Our solution to solve all of the above issues was batch cooking. This is something we have been threatening to do for a long time but never got round to. With me not working I really have no excuse. The plan is to cook up batches of cheap, healthy meals that do not take long to reheat and serve. If it saves money and we can keep it up I also think it will be a huge help when baby comes along.
The first thing we needed (other than recipes) was containers. We had a look at ASDA but found that even their cheapest containers worked out at about 25p each. We have a membership at Costco and it occurred to us that they sell supplies for caterers. We were very pleased to find a box of 100 for just over £10. They are microwave safe, freezer safe and just the right size for a portion. They are easily washed and re-used too so will last us a long time (we have been cooking batch meals for about a month now and still have over 3/4 of the box sat unused).
Costco Plastic Take Away Tubs. Price correct as of 27.03.2015.
So far the batch cooking is going well. I will admit it is hard work the days I spend cooking but it is nice knowing I have made enough meals to last several weeks. When each meal is cooked I use a sticker on each tub to say what it is, when it was cooked and how many servings the tub contains. I will go by the suggested use by three months too. As far as cost goes what we have found is that we probably need to do it over a good few months to work out how much we save. So far we have a very expensive month when we stock up on all the ingredients to cook, followed by 2 very cheap weeks when we do not have to buy food for dinner. I shall update on our progress.
Meals tried and liked so far: