Stress-free tips for stress-free cooking

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Stress-free tips for stress-free cookingWhen you think of work-life balance, the first thing that pops into your head is likely not meal planning. But how many of us stress over meal times – what to feed the kids for lunch, what to make for dinner? Batch cooking can save you a whole bunch of money and a whole ton of time.

There are two ways you can approach this, depending on if you decide to cook for one week or one month in advance. For one week in advance, you’ll need two hours of cooking time, plus an hour for shopping. For one month in advance, you’ll need about 8 hours every month, plus two hours of shopping. By scheduling this time into your calendars and committing to it, not only will you save time fussing and stewing over what to have for dinner, but you will save a lot of money too.

Popular items that work really well for big batch cooking are dishes that freeze easily and only require heating up like:

  • Stews and casseroles
  • Pasta sauce for a variety of pasta dishes
  • Curries and chili
  • Meat loaf and patties
  • Meat pies
  • Hot pots and soups

The trick is to put enough aside to cover your meals for two days, and freeze the rest.

Batch cooking requires a little bit of coordination when it comes to planning out your shopping list. Selecting the right ingredients so you have variety on top of simplicity is a skill, but there a few tricks anyone can learn.

Tips to batch cooking

  • Plan to cook at least 3 versatile dishes like curry, chili and meat sauce – variety and simplicity all rolled into one.
  • Create a shopping list and include enough ingredients to last you
  • Coordinate your ingredients – you can use ground meat in all 3 dishes like curry, chili and meat sauce
  • Buy in bulk to save money

The beginnings of all these dishes start out the same, so you could save more time by cooking all your meat at once, then splitting it up into smaller batches to season and cook accordingly. Make sure to reserve enough for dinner and leftovers, before you freeze the rest.

If you follow this method of batch cooking, you can come home to a stress-free meal every night. All you have to do is heat up dinner and you’ll be sitting down at the table in less than 20 minutes and that’s more quality time spent with the family.

Bon apetit!

For more tips on work-life balance, visit our website WorkHealthLife.

 

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