Batch cooking helps you save time and money
If you’re on a low budget, batch cooking will help you to save money and time, as by preparing and cooking food in bigger quantities, you’ll save on energy consumption, washing up, cooking time and even ingredients! One study that was conducted to mark the 10th Great British Beef week found that 73% of people who batch cook do it to save time – as by doing it all at once, you save yourself the hassle of meal planning every day.
With batch cooking, you can more easily eat on a budget, by buying ingredients in bulk, as you’ll be meal planning in advance, rather than eating day to day. Instead of buying canned lentils or chickpeas, because the meal you’re cooking needs some pulses and then buying a can, which works out more expensive – you can order them in advance and grab them at a discount by the bag.
If you freeze the meals you prepare in individual containers, then you or another family member can also pull them out later and defrost them ready for use, before reheating them. It’s a better way to enjoy a quick meal than purchasing a microwave ready meal that’s laden with sugar and salt and it usually works out cheaper too.
If you are short on freezer space, you can consider preparing uncooked meals and then freezing the entire meal in plastic sealed bags, rather than having multiple bulky containers stacked high. When you are ready to cook, you can then simply defrost the bag and cook the contents, before serving up individual portions. Slow cooked meals such as beef stew, chicken casserole, or beef ragu are perfect for this type of batch preparation.
You can also cook up parts of a meal, such as rice, ground beef, or lentils then freeze them for later use. This is really helpful as it allows you to save on cooking time and prevents wastage from leftover food that won’t get eaten in time. If you need lentils for a vegetarian bolognese for example, then instead of having to soak them and then cook them first, which takes a while, you can just defrost your already cooked lentils in advance, then add them to your bolognese sauce.
It’s worth taking time to plan out some meals to cook up or prepare in batches in advance, as by incorporating any or all of these methods on a weekly or monthly basis, you’ll wind up saving yourself a lot of time preparing and cooking food.