Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bulk Cooking-is it worth it?

I love the idea of Once A Month Cooking/Freezer Cooking/Bulk Cooking-whatever you want to call it. Right now I am browsing my friend's book "Frozen Assets" by Deborah Taylor-Hough and thinking about what it will be like (oh the horror)! to move somewhere that doesn't have coupons in the picture. I figure it will happen, just when I don't know.

Cooking in bulk can be a great money/time saving alternative when you can get foodstuffs dirt cheap via couponing etc. The recipes in Frozen Assets for example use ingredients that can typically be found fairly inexpensively year round-nothing too exotic. Things like canned tomatoes, corn, ground beef, whole chickens, pasta are relied on heavily in those types of menus.

Life as a Mom has a great aricle about mini-bulk cooking (cook once, eat thrice) which is something I do regularly without putting much thought into. As a matter of fact a few nights ago I made spinach rice casserole for the first time (which we really liked!) and I made extra brown rice. Last night we had beans and rice with zucchini pancakes and I used the extra rice in that. Even after lunches we haven't finished all leftover beans & rice. I am making a basic homemade beef/veggie soup and am adding the leftover beans & rice to that. It reduces waste and meal prep is shortened dramatically. I think it took me ten minutes to prep the soup this morning in the slow cooker!

I bullied er...convinced my mom into doing some bulk cooking a year or two ago and it went okay, but I forgot an important element-cook what your family likes! Half the meals when to my parents and my dad isn't a huge chicken/cheese fan (likes him some MEAT!) and all the meals I choose were based around that. So it may be awhile before my mom tries that again with me! Anyway, I am thinking about trying bulk cooking again to get some practice in before we head off to begin training with Wycliffe.

Anyone else tried this? If so what did you think?


Seattle Moms Deal Finder said...

Over the next week, we are giving away five $50 giftcards to Safeway. Do you think you could help us to spread the word???


Rachael said...

Sure! I hope I win though! Thanks:)

Rochelle said...

I am excited to have stumbled over your blog today. I have a great friend who is a Mom with Wycliffe in Thailand.
Anyway I regularly cook in bulk and started doing so with a group of like-minded woman when I lived on an army base in Germany, no costco there! Just basic cheep ingredients.
But I am back in Seattle now and do alot of costco. I always cook 4 meals over the weekend and freeze them, I am having to work to put my husband through school right now so this allows him to take something out of the freezer and "make me dinner" while I commute home. I often do a roast chicken and vary on it but I often just share a few things between recipes and just cook them all at once and it still saves. When I did the month cooking we had 4 girls each found 5 recipes they liked and bought enough stuff to make them times 4, so we each made 5 things and took home 20 different dinners. all frozen flat as possible in freezer bags, fits in a normal freezer better than you would think. Happy to give you more idea if you like!

Rachael said...

Thanks for the thoughts/ideas Rochelle! Nice to meet you! I like the idea of getting a couple of people together and making huge amounts of a few recipes each. I hope I can find some people around here (or when we move to NC or Cameroon!) to do that with me!