Friday, July 31, 2015

90 Make-ahead Meals for $150

Its that time of month again. 

Stop cringing, I mean that time when I fill my freezer with 30 dinners, 20 work lunches, 10 weekend lunches, and 30 breakfasts.

This month I wanted to make my cook easier. Although cooking it all in one day is very possible and totally doable, I wanted to see if i could make the whole process more simplified.

I divided the cooking into three main groups: Chicken, Pork, and the last day was one larger cook of breakfasts, weekend lunches, and veggies to go with dinners.

With everything that is going on with Justin`s father and his cancer, I wanted to make sure we included more veggies and more plant based proteins, to make sure we are getting all the things we need to stay healthy.

Last month I planned to eat more beans, but forgot to soak them in advance. So this time, I soaked a large bowl of beans every night for three nights and cooked them slowly while I did my daily chores. I cooked my last batch today and used them immediately to make 16 bean and cheese burritos.

I started by cooking all the chicken first. Breasts, legs, wings, and stock. When cooked I divided them into 18 bags [keeping the general rule of 1.5 cups chicken per bag]: 2 wings meals, 8 breast meals, 4 leg meals and 4 meals from the chicken left on the carcass. I divided the beautiful golden broth among all the bags except the wings.

The next day I de-boned, cut and cooked the pork. Since 3 oz is a serving of pork, I put 9 oz of pork into each freezer bag [3 oz each for Justin and myself for dinner, and 3 oz for one work lunch for Justin]. I simmered the pork bones in my stock pot with 1/4 cup vinegar and enough water to cover the contents plus some. The vinegar is supposed to help stocks release minerals from the bones. I added a scoop of stock to each of the thirteen bags until I ran out.

Finally today I finished cooking all the veggies [Sticking to about 2-3 cups veggies per bag]. I skipped adding cream cheese to my loaded baked potatoes, and added more broccoli and green onions.

I decided to opt out of cooking my noodles ahead of time because I used the- stock [which i usually cook my pasta in] in with the chicken.

A Half box of pasta gets Justin and myself each a dinner and one serving of leftovers for Justin to take to work.

My shopping list: $155.94
4 whole chickens
$20 work of pork chops
3 lbs Bacon
2 flats ground pork
2 large cans Diced Tomatoes [economy size]
5 lbs shredded Colby jack cheese
2 bags russet potatoes
4 bags tortillas
2 boxes farfalle
3 boxes penne
1 large bag rice
1 tube basil
garlic powder
2 bunches green onion
2 heads celery
4 lbs carrot
2 yellow onions
2 lbs broccoli
6 small bags green peas
2 packs of 18 count eggs
1 pack of 12 English muffins

What I had in my Pantry:
Salt and Pepper
Rendered chicken fat
Soy sauce
Vegetable oil
1 large can corn [economy size]
a very large bag of dried pinto beans
Chili powder

What I made:

13 sausage egg and cheese burritos

11 bacon egg and cheese burritos
12 sausage egg and cheese muffins


16 Loaded baked potatoes
16 Bean and cheese burritos

Dinners: [+one serving Leftovers for Justin to take to work]
5 Chicken Penne with red sauce and basil [serve on penne]
4 Pork stew
2 Garlic wings with corn and baked potatoes
6 Teriyaki Pork with veggies [serve on Rice]
3 South of the Border Pork with beans [served on rice]
3 South of the Border Chicken with beans [served on rice]
4 Chicken and veggie [served on Farfalle]
4 Chicken  and veggie [served with Baked potatoes]

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