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Old 23-05-2010, 07:50 PM posted to rec.food.baking
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Default Freezer Cooking - A Great Way to Save Money on Your Monthly GroceryBill

Some people call this once-a-month cooking, once-a-week cooking, or
freezer cooking.  The names may be different but the concept is
the same.  You block out one day and do the bulk of your cooking
for the designated time period.  
This can really be a great money saver for those families who don't
feel like they have enough time to cook on weeknights and consequently
eat out frequently. This is also great because you can build your
weekly cooking around the sales, buying in bulk, or those items you
are able to use coupons to buy for pennies. 
If this is the first time you've ever done this, I suggest planning on
cooking for one week.  Carve out a day where you know you can
cook with minimal interruptions. 
Make a list of what you are going to cook for the week.  Try to
build some meals that are different but have similar ingredients -
perhaps a chicken stir fry that includes onions and bell peppers for
one meal and chicken fajitas that also include onions and bell peppers
for another meal.  They will taste different enough that it
doesn't seem like you are eating the same things over and over, yet
they are built around the same ingredients.  This saves you
preparation time and money. 
Purchase or assemble the ingredients you will need for your cooking
marathon.  To organize yourself, first look at all of your
recipes that you will be making for the week.  A prep list is a
great tool when you are cooking this way. Sit down with your
recipes and write down everything that needs to be done for your
cooking marathon. If one recipe calls for you to chop garlic,
write the amount of garlic down that you need. Then if a second
recipe also calls for chopped garlic, add the amount to the previous
"chop garlic." This will keep you organized and working on things
in the fastest way possible. Or let's say you are going to have
tacos and spaghetti this week.  You will need ground beef for
both of these.  Instead of browning beef once for tacos and then
a second time later that day for spaghetti, you'll want to do it all
at once in one big batch.  The same is true for cutting up
vegetables.  If three of your recipes call for chopped onion, cut
the onion you need for all three recipes rather than cutting it three
times. 
Once the items are cooked, you want to let them cool and then either
freeze the whole dish or cut them into individual servings and freeze
those.  The nice thing about the individual servings is you can
use these for dinners for one or to take your lunch with you. This can
be a tremendous money-saver.  Instead of eating out or buying
convenience items in the store you have a healthy and home-cooked
frozen entree to reheat at work.
Make sure you wrap things very well that are going in the
freezer. First wrap the dish with plastic wrap and then cover
that with foil. If you are freezing something in a plastic bag,
try to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible. Also,
label everything with the name of the dish and the reheating
instructions. 
To streamline this process for the future, keep the recipes and the
prep list all together in a binder. Once you get four or five of
these weeks worth of meals built up in your binder, you can start
cycling through them. This will save you even more time. You
won't have to gather recipes and make a prep list each time you do
this. Just pull out a week's worth out of your binder and make
those for the week.
With a little bit of ingenuity and planning, you can make home cooking
a huge time and money saver for your family!

Over 200 Low Calorie Recipes for the HCG Phase - http://www.hcgrecipes.tk/

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