Batch Cooking: A Strategy for Singles

If you are single, or have a smaller family of just two or three people, you may often find yourself having to cook many small meals, or single cooking.  But have you ever considered the many benefits of batch cooking and saving the leftovers for later?

If you prepare more food than you would normally eat for the current meal you will be rewarded with tasty healthy lunches for the next day or, if frozen, a hassle free meal at a later time.  And by simply doubling or tripling what you would normally cook you will save money, resources, and time.

Don’t believe it is worth the hassle?  Read on!

Save Money with Batch Cooking

By preparing extra food when you cook you will save money.  For starters, you can use the ‘leftovers’ for your lunch the next day, which is much cheaper (and healthier) than getting fast food, take out, or going to a restaurant for lunch.

By preparing extra food you are more likely to take advantage of bulk food specials… buying a single chicken breast can be expensive whereas buying a four-pack can be cheaper per ounce, for instance.

Finally, by cooking larger amounts of food at once you can use up entire pieces or containers of certain ingredients, especially produce, meaning you are less likely to have expensive food waste (I have recently read that many North American households have as much as $500 in food waste each year) when you accidentally forget about that half a tomato or partial jar of sauce in the fridge!

Save Resources Cooking in Batches

Preparing food in bulk is a great way to energy resources such as gas, electricity, and water.  You will save gas by only making one trip to the store to buy ingredients.  Additionally, if you are able to buy larger quantities of food you are also saving resources in the food’s packaging and the transportation to get it to your local grocer.

When you cook one large meal instead of several small ones, you will save electricity or gas since you only have to heat up your range or oven one time to cook the meals.  And by preparing several meals at once you are only washing your dirty pots and pans once, rather than multiple times.  Every little bit helps when you are trying to live a greener life!

Save Time (and Sanity) with Batch Cooking

We each have a limited number of minutes in each day.  By cooking two or more meals at once, you are able to better conserve your time and allocate those extra minutes to other tasks that need done.   Let’s face it, most of us are stressed enough with our other real life responsibilities that anything we can do to save some time will also save our sanity!

Do you enjoy leftovers?  Have you discovered any additional benefits to preparing extra food to save for later?  What objections do you have to saving your extra food for future meals?  I want to hear your thoughts on batch cooking!

 This is an article written by Denise @ The Single Saver.  The Single Saver offers money saving tips for singles and small families.  

 

31 comments to Batch Cooking: A Strategy for Singles

  • I generally only cook dinner one or two times a week, and eat leftovers the rest of the time. My fiance doesn’t mind leftovers, but he generally won’t eat the same thing two days in a row (I’d eat the same thing all week if that’s what it took to get rid of it) so sometimes I’m the only one eating leftovers. I grew up eating a lot of leftovers, though, so it’s never seemed like a special frugal trick to me.

    I do try to cook double batches of meals at the beginning of a new semester and stick them in the freezer for times when I am too busy to cook from scratch. It save me from having to buy fast food or convenience food (or eating junk food from the cupboards if I don’t even have time to stop at the store) and I get healthier meals when I need them most.

  • I’m a huge fan of batch cooking, mostly because I’m usually too busy to cook every night, so it’s helpful to just have something ready. What I found really useful was to freeze things in individual glass jars. Before, I’d freeze say, soup or spaghetti sauce in a large mason jar, and then I’d always be hesitant to use it, because did I really want to eat all that soup? Now, I freeze it in 250 ml mason jars, and it’s super handy. I even stocked up the fridge at work with them, so I can forget about bringing lunch sometimes!

  • YES! My wife and I live by this motto… We cook two big meals on the weekend and eat left overs for dinner throughout the week. Not only does it save a lot of time (especially when you are hungry after work), but money as well.

  • We have been batch cooking for years and love it. We also save our left overs and on many weekends we cook ahead for the future. Our freezer is primed and ready with portioned out meals that we can use for lunches at work and quick dinners when our schedule is busy. I love it because we are always guaranteed to be eating something healthy- even when in a rush.

