In this blog post by Mama and The Word, we will look at the benefits to batch cooking as a busy mum. Does it really save you time and energy? Is there a reduction in stress at mealtimes too? Can batch cooking help you with your meal planning and prep whilst saving you time and giving you flexibility. As well as enough meals to feed all the family each week. Make sure to read to the end of this post, and don’t forget to grab my free guide
Hi I’m Gem
I am a busy Christain wife & mama. I have been married for the last 15 years to my best friend. We have four wonderfully individual children together, 15, 13, and 4 (x2).
We have lived in two different countries, traveled halfway around the world with our children, and back again. Experiencing some unique cultures, languages, and people. I found God along the way too.
It’s now my mission to share that journey with you and help you in your journey with God, your family, and your kitchen too. By giving you the tools and resources to help you grow closer to the Lord, understand your family more, and develop your skills in the kitchen.
Each of us has a god-given gift or talent that he created us with for His purpose. And if this is your first time visiting Mama & The Word, put a heart in the comment box below so I can officially welcome you to the community.
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You will find that this post will walk you through the benefits of batch cooking as a busy mum. Whether you are cooking easy recipes or more complex dishes.
Batch cooking is a great option as it helps you save money on food costs, develop your time management skills, and allows you to produce family dinners in less time.
Whether you have young children, older children, sports activities, clubs, homeschooling, or homework on top of work as well as running a family home too. Then you will know just how much time is left to think about dinner?
Let alone make the dinner and all the tidying up that comes with it too. Cooking in larger quantities can cut down your time spent in the kitchen and save you time elsewhere when you need it most.
Why Meal Planning As A Busy Mama Can Save You Time & Money
If you enjoy planning your family meals then you can incorporate your batch cooking into your meal planning to ensure you have a variety of meals to eat over the week or coming month.
The benefit of meal planning is that it allows you to make meals to keep for the following week or just as an emergency backup.
These meals can then be frozen once cooled and used as freezer meals as they will require little effort to defrost and reheat.
Freezer bags or plastic bags also provide a great way to freeze excess soups, sauces, bread, cakes, large batches of rice, or fresh pasta.
Read More On Meal Planning Here: Beginner’s Guide | How To Meal Plan For Your Family or How To Budget Your Family Food Shop As A Busy Mama
Why I Began Batch Cooking
After finding myself rushing from one task to the next and then struggling to get dinner on the table in time I decided that I needed to give batch cooking a try.
With a husband, two teenagers, and twin pre-schoolers meal times are always busy. Finding ways to help make mealtimes less stressful is a win-win as far as I am concerned.
So while I can’t come and help you with homework, childcare, or other daily tasks. I can help you by telling you my batch cooking tips and tricks to help save you time, energy, and stress whilst keeping your budget in check too!
And if you want to know more good tips on Meal Planning then read my post on MEAL PLANNING
The Benefits To Batch Cooking As A Busy Mama
There are numerous benefits to batch cooking especially as a busy mum. Firstly if you are cooking one meal, doubling up the quantity doesn’t take any longer but you will have two meals prepared instead of one.
If you want to cook larger quantities then you can also do that. If you find a special on meat or vegetables then you can cook it and portion out the meals into storage containers or Tupperware.
Meal prepping is another great way for busy people like us to save time in the kitchen. This means that you can prepare all the meal components and then place them into containers or freezer bags ready for when they are required.
When your batch cooking is complete then you can fill up your containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you want to eat the ready-made dishes.
In just a couple of hours, you can have enough food for an entire week.
Why You Should Label Your Batch Cooking & The Benefits
Make sure you label the food items before freezing them for another day. This will allow you to ensure that your food is used within the correct amount of time.
Here is a really helpful download for how long food items can be stored and when they should be used by. Food Storage Chart: 2018-03-06-FoodStorageCharts-English (fda.gov)
It also means less washing and less cooking in the long run.
With batch cooking, you can cook a basic recipe of minced beef, onions, and then divide it to make a couple of chili’s and a few lasagne’s or some cottage pies and bolognese for each midweek meals.
Cook Once Eat Twice
Cooking twice as much ground beef, chicken, pork, lamb, or plant-based product takes the same amount of time.
However, you can save the additional amount and freeze it for the following week to use when needed. All you need to do is defrost and then reheat.
This will mean that you have easy meals for the following week as required. I also love to use my slow cooker recipes too. When time is short I can do all of my meal preparation and then add it all to the slow cooker to make nutritious meals for all the family.
It does all the work for me then while I work. It is also really versatile and I can make soups, stews, and casseroles. As well as a large batch of rice, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and curries too.
The size of your family will also determine the amount of food shopping that you will require for your menu plan each week. As well as the main ingredients and the amount of time you want to spend cooking.
You should also consider what meals you want to make. Do you want family favorites or more healthy options? Or do you want to try different meals or even reduce your food waste?
Useful Kitchen Items For Batch Cooking
You will need some good-sized dishes or containers for your meals that are freezer and ovenproof. This will mean that you can use them to freeze meals or reheat them in the oven or microwave.
There are so many different designs and styles available to choose from that will cater to every budget.
From the basic plastic containers with lids to Pyrex glass dishes with plastic lid tops to resealable silicone bags even for soups and sauces, the list is endless.
My advice is to see what works best for you and your budget and family. However, if you want to know my favorites then check out the link below.
The slow cooker for me is a godsend for when I am having a busy day. Or I can use it for overnight cooking. It can make Soups, Stews, Casseroles, and Curries.
These are great for cooking big batches of sauces, stocks, soup, and stews.
Pots & Pans
You need a mixture of sized pans for your kitchen. Look at your budget but good quality pans are a sound investment for your kitchen as they will get a lot of use, especially with a hungry family.
I love my food processor and it is used in my kitchen for a lot of different tasks each week. From slicing to grating, whipping, and blitzing. I have a Kitchenaid and I absolutely love it and wouldn’t want to be without it as it makes quick work of most jobs.
A blender can help process large amounts of smoothies, purees, and soup amongst other delicious food items.
No kitchen should be without a good set of quality knives. Especially where batch cooking is concerned as you will have plenty of chopping, dicing, and slicing to do.
Find ones that feel right for you. They should have a good weight and be comfortable for you to hold. They should be very sharp so take care when using them.
Remember the knife should be doing most of the work and a blunt knife is a cook’s worst tool and is more likely to cause you to be injured.
It may be one of the most basic items in the kitchen but it is one of my favorites. You will use a wooden spoon for a lot of tasks.
I try and keep spoons for sweets such as baking and separate spoons for savory dishes.
Mixing bowls of all sizes can be used for so many jobs within your kitchen when you are cooking. They are especially useful for when you are batch cooking too.
Glass, ceramic, metal, and plastic bowls are all useful to have in your kitchen. These can be used for sauces, oils, vinaigrettes, dough, fruits, vegetables, meats, pulses, and legumes.
A variety of chopping boards are good to have on hand for fruit, vegetables, dairy, fish, meats, cooked or raw. The chopping boards can be wooden, glass, plastic, granite, or even marble.
How Batch Cooking As A Busy Mama Has Helped & The Benefits It Has To Our Family
Batch cooking is great for any mum. Whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mummy we all have busy lives. I found that it made it easy to create healthy family-friendly meals.
Batch cooking has allowed me to have additional meals to hand especially on those extra testing days. It also avoids the need for takeaways and fast food and has reduced food waste.
Meal planning and batch cooking helped our food budget as well as my stress levels. As you get into the swing of batch cooking and it becomes second nature you will see that having meals prepped is not only time-saving but helps you to make healthier food choices easily.
The hard work is already done. It will also allow you flexibility as you can change your mind if you prefer a different meal as most things will be planned and prepared ready to defrost and reheat.
Homemade Is Better For Your Family
Making your homemade food saves you money, it’s usually tastier and better for your health. It will usually have less sugar and preservatives than store-bought versions.
Cooking in batches can be done in an entire day or you can spread out your cooking to fit in with your schedule. I started by cooking up double the amount I required for each meal I made.
These extra meals could then be frozen. Alternatively, when I have enough time I will cook on a Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon whichever suits our family best and then I will make up a few different dishes that can be frozen in batches for the following days or weeks ahead.
What do you love most about batch cooking? Or have you tried batch cooking? Has it made a difference to your mealtimes? Let me know in the comments below.