Cooking in bulk saves money and time
Stock up your freezer by cooking twice as much of your favorite meals, and freeze half for another night.
Dishes that freeze well include:
- pasta casseroles such as homemade macaroni and cheese, baked spaghetti casserole, or lasagna
- desserts such as coffee cake, cookies, and pies
- vegetable side dishes such as broccoli/squash casseroles
- taco meat
- spaghetti sauce
Bulk cooking is the same idea on a larger scale. You spend a day or two cooking and fill your freezer with a variety of foods. I’ve done a small version of this before. It is a lot of work, and you need a lot of available freezer space. However, you can save a lot of money by purchasing your meat in large quantities.
Learn more about bulk cooking from these sites:
My favorite “cook and freeze” recipe
On a busy day, my favorite meal to throw together is spaghetti. I can thaw the homemade sauce in the microwave and have dinner done within 20 minutes. Lasagna is a close second, so I like to stock up on both.
The following makes about 1 large or 3 small lasagnas and 3-4 dinner’s-worth of spaghetti sauce. I have some great recipe’s for more complicated sauces, but this is the easy and quick version that I make most of the time.
First you need to make a large batch of Spaghetti Sauce
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- 3lbs of meat of your preference. I use:
- 1 lb. ground turkey, browned and drained
- 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained
- 4 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (look for buy one get one free sales on these)
- 1 large tomato sauce
- Italian seasoning to taste (I add about 2 Tbsps)
- 1 Cup of water
Simmer all the ingredients on low for about an hour.
- 1 box of lasagna noodles
- Small Ricotta cheese
- 1 package of provolone cheese slices
- 2 packages of 5 Italian cheese -shredded
Cook the noodles for about 10 minutes and drain.
Use a one cup measuring cup to scoop out a cup of sauce and spread it out to cover the bottom of the pan.
Alternate the following layers until you fill the pan:
Provolone cheese (rips into small pieces)
Sprinkle some shredded Italian cheese
Wrap up and label items for the freezer
After the lasagna had been made, the leftover sauce is frozen in dinner-serving sizes.
Prepare your food for the freezer by wrapping them in foil. Use a Sharpie to write what it is and the date. I wrote “SS” which stands for Spaghetti Sauce in my special shorthand.
Freezer to Oven
Bake the lasagna in a 350 degree oven for about an hour if frozen and 30 minutes if thawed.
5 minutes in the microwave will thaw the spaghetti sauce.