January 10

Cook,Eat, Save, Repeat – How To Save Money By Freezing Thrifty Meals

Next to the mortgage, our biggest monthly expense is food, so it makes sense to try to reduce how much we spend on that.  It’s not rocket science:  buy cheap ingredients, cook them yourself, don’t eat more than you need to.  But…

utencil-knife-vintage-GraphicsFairy2utencil-fork-vintage-GraphicsFairyI don’t want to cook every day; I don’t want to cook any evening (which is when a hot meal is most welcome in our house) and I don’t always have time for cooking in the morning.  As for cooking breakfast every day, or standing making packed lunches in the pre-school-run chaos – not my superpower. The solution I am going to embrace each week is to cook meals, pack lunches, and bake snacks, but only once a week, in bulk.  That  way we can eat one helping now, save the rest in the freezer and eat it again (and again, and again) on other days.

Let’s start with lunches and snacks:  these seem an easy first step.  Heck, lunches don’t even require any actual cooking!  At the moment for us, lunch is a sandwich at home for Tiny Tartan and me (good and cheap), a sandwich from the M&S round the corner from the office for Tartandad (good – not cheap) and a school meal for Tartanboy (cheap – not so good).  The two bought meals cost around £5:  that’s £25 a week!  I know the two homemade lunches don’t even come close to that, so clearly there are savings to be made – potentially over £50 a month – by making sandwiches for everyone.  Tartandad and I are not big snackers but the boys get through ninety little snacks a month – more if they have friends over.  Even bulk-buying snacks from supermarket basic ranges adds up – and I do worry about the salt, sugar, trans-fats and almost total lack of any actual nutrition in them.  Again, room for improvement.

So that’s this week’s new habits – batch prepare one packed lunch and one snack each week.  The aim is to make five times as many lunches and ten times as many snacks as we need for one day.   As I get into this habit, by the fifth week I will have five different lunches a week stashed in the freezer, and five different snacks to eat twice a week.  And no more 8am panics about where to find change for Tartanboy’s school lunch.  Unless I forget to defrost them…

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Posted January 10, 2014 by tartanmum in category "Batch A Lunch", "Batch A Snack", "Cook, Eat, Save, Repeat

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