Once-A-Month-Cooking Attempt: Successful!

Maybe it's because I'm nesting or maybe it's because I still carry the fear of being put on bed rest and not being able to care for my family as always. Or maybe it's easier for me to get completely motivated for a HUGE project than it is for me to get motivated 3 times a day to make a meal for my family. Whatever it is, I cooked and baked ALL DAY LONG today. Here's what 6 hours of hard work gave me: 

4 Meals of Indonesian Chicken
2 Meals of Sloppy Joes
2 Meals of Spaghetti (at least the sauce and meat)
2 Meals of Pizzaghetti
2 Meals of Chili
5 Meals of Breakfast Burritos
5 Meals of Southwest Burritos
20 Tutti-Fruitti Cups (Frozen Fruit Cups)
20 Striped Fruit Cups (Strawberry, Peach, Blueberry Frozen Fruit Pops)

My freezer full! Hooray! 
Needless to say - I'M EXHAUSTED! I have another list of food to make tomorrow. We'll see how my feet, back and Braxtons are treating me tomorrow. Right now, I can't even think about it! My husband's aunt gave me a cookbook that was entirely freezer meals and I was amazed at the foods they were freezing. Once-A-Month Cooking has been around FOREVER. My mom did it a couple of times when I was growing up. But I remember a TON of casseroles! And we're not really casserole type. So when she gave me that cookbook I figured out several ways to prepare some of our favorite meals and freeze them. 

One of the neatest things was how the majority of my meals were tomato based. I always make my own marinara sauce and it was super easy to make a TON of marinara and add it to the appropriate recipe then add ground beef in the appropriate amounts without really measuring at all. I just put enough sauce in my Pizzaghetti and Sloppy Joes that looked good to me and then used the rest for Spaghetti sauce. I added additional spices and "stuff" to the separate recipes and I was good to go. Worked GREAT! and saved me a TON of time! I figured that I made 22 meals and it took me 6 hours (not to mention the fruit cups that go alongside). I figure that start to finish from the time I start making dinner (no matter what it is) including clean-up it averages to about 30 minutes per meal. So by doing it this way, I saved 5 hours of time in the kitchen. Not to mention time figuring out what to have is saved and the nutrition of ready made meals is much better than anything thrown together at the last minute. 

Obviously this was NOT 30 days worth of meals but I also created a menu to utilize the meals in the freezer. For example, every Sunday after church something will come out of the freezer for that meal. Same thing with Wednesday nights before church, Monday nights (which are always crazy) and family movie nights. So after I ran out of freezer meals, I scheduled other meals around the freezer meals so there is never a day where I have too much cooking. Tomorrow (or whenever I recooperate) I plan on making:

5 meals of Banana Pancakes
5 meals of Blueberry Pancakes
3 Meals of Hawaiian Meatloaf
2 Meals of Meatballs
5 Meals of French Toast Sticks
2 Meals of Chicken and Rice
4 recipes of cookie dough

After I accomplish those meals I will have all snacks for the month and 20 breakfasts and 24 other meals ready to go. Pretty sweet huh? I'm hoping to have this figured out and ready to go when the baby comes - that will be REALLY nice! *Sigh* I'm tired! But I'm also blissfully content in my accomplishments. Now I'm going to see if maybe my sweet husband will let me go to bed. now.

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  1. WOW~ way to go girl!!!!

    I never really thought about meal freezing! You will have to let me know the title and author of the book. How does everything taste?

    This great bc when baby comes the first few months make cooking hard.

    Thanks for sharing! I am amazed!

  2. You will LOVE having this done before baby comes!! It was such a help for me after we had Sophia!

  3. Ah the once a meal cooking! I've tried this along with make a mix cooking. It was nice to have the meals but, was A LOT of work. I've found now that having a bigger family the once a month cooking tends to be harder for us. {Could be just preference also?!} I also don't have the extra freezer space anymore. So I opted for advanced meal prep! This saves me so much time when preparing my evening meals. For instance ground beef, already ground and cooked in the freezer, frozen rolls & biscuits ready to pop out and cook, along with many desserts & cobblers & pies ready to throw in the oven. On occasion I'll double a recipe and cook one for our evening meal and freeze the other for a meal in a couple weeks. This seems to work great for us. I'm glad you've found a nitch and it's working great for you and your family. :0)


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