Batch cooking is a great way to save money and time when it comes to your meals. Preparing and cooking your food in advance is a perfect solution for families, students, and busy professionals, not to mention it’s great for meal planning when trying to eat healthy. Having your meals on hand means you’re also less likely to resort to takeaways, which is good news for your wallet! Here’s our guide to getting started with batch cooking.
Create a plan of what you want to eat and when. You might only want to batch cook your dinner, or you may want to include lunches and snacks into the plan. Having a good plan makes sure you aren’t left without vital ingredients and allows you to see what you’ll be eating for the week. Foods such as curries, soups, casseroles and chili are perfect for batch cooking. These can also be made in large batches to cover more than one day's worth of food, saving you even more money. If you have a large freezer, you might be able to get even more serious with batch cooking, and cook your meals for the month ahead!
Put aside a couple of hours one day in the week. This will be your cooking time for the entire week. As you’ll be cooking a lot of meals in one sitting, it can easily get messy and disorganised. It’s a good idea to prep all your veggies and meat at the same time, so you aren’t trying to cut onions while your soup or curry is burning! Begin cooking the meals that take the longest, so fill up your slow cooker and casserole pot first. While your saucepans are bubbling away, make salads, smoothies etc. You’ll find that the more you batch cook, the more you’ll get into your own routine that suits the particular meals you’ll be making.
Freezer bags take up less room in your freezer than tupperware, and it can be easier to find what you’re looking for. However, tupperware boxes will stop your food getting squashed and will neatly stack atop each other. You’ll also need to buy sticky labels to name your dishes and put dates on the food, keeping your meals nice and organised. We think it’s a good idea to invest in some large mixing bowls and a few extra chopping boards. This will help when preparing different meals at the same time, and is also great if you need to marinate a few different dishes for a couple of hours.
1. Put a couple of hours aside one day in the week to prepare your meals. This could be a Saturday afternoon or your Sunday evening. Put some music on and enjoy! This works out at far less cooking time than the usual 30 minutes - 1 hour each night.
2. Don’t freeze food that’s already been frozen, and ensure your meals are piping hot in the middle and thoroughly heated before eating.
3. Before you start batch cooking, clear out your freezer so you have plenty of room.