Ever wondered how that one coworker always has healthy and delicious looking home-cooked meals waiting for him/her in the fridge every day? Sure, sometimes it’s just leftovers from the night before, but making it happen every day is going to require that you cook constantly or cook in bulk batches.
Cook in bulk the easy way
First off, get yourself a slow cooker. You can still cook in bulk without one of course, but a good slow-cooker will save you loads of time and effort. The slow-cooker really offers one main advantage to me. I simply load it up with food before I leave for work and set it to an 8 or 10 hour cycle. When I get home, I have a big batch of food waiting for me – and it’s perfectly cooked.
I’d say the easiest thing to cook in bulk using the slow-cooker is pot roast. Before work, I throw a roast, a large box of beef stock and various root vegetables into the slow-cooker. An 8 or 10 hour cycle results in a roast that melts apart into the broth. I add in whatever spices or sauces I want when I get home.
Save money by cooking large batches
Pretty self-explanatory, but buying meat in bulk will generally save you money. Large roasts are usually reasonably priced in the markets near me. Don’t be afraid to buy cuts of meat that still have the bone in. A long cycle in the slow cooker will melt meat clear off the bone.
You’ll save even more cash due to the fact that you aren’t buying lunch every day. Unless you’re terrible at math, it’s plain to see how buying lunch every day adds up. A decent meal near me is going to run around 7 bucks. That would be 35 bucks per week or more than 150 bucks per month just for lunch. I can easily spend less than 10 bucks on ingredients in order to make a batch of pot roast that will last me the week. 150 – 40 = 110 bucks I save every month doing this. Pretty significant for most people.
More meal ideas
Another easy way to have lunch for the week on a budget is to buy whole chickens. Get them from a farm if you can, but the ones at the grocery store will do. The chickens I get usually take about two hours to roast and come out delicious. Salt and pepper are all I need, but a little rosemary and sage never hurt either.
Learn to make some kick-ass chili. Get yourself some ground turkey, some diced tomatoes and some other canned goods. Add onions, corn, beans, peppers or whatever the hell else you feel like to the pot and simmer for a couple of hours. Brown the meat in a pan before you add it in, or go meatless altogether. There will still be a decent amount of protein in there if you use a lot of beans.
I hope these ideas help you out a bit and save you some money. If you liked this post, please send it along to your friends.