Once A Month Cooking can be adapted to whatever you want or need it to be. Not a casserole person, then don’t make any. Like to use lots of fresh vegetables in salads and stir-frys, then pre-cook meat, beans, and rice to use in those meal and then add fresh vegetables the night you prepare the meal.
Since I am a home school mom, mornings and lunch times are busy for me. My husband gets home at 7:00 pm, so I actually have plenty of time to prepare dinner. When I do Once A Month Cooking, I focus on making breakfast and lunch items for the days when I do not have time to cook. We often eat dinner leftovers for lunch and we have fewer people home at lunch, so I divide the lunch meals into smaller Pyrex bowls. I can get 3 lunches from most of the items I prepare for lunch. I usually only have 1 – 2 busy nights a week, so I will make 6 – 8 freezer dinners to cover those nights. I also prep items and freeze them (like onions and rice) to cut down on the time it takes me to make dinner.
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Black Bean and Cauliflower Chili
- White Chili
- Pulled Pork
- Chicken and Black Beans cooked with Taco Seasoning to use in tacos and or taco salad x2
- Precook hamburger x2 to use in Pasta Bake
- Enchiladas x2 (recipe up soon)
- Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos x2
- Taco Meat and Beans x2 Each container will hold enough for a meal of tacos and a meal of Taco Salad
- Precooked, sliced chicken x4 to use in Asian Chicken Salad, Pasta Salad, Chicken and Rice Soup, and Stir-Fry
- Sautéed Vegetables to use in Minestrone soup x2
- Mexican Rice x2 (recipe up soon)
Miscellaneous Items to have on hand in the freezer:
- Brown Rice
- Black Beans
- Grated Cheese
- Chopped Onions
- Chopped Bell Peppers
How I put it all together:
- I start with a clean kitchen and an empty dishwasher. I also fill a sink with sudsy water to wash dishes that I need to reuse.
- I will begin by alternating cooking the rice and black beans in the pressure cooker. I cook enough for the dishes I am going to make, plus extra to freeze to use as an ingredient for future meals.
- I will cook the pork in the Crockpot, broil the chicken, and brown the hamburger and turkey on the stove top.
- While the meat, rice, and beans are cooking, I will chop the necessary vegetables and grate the cheese.
- After I am done with broiling the chicken, I will let the oven cool to 350 degrees and start baking muffins.
- Then I will assemble the ingredients for the meals, cook if necessary, then cool and freeze.
- I will make the pancakes last, using the electric skillet.
A few tips:
If this is your first time, try cooking for 1 or 2 weeks instead of a whole month.
When I am doing once a month cooking, I always cook something for that night and put it in the refrigerator to be heated at dinner time. After cooking for several hours I know I will not feel like cooking again at dinner time! 😀
If you have limited pans, you can prepare a meal in a foil lined dish, freeze the meal and then pull it out when it is frozen solid, finish wrapping it up and label it. Then you can reuse the dish for your next meal.
Have you ever tried Once A Month Cooking? Do you do it regularly or just when you know you are going to be busy or when you have a freezer full of meat? To see other Freezer Cooking Plans visit Money Saving Mom.