When I used to make planned leftovers, it would be enough to feed 3 or more for an extra meal. Now that I’m cooking for 1, I am able to plan leftovers for a number of meals.
- If I make one slow cooker meal (3 qt crock), I have enough food for three to five meals depending on the meal I’m making.
- If I make two slow cooker meals (3 qt crocks), I have enough food for six to ten meals, depending.
Larger crocks would provide more food, but the 3 qt size is perfect for my needs. I downgraded from 1 larger crock to two 3 qt crocks so I would be able to cook two different meals, for variety.
I’m considering a third, which would allow me to cook ahead three or four days for all three meals. My work schedule is what I cook around. I work a three day stretch, have a day off, then work a four day stretch. I do my cooking on my days off, along with my cleaning and other tasks.
So all I do, really, is:
- Decide on my meals. What do I want?
- Figure out what ingredients I’ll need? How much of each ingredient will be necessary?
- Look at what I have on hand.
- Look to see what I have coupons for items I need.
- Look at sales fliers, and decide if I want to switch out ingredients for anything that is on sale and/or I have a coupon for.
- Make a shopping list, with prices. Coupon items underlined.
- Place the list in an envelope with my coupons and a pen.
- Shop for the ingredients.
- Fill the crocks during the late morning or early afternoon.
- Let the meals cook on high 2-4 hours, or low 5-7 hours.
- Uncover and scoop out what I want for dinner.
- Leave uncovered and let sit until cooled enough to place in containers and refrigerate.
That’s it. Simple enough for anyone. I find I like easy-to-prepare meals. The meals do not go into the freezer, because they are eaten within a few days.
On a related note, I might broil enough bacon covered sweet potato or squash wedges to last a few days. Or make a large salad. Or even cook enough burger patties for three meals.
How do you plan for leftovers? What’s your shopping and cooking process? Your preparation habits? Let us know in the comments, or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the eCookBook Main Meal Magic.