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Baking Day – Part 1

One of the ways we save a lot of money on our grocery bill is by cooking and baking from scratch. However, lest you think I spend hours every day slaving in the kitchen, let me tell you, I don't. Instead, I like to take one day every few weeks and bake/cook up a bunch of stuff to freeze.

In half a day or less, I can cook/bake up enough goods to last us for two weeks or more–saving us a lot of time and money in the process. And it's so nice to have our freezer stocked and ready for use at a moment's notice to pull off a quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Today, just for fun, I thought I'd let you peek in on a somewhat-typical baking day at our house. I'll be sharing pictures and recipes

First off, I start out with a plan. I took inventory of what we already have on hand and made a list of things I could make based upon that. The goal here is to save money, so it's all about creatively using what I already have on hand.

I went through our cupboards and refrigerator last night and came up with this simple list which I've posted up on the refrigerator:


If I have extra energy, there are a few more things I'd like to make, but we'll see how the day progresses.

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  • fidget says:

    i need to get back into the habit of doing this. When I went gluten free, I had to relearn baking and in the process gave up cooking ahead. Getting back to that would make my life easier.

  • I love these days! Hope it goes smoothly for you…And that you have that extra bit of energy to get a few more things done!

  • juju_mommy says:

    I recently started doing something similar but I have to say that my storage abilities are limited. I have a deep (chest) freezer but from stocking up on sales and such they are usually packed! Anyways, I’m doing a little here and there. So far, though, I’m mostly freezing pancakes. Can you share your recipe for the granola? That’s one of my baking “wish list” items and I’ve collected several recipes but have yet to find one that I really like. I eat the Kashi Honey Granola bars a lot and also the Quaker Chocolate Chip Chewy bars (though not the healthiest). I rarely find good deals on them at our local stores so if I could find a good recipe that’s similar it would save me tons. Anyway, I love your blog and if you have time would love to see some of the recipes you use.
    Have a blessed day, Julie

  • Amber says:

    I am curious how well the pancakes freeze. Also, how do you heat them up? My family LOVES pancakes but they are so time consuming. It would be great to be able to freeze a bunch and heat them up. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Candi says:

    How do you freeze the bananas? And what are they good for afterwards (eg. could you eat them just thawed, or will they be all brown and only good for recipies?)

  • Meghan says:

    I am beyond thrilled that you are doing this! Thank you so much for sharing

  • Kim says:

    I just had to comment on the question about how pancakes freeze! They freeze great and make a super quick breakfast in the morning. I like to microwave them for about 15-30 sec. They come out all moist and warm and taste like they were just made! My DH likes them out of the toaster, but I think that dries them out a bit too much. We always freeze leftover pancakes (if there are any).

  • Sharon says:

    I’d love to hear about freezing bananas also. As for the pancakes, I lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, put a layer of wax paper, another single layer of pancakes, etc… Then put them in the freezer for an hour or so, just until their frozen, then transfer them to a ziploc freezer bag. By individually freezing the pancakes, you keep them from sticking together which makes it almost impossible to pull them apart. The kids can just pull out however many they want and microwave, usually for about 50 to 60 seconds.

  • Jenn says:

    I have just started reading your blog and LOVE it. I recently became a stay-at-home mom (not exactly my choice at the time and now I am SO THANKFUL for the hidden blessing that I want to keep it going!) and need to figure out how to make our budget work on one salary. I’m intrigued with your $40 per week grocery budget. I can’t seem to get mine under $100 even with clipping coupons and shopping sales like mad…Maybe I should try my hand at baking like this. 🙂

  • Vickie says:

    I have done this for years! It makes life so much more efficient. I have frozen pancakes and waffles plus muffins, small loaves of banana bread, pumpkin bread, brownies…the list goes on and on!

    Doing this saves time, money, frustration, and helps bless the family!

  • Catherine says:

    Thinking about being able to freeze pancakes, muffins, and banana bread makes me think it will really be worth it to get a huge bag of flour at Costco. I am definitely going to do that in the next week or so.