  • Although my wife only cooks for the two us, we still have leftovers for lunches. There are many times we freeze some of the food for fuuture use particularly if it is something like a lasagna.

  • I’m pleased so many of you share my love of left-overs! Actually, I sometimes think the meals taste better a day or two down the road then they did when they were just made. I have a relative who absolutely refuses to save any food… instead she will toss the left-overs and get take-out for her lunch the next day. Such a waste!

  • Mid Life Miser

    Now that thew colder weather is setting in, we’ll start doing some batch cooking on items we don’t mind freezing and using later….chili, soups, spaghetti sauce, etc.. For what ever reason, we tend to be winter batch cookers.

  • Marks Spencer

    Some people find that batch cooking at the weekend is a way of providing more free time in the week. Preparing and then deep-freezing dinners means that food only needs to be cooked each evening. Sometimes it’s worth paying for help with ironing or cleaning so that home time can be relaxed and enjoyed.

  • Even if you are not single or a small family batch cooking is worthwhile. I regularly batch cook for my family of 5; it is great to have something homemade to go to on a busy night rather than take out. Great post!

  • If you add bulk purchasing (and storing) to bulk cooking, that frees up a lot of time too…

  • YFS

    Batch cooking is the way to go. I cook my meals for the week on Sunday. Saves me time, money, and effort. The other thing I do is, I eat really boring. Chicken/veggies. That my goto meal. So, it makes since to cook in batches.

  • Nawwwww – hate leftovers. Hubby actually won’t eat them unless I change them up somehow – so – I freeze the raw stuff in small batches so I can cook for 2 (which was hard to learn after cooking for 4 for years).

  • We had NY Strip steaks for dinner on Sunday, delicious! I cut some of the steak into strips and added romaine lettuce, red onion, cheese, carrots, and tomato and had for lunch today.

    • Last night I sauteed some onions, green pepper and garlic. De-cased some mild italian sausage, chopped some lettuce up. Loaded sub buns up with all of those items + cheese, light mayo and mustard and voila! Hoagies for supper.

      I made enough for lunch tomorrow – can’t wait – soooo yummy.

  • We did a lot of batch cooking, and food prep, to freeze, prior to lil’ SPF arriving. We also got some meals from my Step-Mom as well. These have really saved us from ordering take out when we have been too busy / tired / occupied with the new addition.

  • The wife always cooks dinner (I am terrible) and she makes 1.5 servings…1 for each of us and then a half for lunch for me! Fantastic set up that saves me 12 bucks a day on lunch

  • Great stuff, we do this often around our house :)

    Will tweet!

  • I have tried this route before and it certainly did save money. It takes a lot of work to plan out what you will need and planning for the right portions for the life of the leftovers. I was happiest with doing a meal that could cover two lunches and dinner the night I cooked.

  • I love doing this–both when I was single and now with just the hubby and I. Here’s an example: I make a butternut squash mac’n’cheese once every other week or so, and you use pureed butternut squash in the recipe. So, once every other month I bake the squash, puree it, and measure out 1/2 cups into freezer bags. On a week night I just pop one of the bags into the pot and have homemade mac’n’ cheese in about 20 minutes.

  • I really need to start doing that. I think the reason I dont is because of time constraints, and buying food just seems so much more convenient. It hurts my bank account at the end of the month tho! The days that I find time to make food are the days I feel extra productive.

  • Being single, have to say this works very well. Rarely will I buy something for just one meal when I can get enough for 3 or more people at a discount. I enjoy cooking but this helps with having those quick, lazy meals every now and then.

  • Totally agree with this! I’ve been doing this for a long time now and love it. Having some good 1 cup containers to store your leftovers in to freeze is a big help.

    I generally cook one large meal on Sunday and I divide it up into several smaller containers. After doing this for a few weeks, I have several of my own “frozen” meals on hand that are much cheaper than buying in the store.

    Great post!!!

  • I love batch cooking… Soups, chillis, lentil stews and meatballs work well for us. I don’t do this as often as I should. Maybe this new year, I’ll get back to it!

    Besides no cooking, Another selling point for me is that I don’t have to cleanup that many times. :)

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