Bulk-meal assembly can be done at home or at a facility. Assembling a large number of meals in advance makes dinner preparation on a nightly basis easier and quicker.
Bulk cooking, or investment cooking, is the process of assembling a group of dinners at one time. This can be done as a group, in a co-op or less formal arrangement, or as an individual. Pick one day of the month for the cooking session. Plan a menu of a set number of entrees. Do the shopping over the week leading up to the cooking day. Make the dinners as you normally would and package them in freezer-safe containers. To make the process easier, try doing as much of the prep work beforehand as possible.
A meal-assembly kitchen, or meal-preparation store, is a facility that provides the materials to prepare a set number of dinners in advance. The customer pre-orders the dishes he or she wants from the menu provided by the store and schedules a one- or two-hour session, depending on the number of entrees selected. The facility will do all of the preparation work for the customer. This includes the chopping, dicing, grating and washing. Each station in the store will have all the necessary ingredients and equipment. Follow the instructions at the station, and label the entrees with the sticker provided by the store. Freeze the dinners at home and defrost and cook them as needed.