A Guide to batch cooking, freezing and saving money

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Want to save money, reduce waste and simplify meal planning? Here’s our guide to batch cooking and freezing, including some family favourite recipes to get you started.

Buying ingredients in bulk and freezing them is a smart way to save money, reduce waste, and simplify meal planning and preparation. From financial and practical, to health-related benefits, there are a good number of reasons to have a go at this tried and tested cooking method.

Batch cooking is the process of preparing large quantities of food in advance and then storing them in smaller portions for later use. This approach can save time, money, and effort as it helps to streamline the meal preparation process. One way to make batch cooking even more efficient is to buy ingredients in bulk and then freeze, preserving their nutritional value and keeping the food fresh. 

Here we take a look at the reasons you should try batch cooking and freezing, and some easy recipes to get you started…

Bulk buy to save money

Bulk buying carrots

One of the main benefits of buying ingredients in bulk is that it allows you to take advantage of lower prices and discounts that are not available when buying small amounts more often. This can result in significant cost savings over time, especially for ingredients that you use frequently. Additionally, buying in bulk can help you reduce the need to purchase pre-packaged or pre-prepared foods, which are often more expensive than buying ingredients in their raw form. In fact, according to The Mirror, you could save as much as £40 a week on a family food shop by cooking in bulk.

The practical benefits

shopping in bulk

Batch cooking and freezing meals is an effective way to make your time in the kitchen more efficient. Cooking in bulk will allow you to prepare multiple meals at once and store them for later use, eliminating the need to constantly cook and clean up every cooking utensil after every meal. Plus, portioning ingredients and freezing ingredients will significantly reduce the frequency of your grocery trips, saving you further time and effort. Batch cooking and freezing can also help to reduce food waste by allowing you to prepare and store meals in advance, using up ingredients before they spoil and preventing excess food from being thrown away.


The health benefits of meal planning

ingredients in tupperwear

In terms of health benefits, planning, portioning and freezing ingredients can help you gain more control over maintaining a healthy diet. By controlling portion sizes, you can ensure that you are consuming the appropriate amount of food each meal time. By cooking and freezing your own meals, you can control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in your food. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid the unhealthy additives and preservatives often found in processed foods, meal kits and ready meals.

Additionally, keeping a stockpile of frozen fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy diet even when certain fresh produce is out of season. This is because freezing preserves the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, so you can enjoy their health benefits year-round. Having pre-made meals in the freezer, also helps to avoid the temptation of ordering takeaway or eating unhealthy convenience foods when you're short on time or energy.

How to get started

frozen ingredients in freezer

If you are interested in trying out batch cooking and freezing, we would suggest beginning with a base of select ingredients that are particularly suited to freezing. Some examples include meats, vegetables, and fruits. When purchasing meats, it is important to note that not all cuts freeze equally well. For example, lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin, freeze better than fattier cuts, like ribeye. When it comes to vegetables and fruits, it is important to blanch them before freezing to preserve their texture and flavour.

It’s also important to properly label and store your ingredients to ensure that they remain safe to eat. Use freezer-safe containers or bags and label them with the date of freezing and the contents. It is also a good idea to use a vacuum sealer if you have one to remove any excess air, which can lead to freezer burn.

frozen ingredients

And if you’re still not sure where to start, why not have a go at one of our recommended recipes perfect for bulk cooking listed below and linked to a number of excellent BBC Good Food recipes: 

So why not give it a go; eat healthier, save time, and cut down on food waste. Next time you head to the supermarket, consider the multipacks instead of a basket-shop and freeze your ingredients for later use.

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