Adventures in food prep to save time and money (PHOTOS)
I have a love hate relationship with cooking. I love to cook on weekends and hate cooking meals after work. For a couple of years, that meant spending way too much money on take-out.
Since my husband died and my daughter moved out, I've wasted so much food! It took me years to figure out how to cook for just myself. In my life, I've gone from cooking for a farm, to cooking for a family, to cooking for just myself. It has been quite an adjustment. With the help of a food saver and cooking for one groups, the last couple of years I've turned into the champion of getting every last bang from my food buck.
Once or twice a month, I food prep. Food prep to me is packing and freezing single portions of raw meat for making something down the line, along with cooking meals just for the freezer.
I decided to do a sheet pan meal "for the freezer". (That's what I say when I cook something I have no plans of eating that day.) I made chipotle peppers, onions and chicken breast. This is something I can use for fajitas, to go over rice, or to jazz up a regular alfredo sauce, and the tedious part is already done. Just defrost and re-heat.
When it comes to meat, I rarely go to the store with a meat in mind. I get whatever is a good price and roll with it. This week it was chicken, beef roast and sausage. I couldn't believe the great price on the roast. I divided the meats into single cooking portions that I can grab whenever I want, and not waste anything. Thing about making these single packs is that if I have company, I just grab 2, nothing wasted.
Almost every Sunday, I make a meal that I can have that night, then put the rest in the freezer for one of the many nights I don't want to cook. And I always make something for Monday night I can just stick in the oven. Monday nights are for Doctor Who, and I can't be bothered to cook with such important tv business to take care of.
In the gallery, I'll show you how I did my sheet pan for the freezer. I'll also show you how I divided up and packaged the meat, saved my supper from the night before for another day, and what I whipped up for Monday night supper. None of this can be done properly without a food saver. They run anywhere from $30 or so up to the hundreds of dollars. Mine came from Scheels, and it's just over $100. Worth every penny.
I got 19 meal starters in my freezer for $26 and 2 1/2 hours out of my life.