  • Hannah says:

    Oh wow I just love the idea of freezing the pancakes. With three boys… leftovers are rare but this is definitely somethign I’d like to try. I’d also like to hear more about freezing the bananas!

  • juju_mommy says:

    I’ll add about freezing pancakes – here are some tips that I have that work well for me:

    1) Let them cool completely first
    2) Lay them out on a pan and stick in the freezer for a few before putting them in your main freezing container or bag. This helps them to not stick together
    3) If you are still worried about them sticking together, put a piece of wax paper between each pancake.

    Have a blessed day, Julie

  • Amber says:

    Thanks for the additional comments about the pancakes! I will definately have to do that!

  • kate says:

    So excited for the pancake and muffin recipes. They sound yummy andlike a great time and money saving idea! Thanks for you blog, it has really helped me enter into the whole couponing world!

  • Patty says:

    I do this with waffles. Would love to know your recipe for granola and bran muffins.

  • Phoebe says:

    I love baking day! I’ve never made my own yogurt, or granola..but it has been on my to do list for quite sometime.

    As for freezing bananas. There are a couple ways you can do it. I’ve mashed them up and frozen them in the quanitity I need for banana bread. I usually do about 2-3 bananas. Or, you can freeze them whole in skin. I put a big bunch in a ziploc bag and threw ’em in the freezer. We can use these for smoothies, banana bread, or whatever. I just don’t know about eating them plain at this point.

  • I need to get back in the groove of making more items up ahead of time and freezing them. I’ve never precooked meat and frozen it, so I’m looking forward to trying this! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Valerie says:

    I have freezed pancakes for years now. My boys love them for breakfast. Instead of taking the time to freeze them before so they don’t stick together, I put 2 in a sandwich bag to freeze. They boys then just have to grab a bag put it in the microwave and they separate easily. They are never in the freezer long enough to worry about freezer burn. I also do this with french toast as well.

  • Sarah says:

    I would like to hear about the yogurt.

  • erica m says:

    mom and I used to do this! if I had freezer space I’d do it for us!

  • FishMama says:

    Great idea! Haven’t done this since my family was the size of yours. I’ll have to try it with all SIX kids next week. That would be a hoot!

  • Vonnie says:

    What is your yogurt recipe?

  • Alaina says:

    I made Vanilla Scented Granola last night and let me tell you, it is sooo good! It is a very basic granola recipe that does not call for apricots, dates, or any other granola fruit.

    The recipe is on my blog if you would like to try it.

    Have fun today!

  • anonymous says:

    To help those that wanted to know about bananas. We freeze them, yes the outside turns brown. We pull them out of the freezer, let them thaw on the counter a bit while mixing other stuff, then cut off the top and squeeze out the contents. It works well for baking.

  • Heather says:

    When I freeze waffles or pancakes. I store them in one portion sizes. For instance one waffel per bag for the kids, and two for dad. I make whole wheat pancakes and waffels, so they are very filling!
    It’s smart to make things ahead of time like this.
    When I was pregnant with our second baby I made casseroles in the square disposable baking pans that have plastic lids. I covered them with foil before adding the plastic lid, wrote the instructions for baking, and then stuck the lid on and put them in the freezer.
    It really helps to be organized and ready, and not just with food. I learn a lot about keeping my hous clean by reading Sink Reflection a book by the fly lady

  • Just wanted to let you know I mentioned your website/blog in my ehow article on the best ways to save money.
    I think your blog can’t be beat and I have you in my RSS feed. Thanks for all your help. Gayle

  • Connie says:

    My mom always froze bananas in the peel. They become pure mush after they thaw. Slit the peel and out they plop…I never found it too appetizing. However, I now freeze them like others have mentioned here on a flat tray lined with a Silpat (like Martha Stewart uses). After frozen I store them in a freezer bag. Already being peeled, they are ready to use in smoothies or thaw and in muffin or other recipes….I do my best to always keep frozen bananas on hand………….

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