Dollars & Cents of Batch Cooking

My house is filled with frozen meals right now.

No, not Lean Cuisine or Publix frozen pizza. But, all sorts of delicious homemade dinners.

My mom, who just left on her return trip to Pittsburgh about 90 minutes ago, spent hours with me yesterday cooking all of those meals. I had been a little frustrated lately trying to make sure Gray and I ate decent meals (i.e. not pasta or items from the frozen food section) with busy schedules. Unfortunately, many nights we were coming home tired and not really wanting to make food. So, it would be frozen pizza or pasta or food that one of us picked up on the way home from some fast casual spot.

In terms of our waistlines and pocketbooks, this way of living wasn’t really working.

My mom gently reminded me that we could cook a lot of stuff and freeze it, which is what she has done for years. So, we went to the neighborhood Publix to stock up on ingredients and set to work.

We made:

This is my freezer right now:


So, here’s the financial breakdown of this trip. I spent about $111 at the store — it was probably closer to $100 if we take out the bug spray and crackers I got for my mom to have on her drive home.  If you take just the broccoli cheese soup, tacos, sausage dish and sloppy joes, that makes about 20-24 servings, depending on how big your serving size is.  That means, we were looking at anywhere from $4.69 to $5.55 per meal (using the $111 figure). But, that figure doesn’t even include 40 sausage balls and 27 energy bites.

It’s a pretty good deal. And though I wouldn’t refer to any of these meals as super healthy, it’s always healthier to eat at home than in a restaurant.

Also, because I’ve never posted it before, here’s my mom’s recipe for sloppy joes.

Ingredients: 1 pound ground beef, 1 large onion diced, 1 green pepper diced, 1 cup celery diced, 1 cup ketchup, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp salt

Directions: Brown meat and drain; add onion, pepper and celery. Cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Simmer for at least 30 minutes and serve.


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