For a long time now, I’ve been interested in the whole “once a month cooking” craze. Last winter we were at a conference and one of the ladies there did a seminar on once a month cooking. I was intrigued – it seems like a great time saver and has the potential to save money as well. For those of you unfamiliar with it, basically you plan a menu for the month and spend a whole day cooking the meals and then you freeze them until it’s time to eat them.
But I wasn’t sure how well it would work here – with our electricity situation, I would hate to lose a whole months worth of meals. Plus I didn’t think I’d have the time (or patience or pots and pans) to devote an entire day to cooking for the month.
So I decided to try once a week cooking. I’ve been doing it since we got back from the States this summer, and it has worked so well for us! I do my grocery shopping for the week on Saturday, and then Sunday night after Isla is in bed and Caleb has gone to football, I cook five different meals and freeze them for the week. It’s really helpful because I am with the girls until about 6pm every day, so I just don’t have time to prepare a meal from the beginning and get Isla in to bed at a reasonable hour. For a while I was getting dinners ready during her nap, but I felt like all I was doing was cooking all day… so this new plan has been great!
I’ve found a few websites that are devoted to once a month cooking or different ways of cooking freezer meals. (I’ll link to them at the end of the post if you are interested.) I tried using the recipes, but found that most of them either called for ingredients that I couldn’t get here or were way too expensive, or they needed an appliance that I didn’t have (a crockpot, for example). So I’ve basically just adapted meals that I was already making to be more freezer friendly. Some meals I’m able to completely put together and freeze (like soups or casseroles) until it’s time to defrost, heat up and eat… others I might just season and freeze the meat and then cook it and a pot of rice or whatever when it’s time to eat.
For the past couple days I’ve been working on stocking our freezer for when the baby gets here in just a few short weeks… it’ll be nice to not worry about about cooking when we are hungry and sleep-deprived and someone drops by to meet the baby right at dinner-time!! :)
ten meals ready to eat when baby gets here!
Here are some links to a few of the OAMC websites I started with:
Would love any new freezer-friendly recipes… especially ones that use basic, available-anywhere ingredients… so pass them along if you have them!!