No matter how hard I tried not to waste food before I started cooking ahead, the bags of rotting produce at the bottom of my produce bin always mocked me. Every time I’d find a rotten vegetable it was like watching money fly into a fire and it made me feel like a failure. I was constantly forgetting about that bunch of cilantro I meant to use for a dinner that never materialized or the pepper that grew mold before I got to chop it up. With cooking ahead, every single item gets prepped and stored in the freezer right away and lasts so much longer. I haven’t found one rotten piece of produce since I started this project. Another bonus is my refrigerator bins are much less crowded and the only things in there are items we eat every day like fruit.
Cooking ahead can save your family money, time, energy and food, but would you believe me if I said it could help your community? I belong to a mom’s group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and whenever one of our moms has a new baby we sign up to bring her a meal for a week. Before I had a freezer full of meals I would get a call to provide another family with a meal and it was overwhelming. It meant I had to cook two meals that day and I’m embarrassed to say sometimes I couldn’t do it. But now, if I get that phone call, I’m already prepared and my only problem is deciding which meal to bring! I’ve been on the receiving end of a meal prepared by awesome church ladies and I can tell you, it’s a huge blessing. Cooking ahead has given me the ability to be a blessing to others.
If you struggle with organization, eat out and spend more than you would like or would like to feed the family something other than last minute frozen pizza, give this method a try! It seems far more daunting than it actually is. Peace is a priceless commodity these days and you can have it every night for dinner if you just cook ahead.