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"Batch" cooking is just one way to get food on the table - QUICK!

How to Quick Cook on a Budget

by Katie Cullum

We've all been there....."What's for dinner?!?!" And it's already dinnertime.  Do you get take-out again?! 

zipper bag full of shredded chicken
Thaw a bag of cooked, shredded chicken for a quick and easy meal.

You don't have to get take-out, or drive-through, or go out.  You could just open your freezer up, thaw some cooked protein, and eat quickly!  

This is one of my favorite ways to NOT go out.  I batch cook protein (ground beef on sale, chicken, pork, etc.), package, and freeze.  Then, it's easy to pull out, thaw quickly, and use for a quick & healthy meal.  

Check out the complete video for the best way to cook chicken, shred it, and freeze it.  Then, I share a delicious Chicken Fruit Salad to make with that chicken.  Select this link to see more chicken recipes.

A few notes:

  • I bought a large package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the grocery store.  You could use a mix of breasts & thighs.  You could buy frozen and thaw before cooking.  You could even purchase a whole chicken and cook (pound for pound - this is one of the cheapest ways to buy chicken, even though you do have bones to work around).  
  • I purchase as much as I can - if I'm going to the trouble of cooking it, I want to have as much as I can!  
  • Cooking ground beef is also a great idea but tends to be more time intensive.  I try to cook about 3 pounds at a time, and then portion into 3 containers (which should equal about 1 pound of cooked beef each). 

I will include more recipes later - you can use cooked chicken a lot of different ways and not get tired of it!

HOW does this help you to save money?

  • You won't have to go out to eat! Even if you forgot to thaw your chicken overnight, you can put the bag in cold water (changing every 30 minutes, if necessary) to thaw it when you get home.
  • You may already buy large packages of meat or poultry.  But do you cook it or package it up? If you just leave it in the fridge to eat later, you may not actually eat it before it gets old.
  • Portioning it out means you use just what you need for the recipe.  Yes, some people may prefer more protein.  To stretch dollars, you can always add a can of beans (drained and rinsed well) to most recipes for additional lean, inexpensive protein!