Thursday, April 26, 2012

Feeding a Family on a Budget, Part 3

Preparing Food Ahead I know some people will cringe at this one as well because they have visions of the once-a-month freezer cooking they’ve heard about, but that isn’t the only way to prepare ahead.

Can food. I don’t mean buy canned food, but to actually can it yourself. Having canned food available makes it easy when you have surprise company or what you planned didn’t work out for some reason or for those nights you know you will just need a quick meal. Many of the things I can I get for free from my garden or others share in their abundance or I buy at a reduced rate because I am buying in bulk.

When you are making one meal, why not just double it and freeze one. I do this often when making meatloaf or casseroles. It will save you time in that you are only doing the prep work once (and it doesn’t really take much longer to chop one onion instead of two or brown up two pounds of meat instead of one), and it saves money because you are maximizing the use of your stove, oven, etc. and you will have a meal already prepared for the nights when you used to go to a fast food restaurant or order pizza.

Cook up meat and freeze. Sometimes I will just brown up a bunch of ground beef and freeze in quart bags and then I can grab one quick for a casserole or a soup later. You could pre-chop veggies or mix the dry ingredients for your favorite recipes (pancakes, biscuits, etc.).

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