience food items are well, convenient. They make “life as MOM” a little bit easier. And making your own freezer meals fills that need for quick and easy. But, did you know that “bulk cooking” can save you money?
Oh, let me count the ways:
1. Bulk cooking involves buying in bulk which often means less waste in terms of packaging and less expense to the consumer. When I purchased my ground beef for these meals, I got a reduced rate of $1.47/pound as opposed to $1.99/pound for smaller packages. Likewise, when I buy a HUGE can of tomatoes it costs a lot less than 12 smaller ones. Here’s what I spent:
$4.00 cream cheese
$2.00 lasagna noodles
$15.00 ground beef
$1.54 bell peppers
$5.00 canned tomatoes
$1.00 bread for crumbs
$1.00 spices (if that)
I spent a total of $42.79 + tax for the groceries that made the basis of 12 meals. That comes to $3.57/dinner! In most cases I added a side salad and bread, keeping our costs under $5 per meal — for a family of 7 eaters. (The baby just mooches off me these days.)
2. Cooking many dishes at one time saves on energy costs. Heating the oven to bake 75 meatballs takes as much energy as baking 15. Better to do them all at one time and save the energy.
3. Having a meal waiting in the freezer or thawing in the frig reduces the temptation to “run for the Border” or the Golden Arches. We can save a pretty penny by avoiding unneccessary fast food.
4. And lastly, time is money. Or so they say. Time is a valuable resource that often doesn’t have a pricetag, so if you’re not spending so much time cooking you’re freed up to do other things.
Got a great money saving idea? Share it with us!
Write about it on your blog and bring your link back here. Anyone is welcome to participate provided that both the blog and the post are family-friendly.
1. to add a link to LifeasMOM, so that your readers know where to find all the other good stuff that people are sharing. (It’s always good to share, isn’t it?)
2. to make sure that the link you share here directs us to your post, not the main page of your blog. You can find directions to do that here.
Looking forward to your great ideas!