My husband got a new side hustle teaching, yay! He’s going to be spending a bit more time away from home, but what a great opportunity for him to teach future electricians 🙂 As I finalized my shopping list and weekly menu this morning, I almost didn’t realize that my husband’s dinners away from home are about to add an extra challenge to my weekly meal planning, yikes! Thankfully, we used to be pros at cooking multiple tiny meals ahead of time to freeze and then take to work each day. Here’s how we dusted off that skill, cut corners to save time, and still ended up saving money. And wiener dog Dart was super happy to help.
Yes, my husband does get paid more to teach apprentices a couple evenings a week, but that doesn’t mean he needs to spend it on fast food. Some quick-service restaurants are notoriously short on healthy options, they’re more expensive than home-cooked meals, and those takeout containers can produce all kinds of unnecessary trash. Back in the day I had seemingly unlimited time to actually cook all kinds of combinations of taco meat, mac and cheese, or even a venison roast to divvy up into pre-portioned lunches for my husband. Imagine they’re like single-serve casseroles that he can heat and eat at lunch everyday, with the wholesomeness of being made at home. Now that I’m working more and we have the foster kid to look out for too, I no longer want to toil in the kitchen all afternoon to prep my husband’s lunches. Costco to the rescue!
I’ve really only been a Costco member for about a month now, and I’m pretty sure it’s saving us money. It definitely lets me stock up on some of the things we buy most frequently, like the granola bars or sparkling water that never last long at our house. I’m loving that Costco has so many options of pre-made foods that definitely save me from going out to restaurants when we’re short on time. All of the ready-to-heat-and-eat foods from today’s Costco haul are completely saving me time too.
So here’s what we’re up to- Kyle can totally skip over to Subway before class and spend $5-6 dollars on a sandwich he’s not crazy about, or we can take the time to make something even yummier! I found this awesome pack of pre-cooked polish sausages for Kyle to brown up on the grill and then slice up as a tasty base layer for his dinners. We spent a little over a dollar for each sausage. Next I found what is apparently “the world’s best mac and cheese” as a gooey top layer to his dinners. We let it thaw a bit and then scooped a heaping spoonful into each dish. I love these pyrex-style glass dishes that are sturdy enough to get knocked around in my husband’s lunchbox and also never get messed up in the microwave.
This was seriously some of the easiest meal prepping ever. We spent about $3 to fill each dish with food that will be so much yummier than any old sandwich from a chain restaurant. They’re all stashed away in the freezer now and ready to feed my husband dinner on 6 different nights. We don’t have to do this again for another 3 weeks, score! Next up will be pulled pork and mashed potatoes and I think it will be even simpler for us to prep 🤯 And if it’s not quite enough food for Kyle to eat for dinner, he can always toss one of our hundreds of Costco granola bars in his lunch pail too. I’ll make him eat his fruits and veggies some other time.