I feel the new year starts in September once the kids are back to school. It is an exciting, busy time in our house with anticipation of a new grade, new teachers, new classrooms, classmates and activities too. I find it a wistful time as it is hard for me to let go of the summer and relaxing long weekends with family and friends, knowing that snow is just around the corner. Well…let’s not talk about that.
Inspired by this fresh start feeling floating around in our house I am thinking of how I can make better changes for our health and the environment. With growing kids and busier schedules combined with work, school, volunteering and activities, I have less time (and energy) to devote to feeding my family. I am also scrutinizing things around our home to see how we can save some money too.
Is anyone else feeling this way…or is it just me?
In some areas, we are doing fairly well. We have done a good job reducing our garbage thanks to recycling and composting. I am not doing well when it comes to packaging and unnecessary waste. I have decided to make this school year all about the ‘Big Batch’ in an attempt to avoid certain processed foods and make mealtime easy and healthier for our family.
Big batch means that whenever I cook, I make a big batch of something so I can freeze multiple meals. It allows me to buy more of certain items and reduce packaging. It also means that meal preparation is as easy as remembering to take something out the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator the night before. I am working on the remembering part! It makes after school/work time more relaxing if I am not running around cooking every single night as dinner is warming. So far, I have discovered fantastic big batch recipes for family approved soups, stews, casseroles, main dishes and muffins.
How about you? Do you do big batch cooking/baking? Any tips for saving money, packaging and avoiding processed food?