Having a child changed how I cook. I added a few more quick and easy recipes to my box. Having another child changed it again. Take out, fast food... oh, wait. That's not cooking and it's expensive. If I get overwhelmed and resort to takeout while I am a stay at home mom, how can I add a full time job to the list and find time to cook?
Here's my plan to save money and eat food that is better for us, while not pulling my hair out. (Hopefully)
Step One: Meal plan every other Thursday for two weeks. Plan as many crock pot meals as possible for the work week. Plan 2-3 batch cooking recipes.
Step Two: Write a grocery list. Don't skimp on food. Saving a few $$$ at the grocery store can cost us a lot more if we end up eating out.
Step Three: Grocery shop. This may sound like an obvious step but I hate grocery shopping. I hate it so much that I avoid it, we end up eating out, thus spending way more $$$.
Step Four: The day of grocery shopping or the day after, prepare the batch cooking.
Below you will find my first attempt at mini batch cooking.
Quite a few recipes we make take browned hamburger. I bought hamburger in bulk while it was on sale at Meijer's, browned it, bagged it and froze it. This will decrease my time time spent preparing the meals.
Tacos are easy and quick. Plus, both of my kids will eat tacos without complaint. I noticed we've been buying a lot of taco seasoning. I have at least three recipes that use taco seasoning and so I found a recipe for taco seasoning and made some myself. This stuff doesn't have the additives in it, which is one step towards a healthier family.
I also use the ranch dressing mix recipe from this website. Saves $$ and it's healthier than what you buy in the store.
My husband and I need a quick breakfast to grab as we're heading out the door. (And something we will want to grab!) For this recipe, I brown a package of breakfast sausage and put it into a large bowl. I scramble a dozen eggs, cook and then add them to the bowl. I put a little oil into the pan and brown a bag of southern style hash browns. Add those to the sausage and eggs and mix in a little colby jack cheese. I put about 1/2 cup into a slightly warmed flour tortilla shell and roll it up. Then I roll the breakfast wrap into a paper towel, followed by tin foil and place into a freezer bag. Microwave 1 frozen wrap, in the paper towel, for approx. 1-1 1/2 min. This recipe made 14 wraps.
This isn't a batch cooking recipe but I made it while I was making the others and so I'm including the picture and the recipe. It's very yummy, so be careful!