Monday 9 September 2013

Only Cook Once a Month {& an Ombre Printable}

Well, I'm just now realising that being a mom is pretty tiring work.  Shocking, right?  I can't remember who it was, but I'm sure someone told me being a parent was the easiest job they'd ever had.  Just kidding.  I knew that motherhood would be tough.  What I didn't know, is how often I would resort to frozen pizza, grocery store Indian food, and Chinese take out in order to feed Jim and myself. At the end of every day, I'm wiped out.  I don't want to chop vegetables and handle raw meat. (And then voraciously disinfect the whole kitchen due to salmonella phobia).

All those insta-foods are pretty tasty in moderation, but eating them too often isn't good for the budget or the waste line.Yesterday, I decided enough was enough, and  I stocked our freezer with slow cooker meals for a month.  Everything is in freezer bags, labelled and ready to go!  

Obviously, before I got started, I needed to sit down and figure out which recipes I was making, and what ingredients I would need.  I used a shopping list sort of like this, but mine wasn't all pretty (and ombre) like this free printable I put together for you.
{Psst....This shopping list also coordinates with my printable Patchwork Meal Planner }

With each recipe, I added the ingredients to the list. Then, I just updated quantities of any duplicate items as I went along.  Before heading to the store, I "shopped" my kitchen to see what spices and ingredients I already had on hand.  I spent about £170 for 30 dinners for 3...and I'm willing to bet some of them will even have leftovers. That works out at just over £40/week, which isn't too bad if you ask me! 

Here are a few of the recipes that will be gracing our slow cooker over the next 30 days: 

slow cooker pork carnitas
Slow Cooker Enchilada Tacos with Chili-Lime Sour Cream {an easy "throw in the slow cooker and walk away" meal}
Make sure you head over and check out those lovely ladies' blogs for some more fantastic recipe ideas!

You can follow me on Pinterest if you want to see some more of the recipes I made yesterday.  I also used some "cheater" recipes that are basically just meat, veggies, and a jar of sauce. I did this with chili con carne, turkey jalfrezi, and some sauce that I'll use for slow cooker lasagna.

I'm not gonna was a lot of work.  Between the grocery shopping and the cooking, it took me just about all day.  I feel like it was worth it, because now I can feed my family well for the rest of the month without any hassle. Let's just hope that none of the recipes are a big fat flop!

 Do you like to do your cooking "in bulk"?  What other tricks do you use to stick to your weekly grocery budget?

I'm linking up at Give me the Goods & link party Palooza!

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