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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cutbacks...

Cutbacks in flight hours means cutbacks in my monthly budget... I am getting creative to deal with it, which isn't easy when you are a pilot wife with no children. It is easier to go out to eat a single meal rather than prepare a bunch of food that rots in the fridge/freezer before you get a chance to eat it. It is not, however, less expensive than buying ingredients and making it yourself (I haven't calculated the cost of the ruined food, so I may be wrong there). So, the question is - how do I feed myself individual meals (that meet my unique eating requirements) without anything going to waste?

I came across the solution while reading my Rachael Ray magazine this month (before the dog peed on it, but that is another story)... There is an article in there inspired by her recent make-ahead meals that prepares individual ingredients that are frozen in individual quantities... This got me thinking.

If I can buy large quantities of chicken, beef, and pork when it goes on sale, then I can roast them in my favorite method, shred, and freeze the meat in Ziploc baggies in 1 cup portions. I can also make brown rice ahead of time and freeze the same way. Combining this method with other ingredients from my pantry and organic produce delivery, I should be able to feed myself (and Aaron when he is home) and save money in the process. I can use the meat to make soup as I want it (in the quantity that I want, rather than a large pot that I won't finish), or make enchilada/burritos/tacos, or toss with pasta or risotto, or make sandwiches... You can see where I'm going with this! So much versatility, with weekend efforts.

If you are a member of the Pilot Wives Club, I'll add my recipes there (along with some variations, for those with different tastes). I'll also add them to my other blog for my own record or to satisfy your curiosity...

I don't know why I didn't think of this before!

5 comments:

Silvie said...

Good idea! I have not done the separate freezing part, but I do make the 1 and 2 portioned bags. It really helps!

Christy said...

I totally hear you!!! I hate making dinner for just myself, and when I do I end up eating it all week and half of it goes to waste! I have found vanilla yogurt and granola are good for dinner. I also hit up McDonalds more than I should and get a happy meal (its cheaper!). I'll have to check out the recipes!!

Breckan said...

Love it! I'm taking notes. By the way, how long does cooked meat and rice keep in the freezer?

I love your Blog. Thanks for sharing your stories:)

Tripacerchick said...

@ Breckan - The best guess I can say about the frozen meat is to use it within 3 months (from other research on the web). When I prepared my roast pork, I made sure to date the packages. If I run into any funky tastes/textures from being frozen for longer than that, I'll let you know. As for the rice, I haven't frozen any yet. It's on my list for this weekend, but I would guess about the same as the meat.

Tripacerchick said...

@ Christy - I've had cereal for dinner many times... Yogurt too :) Although, my new passion (when I have time for it) is to make a single serving of risotto... Still perfecting the recipe, so it isn't quite ready to post here yet, but it is getting there :)