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Money-Saving Make-Ahead Meals -- Savings Experiment

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Money-Saving Make-Ahead Meals
After a long day at work, spending more time in the kitchen is the last thing many of us want to do. This is why batch cooking can be a great way to keep your household fed, without the daily stress on you and your budget. Here are a few tips that can help you make the most of your meals.

First, set aside one day over the weekend to cook. The food you make should yield enough dishes for about a week. Some foods that store well and are easy to make in bulk are: meats, soups and sauces, casseroles, veggies, grains and pasta.

Next, freezing is usually the best way to store and extend the life of your meals. Whenever possible, use freezer bags to save space. Just remember to label the date on there so you can keep track of things.

Now all you have to do is pick out your meal the evening before, put it in the fridge to defrost, and then simply reheat it when you get home. Even if you're not crazy about freezing entire meals, you can still store some key ingredients to your dinners to save money and prep-time.

One last way to maximize your batch cooking is to double your recipe. This is exactly what it sounds like. When you're making things like soups and casseroles, make twice as much and save yourself some work down the line.

Now while the concept is simple, watch out when it comes to spices and seasoning. These don't always react as well when doubling and you can ruin a good meal if you're not careful. For the best results, add your seasoning moderately, or better yet add them in once your meal is thawed and reheated.

So, if you're looking to slash your grocery bill and save hours of prep-time in the kitchen, give these tips a try. You'll see that while cooking in batch only takes a little effort, it can still yield big rewards.

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