Friday, August 8, 2008

Cooking Ahead



I used to do once a month cooking and freeze a lot of meals but I just don't have the time or energy level to do that anymore. Instead, I just take time to fill my oven when baking/cooking so I am not wasting electricity and get the benefit of having extra food prepared. I am going to be more diligent now that I am focusing on trying to reduce all our expenses. Last night I made a run to Sams. I know that I can find food cheaper with a coupon but Sams is great to get things at a good cost without the time spent going through coupons and shopping different stores. I bought a 15 lb. bag of baking size potatoes to make twice baked potatoes for the freezer. It was near supper time and I was tired so I bought the 4 lb. frozen bbq pulled pork for supper. It was the first time we have tried it and it is really good. It came out to $2.71 a lb. which is not as good as homemade but good to have on hand for busy nights.

I had a large amount of tomatoes that were going to spoil. I blanched them and put them in ziploc bags to add to chili and spaghetti or soups. I also blanched my summer squash and zucchini and put it up in ziplocx. I am kind of scared to try it since I have not ever prepared it that way.

I bought 5 lb of ground chuck and am going to cook it up to freeze in 3/4 lb portions tonight. Two days ago I bought two whole chickens. I cut them up and baked the pieces with Greek seasoning. I pulled all the meat in large pieces off the bone and put it in quart ziploc bags. I boiled all the wing tips and backs and got enough meat for my husband to have a chicken salad sandwich for lunch. I froze two ziploc containers with a lid with the broth.

Once I get the basics frozen- ground beef, cooked chicken, pancakes, biscuits and french toast- I will add some other items. I would like to make calzones, burritos, lunch portions of chili and spaghetti and tacos. I want to try making uncrustables with different ingredients inside. I also would like to try making cookie dough. I have butter containers that I could put it in.

In my post yesterday I hope I did not give the wrong impression of our financial situation. We are in no way in trouble. It is just that if we continue on without reducing our bills back to the budgeted amount we are over budget and dipping into savings. I know how to do it. I lived many years on strict budgets. I have continued to be frugal but not in an extreme way. We have been able to be frugal by choice the last 7 or so years. It all comes down to choice: we all have a choice what we spend our money and time on. I would rather keep our food and electricity in check so that we can do an activity as a family. I would not like to live in a house where it is hot in the summer and you freeze in the winter to save money. I am here all day and it would be miserable. Thanks for your encouragement to those who left comments.

8 comments:

chelle's winks said...

Good luck...that's a great idea to plan ahead...I try to do it as much as possible but sometimes I make a run to Sam's too...

JadeMerie said...

I want to thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad that I can be an encouragement.

Dawn said...

You've had a busy couple of days! The payoff will be on those nights that dinner is so much easier because of the extra effort.

Blessings!
Dawn

kari and kijsa said...

Thank you so much for your prayers and wonderfully kind comments during this difficult time. Every word made and is making a difference as we begin this new journey.

Thank you so much for your words of comfort and blessing,
kari & kijsa

Anonymous said...

Hi,

As you put your frugal plan in action, can you keep us all posted on what is working and what isn't? Maybe something you do will help one of your readers.
Thanks!
Coleen

Drama Mama said...

I admire people who can cook and freeze like that- I wouldn't have a clue where to start

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

We have lots in common...I do the same thing (including the giving up on the OAMC.:) I do 4 meals in 4 minutes concept which has been much easier.

TheRoosterChick said...

I'm with you on the OAMC. I usually just double up as I go and slowly build up my reserves.