Some people enjoy colouring for mindfulness and relaxation, but not me. One of my favourite things in life is cooking. I really enjoy spending a Sunday, in peace, chopping, slicing and dicing. The therapeutic benefits are great, but the money saving efforts of a batch cooking day are even better! If you’ve read my LiveLean review, you’ll know that I love buying big batches of Chicken online and making the majority of my lunches ahead. But it’s not just chicken and lunches. I love buying my food in bulk and batch cooking it all, a fridge freezer full of Tupperware and prepped food is one happy fridge freezer. So today I want to show you how you could save loads of money by doing the same.
Benefits of Bulk Buying:
Less packaging waste:
Do you ever spend ages after a supermarket shop disposing of plastic wrappers, there are loads, right? Well with bulk buying you’ll have so much less packaging which means it’s both good for your bin men, and great for the environment.
Buying more items in one shop is so much more time saving than going to a supermarket every day or two to buy the exact same thing. Shopping itself is a pretty time-consuming activity so minimising time spent is beneficial to your other activities.
You will probably eat healthier:
When you bulk buy foods it’s highly likely that most of the food you’ll be bulking is whole foods like rice, grains, pasta, cereal, meats, etc…. So it’s unlikely to be processed, unhealthy food, which is not only good for your bank balance but for your waistline too.
Budget saver or money drainer:
Bulk buying can be a real budget saver, but make sure you follow our mini guide below to ensure it stays that way. Buying the incorrect products or going about it wrongly can make bulk buying a real money drainer.
How To Get Started Bulk Buying:
Buy what you need:
Make a list of meals you want to plan and what you need to buy. Going in blind could lead you into unnecessary spending, which is completely counter-productive. Only buy what you need, when you need it.
Online Meat Retailers:
While most people still prefer to buy in shops, there is an ever increasing trend of online shopping. Modern society has made it so easy to research and compare deals online. For the last few months, I’ve always bought my meat online as I’ve been able to thoroughly research the companies out there and their prices. I’ve found that LiveLean are one of the most competitively priced companies but there are plenty of others out there, and you can even buy Costco products online too.
Costco and similar
Speaking of Costco, if you are still a bit more old fashioned and prefer shopping in a real supermarket then see if you’re eligible for a membership card for shops like Costco or Bookers. I have a Costco card and it’s saved me loads of money over Christmas as I was able to bulk buy the majority of our non-perishable food.
Stock up on the right things
It’s important to know what you can and can’t stock up on. I once bought too much lettuce and thought I could freeze it, bearing in mind it’s mostly made of water, once it defrosted it became a pile of sludge. Not cool. Don’t bulk buy fresh products that can’t be frozen or made into a meal to be frozen. You will absolutely be wasting your money if you do this.
Also, bear in mind that the cookware you use can make a big difference to your food preparations. Check out Cook Logic for some tips on the best cookware you can buy.
Work by price per unit price
If you see 20 tins of beans in a pack and the price per unit is 50p each, but you could buy them separately for 49p each then don’t bulk buy it. That’s just common sense. Always check the price-per-unit to ensure you’re actually getting a reasonable price for the product you want to buy. If you don’t feel the price is right, then don’t get it.
Make sure you know the product
If you’ve never tried quinoa before, don’t go buying 5kg of it. If it turns out you hate it, you have completely wasted your money. Make sure you’re not buying products to sample in bulk. Many companies can send you sample products if you contact them beforehand and ask – do that instead.
How To Get Started Batch Cooking:
Utilise your Tupperware and freezer bags
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the necessary tools to store your foods. Tupperware, sandwich and freezer bags are great. Always make sure you have enough of them and a sharpie pen to write on bags and lids.
Clear out the cupboards, freezer and fridge
Do you know all the food products you currently have in your house? I didn’t think so. Have a look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards and utilise everything you can. Give them a good clear out and make some space for all your bulk buys and see if you can make any batched meals with what you already have.
Label your food
Sharpies are a must. Some food frozen looks the same. Trying to distinguish between a spag bol and chilli con carne when frozen can be a nightmare. Write on the label what it is, portion size and if you like to track your foods the ingredients are a must.
Make the most of yellow labels
When you’re in a supermarket and you see the yellow label discounts, if it’s an item that can be worked into your meal prepping or can be frozen, then buy it. But, only if you think you can work it in. Don’t buy crap that you’ll likely have to bin, and don’t buy fresh produce that can’t be frozen. I’ve written a guide on saving money in supermarkets that may be able to help you with yellow label shops.
Easy Batch Cooking Meals:
There are loads of meals to choose from when batch cooking but here are some of my favourites:
- Spaghetti bolognese
- Chilli con Carne
- Sausage hot pot
- Cottage pie
- Chicken pasta
- Beef or Chicken pie
- Chicken curry
- Jacket potato and sandwich fillings
- Chicken or beef stews and casseroles
Have you tried any of these meals for yourself? And do you have any other batch cooking and bulk buying tips? Let me know in the comments below 🙂