According to over 300 mums we surveyed, a top money saving tip is to bulk-cook meals from scratch. This way you can freeze portions, have it for lunch the next day, or reuse in an inventive new way!
But is it really that simple when you’ve a fussy eater, a vegetarian and a two and a half year old nephew to cook for?
Here’s what I cooked on Sunday:
- A beef stew (cooked with a bottle of Guinness, half a cow and some veg)
- A potato gratin (cooked with 600ml of double cream, a healthy dollop of butter and a thank you for the waistline nod to Nigel Slater)
- A vegetable lasagne (cooked with three types of cheese and a bucket full of veg)
- A roast chicken (cooked with lemon and garlic)
That night we had stomach ache.
The plan is to not cook, or cook very little, for the rest of the week: the stew can be eaten with rice and as a filling for jacket potatoes. The potato gratin is a side for the chicken and a side to a steak I can fry in two minutes. The chicken can be used as a sandwich filling or in a quick stir fry. And the poor vegetarian (that’s me) has to eat from a large vat of lasagne until she can bear it no longer.
The shop for this cook-off was less than £50 (with a few kitchen staples) and it took me around two hours to cook the lot. The stew’s a simple Jamie Oliver recipe that takes ten minutes to prep and then you leave to simmer for three hours. You can just throw the chicken in the oven. The potato gratin takes a bit of potato peeling but then it’s just seasoning and covering with cream and parmesan. The lasagne take a little love with a good cheese sauce and 20 minutes of cutting vegetables, but it is very tasty.
I’ll let you know how it goes this week. I may not be saying this on Friday, but so far my Sunday cooking afternoon was well worth it and it was for a good cause – Food Revolution Day, educating and inspiring the nation about food!
If you have any bulk cooking tips, do let me know.