Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Batch Cooking for the Freezer

One of the ways I like to save money is to buy a large quantity of something, say hamburger, at a really good deal.  Like this week, I picked up 80% lean hamburger for $1/lb.  I don't know about you, but around here that is an awesome deal!!  My local King Soopers had marked the hamburger down this evening because it expires tomorrow (well now today since it is 1:30 am).  So I bought all 18 lbs they had available and put it in my freezer.  The hamburger will last approximately 4 months uncooked in the freezer according to the USDA (it doesn't go bad per se if left a bit longer, but will develop freezer burn, eventually it will go bad though) but my plan is to cook it all up this weekend and then put back in the freezer.

I am planning on making some meatballs with my sons (they LOVE making meatballs) and cook some up seasoned with garlic, onion, and a few herbs for meals like spaghetti.  I will also make some up as taco meat for quick nachos or burritos.  By freezing it in individual containers or freezer bags in approx 1 lb increments, I can just pull out what I need and thaw it for a quick dinner.  Since I also have about 4 bags of tortillas in my freezer, I will pull out a couple bags and make up some beef and bean burritos that my sons can just heat up in the microwave.

Two of my goals this year are  to 1) do a better job of menu planning and 2) use up the fresh ingredients I get from Bountiful Baskets (watch for a separate post about Bountiful Baskets soon) so I don't waste food.  I've been planning on menu planning for several months and think I've come up with a system I can work with. It's been a process because I wanted to have a stash of recipes I could pull from to create my weekly menus.  If I succeed in meeting this goal, I will post my menu plans and recipes on this blog.  Cross your fingers with me???

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