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I have been spending my Sunday afternoons batch cooking and it is changing my life. I know that sounds pretty drastic but it is true.
6 Ways Batch Cooking Is Changing My Life
1. It is helping my marriage
My husband currently works straight through lunch and dinner. He had this idea when he took his new position that he could come home at 7:30 and just eat our leftovers. Here was the problem with that plan.
There are no leftovers! Since my children are older I often get them to make themselves a simple dinner while I do more blogging work, then I either eat what they made, or since I am trying to lose a few pounds I make a salad or low calorie soup and join them.
None of these meals have leftovers, especially since I now have 2 teenage boys. These simple meals are also the type that really don’t reheat well.
Needless to say my husband was getting frustrated with the lack of food to reheat. His solution was to grab burgers and fries on the way home, or make himself eggs and toast and grumble about it…..which leads to point two of how batch cooking is changing my life.
2. It saves my family money
The hamburgers and fries on the way home was really eating up into my husband personal funds (yes we both have personal money but that is another blog post).
I was also still buying food for big meals like I use to when my husband was home at least 4 nights a week for dinner (he is now home just 2). When he is home I make things he likes because I know it makes him happy and I like seeing him enjoy it. This food was siting unused in our cupboards and freezer and therefore wasting us more money.
3. It allows me to cook stress free
Cooking dinner after a long week day stresses me out. I am tired after a long day and so are the kids. There are evening activities we need to get to. I have blogging work I have put aside during homeschooling hours I want to get to. The kids are in the kitchen trying to do their chores.
Sunday afternoons however, no one is going anywhere. I normally cook after my Sunday afternoon nap, so I am well rested. No kids need to get chores done so I can have the kitchen to myself.
Truth is I love to cook, I just don’t like doing it under pressure. When I cook all the week’s meals in one afternoon I completely eliminate dinner time pressure all week long.
4. It is providing me with a great time of learning
I spend my time in the kitchen with my Jawbone jambox and my iPod and I listen to Podcasts about blogging. By the time the two hours of cooking is done, I have enough food for my husband for the week, enough bake goods for the whole family for the week and I have gained knowledge of how to be better at blogging.
5. I manage to cook my way out of a job freeing up more time.
If I cook 3 big family sized meals for my husband for the week I can usually freeze at least one serving of each casserole, chili, or stew . Freezing just one portion of each meal allows me to take a week off a month and doing something else I enjoy.
I also have gained time once spent weekdays making dinner which has allowed me to take a kick fit class 2 late afternoons a week during a time I would have spent cooking.
6. It is helping my children learn to be independent
My children are currently 11, 13 and 18 and that means they are all old enough to learn how to cook. By having the more complicated dishes out of the way for the week, I have been able to teach them how to make basic simple food for themselves.
Yes they could join dad in eating leftovers all week long, but I normally make him casseroles and stews, since these reheat well, where as my children like “unmixed” food. Meat, veggie and potatoes, more like what I grew up with, so I am happy to show them how to cook that way.
Each month I pick a child to learn a different recipe and the child and I make it each week for a month so that by the end of the month they can do it all by themselves.
Slowly I am working myself out of a job and that is the point. I want my children to leave our home knowing how to care for a home, themselves, their spouse, their children and others.
A few things I want to make clear
I know it might seem like I am making myself be a short ordered cook, and in a way I guess I am, but please know that Sunday night the family all has to sample at least a bite or two of ALL the food I have made for my husband for the week and then pick their favorite and eat it that night for dinner.
Also know this works for our family and our different dietary needs, which I will spare you the details of.
I should also make it clear that we do still eat dinner as a family as often as possible. If my husband does happen to make it home by dinner hour I have a list of quick and simple meals that the WHOLE family likes made from ingredients we normally have on hand that I can whip up.
On my husband days off (except Sunday) he cooks for the family so that I can work longer and he makes a family friendly meal like his yummy bread machine pizza.
Do you batch cook? How does it help your family?
My favorite containers to divide up and store the casseroles and other dishes I make for my husband are these BPA free plastic containers by either Glad or Ziploc. I always keep my eye out during after Christmas sales for holiday themed ones often getting them for less than a dollar for a pack of 4 to 6 containers.
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