I came to terms with my cooking skills (particularly the lack thereof and my lack of interest therein*) years ago, even before getting married to frugal husband (FH). Luckily, FH is one of those rare breeds of understanding hot guys who can cook. In plain terms, he cooks better than I do. And looks great doing it. Haha.
On top of my lack of cooking skills, I work as a full-time lawyer and may tend to get lazy** from time to time. I’m also just more interested in eating food rather than cooking it. Tell me I’m not alone in that?!
In the interest of improving my frugal / domestic wife skills this year and improving our household’s collective saving rate, I started meal planning our household meals and brown-bagging lunches.
The lazy way
Meal planning is a euphemism for cooking meals in advance and freezing them. It’s among my favorite frugal eating hacks! Ideally, food is cooked and cooled for two hours. Once completely cool, transfer your food in meal containers in appropriate portion sizes as you deem fit. Place the food in the freezer immediately to halt the decomposition process.
Depending on the size of your freezer, you may stock up to a week’s worth in meals. Rice, being easily prepared, need not be cooked ahead of time.
The safest way to reheat your frozen food is to use the good old kalan, or metal pan as microwaving may be unhealthy. But to each their own.
A side effect of meal planning is that one always has the option of brown-bagging lunch to work. Imagine spending zero money daily! There should be no shame in bringing your baon or food for lunch.
This all depends, of course, on where you work and the office culture that prevails there. Some offices are unduly snottier than others. Or your work situation/compensation may carry with it free work lunches then this article is inapplicable to you!
I fortunately work in a no-frills place with similarly-minded simple-living folks where brown-bagging lunches is nothing out of the ordinary.
People will often judge frugality*** as it goes against the grain of spending money. At the end of the day, your wallet, bank account, and net worth will thank you!
Do you brown bag your lunch? Any more tips to add?
*Sorry for the legalese but in this case, it was more convenient.
**In my defense, I am more interested in cleaning, doing laundry, and other household work than cooking. That is the extent of my indifference to cooking.
***Local terms include tihik, kuripot, Ilocano. I’m sure some people mean to be offensive but I’m often flattered when called these things. I like challenging how far my money goes. Also, I’m part Ilocano anyway. Hehe.