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Batch Cooking 101: A Guide to Stress-Free Meal Planning

Batch cooking is a great way to save time and money while ensuring that you always have nutritious meals. It's like batching any other task – it allows you to do multiple things simultaneously, saving you time and energy. So, if you're looking for an easy way to plan weekly meals without spending hours in the kitchen daily, batch cooking might be the perfect fit.

How Does Batch Cooking Work?

Batch cooking prepares larger quantities of food at once and then stores them in single-serving containers. This makes it much easier to create healthy meals quickly, as all ingredients are pre-prepared and ready to be combined. Not only does this make mealtime easier, but it also saves time and money – since buying bulk is typically cheaper than buying smaller amounts of food.

Additionally, batch cooking ensures that you always have an array of healthy dishes on hand – grab your prepared food from the fridge or freezer and reheat it when needed. This helps eliminate last-minute trips to the grocery store or excessive takeout orders. Lastly, batch cooking is a great way to reduce food waste – since most recipes yield more than one serving of food.

Tips for Successful Batch Cooking

Successful batch cooking requires some planning ahead of time. Here are a few tips and tricks for successful batch cooking:

Tip 1: Identify Your Goals

Before you begin your meal planning session, it's important to identify your goals. Think about what meals you want to prepare and how often you'd like to cook. Consider any dietary restrictions or allergies that need to be taken into account as well. This will help keep you focused as you plan your batch cooking sessions. Perhaps next week, you want to meal prep lunches and one big stew for dinners throughout the week. Week by week, you may have different goals, so starting there is essential.

Tip 2: Make a List of the Necessary Ingredients

Be sure to include all the ingredients required for each dish you plan on making. This will help keep you organized and ensure that everything is accounted for when shopping.

Tip 3: Shop Smartly

When grocery shopping with an eye towards batch cooking, try to buy in bulk whenever possible—this will save both time and money in the long run. Look for items on sale or in season; this will help keep costs down and provide more variety for your meals. Additionally, check out local farmer's markets or co-ops for fresh produce at discounted prices.

My favorite and easiest batches usually surrounding proteins! Each Monday is salad night at my house. I batch multiple items while cooking that dinner. I make a dozen hard boiled eggs for salads and chop lots of veggies for the week and I triple the protein I cook up. Then there's extras for later. Another favorite of mine is batching soups and chilis. They are easily doubled and frozen for later! And a baked chicken in the crockpot or instant pot can supply you with many nights of dinner options to make things quick and easy!

With just a bit of planning and preparation, anyone can create delicious meals with minimal effort. Whether you're looking for convenient weeknight dinners or something quick for lunch during work hours, giving batch cooking a try could be just what you need to simplify your life in the kitchen.

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Katie has been passionately serving her community and assisting them in Getting Well and Staying Well for over 12 years. After spending 14 years as a licensed nurse, she wanted to help people prevent their disease and learn how to heal their bodies with nutrition and lifestyle changes. Her nursing knowledge and extensive health coaching experience come together in the signature program she created called LiveWell to help empower people with knowledge and resources to take control of their health and wellness and live longer and fuller lives! This isn't about weight management but true HEALTH care!! Katie manages a busy practice in Westminster, MD and is a wife to her amazing husband Josh of 22 years and mom to three awesome kids, Brady, Luke and Talia! When she's not helping people get well, Katie can be found on the golf course, ballroom floor or camping in the mountains!

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