Get a 360% Return on your investment with BATCH COOKING!
If you've followed me for any length of time, you know I love my Batch Cooking! If I were Romeo, Batch Cooking would be my Juliet (minus the death). If you're new to me, or the topic, Batch Cooking is simply making a large batch of food, then eating it over sequential days. If you want to get fancy, you can freeze some, then eat it whenever, so you don't get tired of the food. For me, I find I can eat something for about 4 days before I get sick of it and need variety. Another trick I love is to do this for dinners instead of lunches, because I find dinners are more expensive than lunches, and I get to keep my free time in the evenings free of the need to either go out to dinner (which takes at least an hour), or cook every night.
Today I cooked a large batch of curry. It is delicious and healthy. It's got cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, chickpeas, tomatoes, and a whole container of finely chopped leafy greens. I served it over Turmeric Basmati rice. There's a whole bunch of spices in there like curry powder, cinnamon, dried chilies, fresh onions, fresh garlic, and fresh chilies as well. If I do say so myself, it's delicious, beautiful, and health promoting. It's also fairly typical of what I usually cook in that there's a ton of it; I got 9 big servings out of it.
So far, so what? Today my numerically oriented mind started breaking down the amount of money I was saving from this one meal, to figure out my return on investment. Because I meticulously track my spending (I'm super fun at parties), I was able to know that number pretty exactly, plus figure out the average amount I pay when I eat out or order food for delivery. I wanted to really see the impact of batch cooking on money spent and time gained.
The meal itself cost about 100 AED altogether. Some of the produce was organic. It took me about an hour to cook it and clean up. I got 9 servings out of it, so my average cost per serving is about 11 AED per serving. Whenever I want to eat it later, I will just pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and it will take me about 15 minutes total to eat it and clean up. So the average cost for a great meal is 11 AED and 15 minutes. The total cost is 100 AED and the total time investment for 9 servings is 2 hours and 15 minutes (9 x 15 minutes) plus an hour for the prep time. If my time is worth my average hourly wage of 200 AED, that 3 hours and 15 minutes translates into 650 AED. If you add that to the 100 AED for ingredients, the batch cost me a total of 750 AED for 9 meals.
When I go out to eat, I spend, on average 100 AED per meal. Between travel and eating, it easily takes me on average an hour per meal, if I include ones I order in to lower the travel time. So, going out for dinner and delivery generally costs 100 AED and one hour. If I were to go out or get delivery 9 times, equivalent to the 9 servings in the curry, that would cost me around 900 AED and 9 hours of my time. Going by the same calculation above, that nine hours would be worth 1800 AED. The total cost of those 9 meals would be about 2700 AED.
750 AED vs 2700 AED is a 3.6x return on your investment. If you could invest in the stock market or real estate market and get a 360% return in 9 days, wouldn't you do it?
Now, I'm not saying to do this every day, and your mileage may vary due to what dishes you're cooking. You can still be social, invite people over to eat your wonderful food, and then they save money as well! When you get sick of the meal you made, freeze the rest for a time you're not tired of it, and go out to eat with friends. Just realize that the more you batch cook, the more 360% returns on your investment you can gain.
This doesn't even count the major health benefits you get by controlling what you eat. Restaurants are notorious for making food that is massively loaded with fat, sugar, and salt to keep us addicted and ordering more so they can maximize profits. When you cook for yourself, you can eliminate all those sneaky calories and health eroding ingredients that are causing massive health and environmental impacts on nearly everyone around us. Again, I'm not saying to eliminate going out to eat, but if you make it something special, not every day, then you gain a huge amount of control over your health. I didn't even try to calculate how much you can save in healthcare costs by eating healthy meals versus the restaurant alternative. Needless to say, it's substantial.
Healthier meals are especially important during COVID. Recent study into the microbiome has shown that a full 70% of our immune system is in our gut, and is fostered by a diverse array of types of fiber and other micronutrients. If we want to keep our immune systems firing on all cylinders, we need to batch cook with a variety of health promoting ingredients.
This is not just theoretical either. This system has helped me to save over 60% of my salary in the last year and given me back tons of time to focus on other things like being with those I love, playing music, writing, and becoming a better teacher. It's also helped me lose almost 30 kilograms at this point, along with too many other health benefits to count. Wouldn't you like more money, time, and health? Batch cooking is a big part of that solution.
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