Once A Month Cooking: 5 Ways to Save

Onceamonthmom.com
I am so excited to share this guest post from Tricia of onceamonthmom.com. I have always wanted to do once-a-month cooking but it sounded a little intimidating. That is, until Tricia and Cortney launched onceamonthmom.com. They really do take all of the *thinking* out of it and help make it seem manageable. I wonder if they would just come make the meals for me – that’s my next mission :-) Enjoy this great post!!

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Some people call it once-a-month cooking, freezer cooking, power cooking or OAMC; whatever you call it, it can SAVE you!

1. Save TIME!
So many people are intimidated by the 8 hours of cooking on one day. BUT when you do the math you realize that if you were to make the same amount of meals throughout the month you would be spending MUCH more time than 8 hours!

Let’s do a little math! We make 15 dinners, at least 10 of these take a total of one hour to prepare and 5 of them take about 2 hours to prepare; 10 lunches (at 30 minutes prep each); and 15 breakfasts (at 15-30 minutes prep each). That alone is 30 hours of preparation time! When you do them all in one day you can combine tasks and preparation steps saving time. Couldn’t you use an extra 22 hours each month? I can!

2. Save MONEY!
Our family (my husband and I) typically spends anywhere from $100-$150 a week on groceries. This last month, February, I spent less than $75 on ALL of our once-a-month groceries (that is less than $2.60 a meal)! These meals will provide us with more than enough to eat for the next month! I will shop here and there for “extras” and some sides and salads to go with our meals but not nearly the $100-$150 I was use to spending.

3. Save Yourself!
Because you have done all the prep and meals are ready in the freezer (complete with cooking instructions), all you need to do is have them pull out the meal and follow the cooking instructions. For us, I can call my husband tell him to heat the oven and throw in “X” dish. It can be ready for us when I walk in the door!

4. Save Clean Up!
We prepare our frozen dishes in disposable foil pans and throw them away when we are done. Add to that the fact that you aren’t using dishes to prepare the meal and you have yourself one easy kitchen to clean up! Just wash the serving dishes or throw them in the dishwasher and you are done!

5. Save someone else!
Maybe it is the stage of life that I am in but in any given week there is a family in our area that either has had a baby, is in the hospital, or has another specific concern and could use a meal brought to them. Signing up for bringing a meal to them is an absolute pleasure when I have done once-a-month cooking. I can take them a home cooked meal without having to worry about whether I will have the time, energy, or groceries on the given day that I have signed up for; it is wonderful!

If you haven’t tried out once-a-month cooking, you really should! It really will SAVE you!

Tricia recently had her first child and is getting used to her new career as a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband both reside in Ohio where she grew up. She and her co-author, Cortney, are trying to show others how to be good stewards of their time and their money while still providing wholesome and nutritious meal options to their families. You can find out more about her and what she is cooking up at onceamonthmom.com.

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on March 03, 2009

9 Comments

  • Jessica @ Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget - March 03, 2009 @ 12:55 pm
    1

    Thanks for the great site. I am one of those people that have wanted to try the once a month thing but I am a little intimidated by it. I really can’t wait to check out Tricia’s site.

  • Jill - March 03, 2009 @ 1:15 pm
    2

    I am loving their site. I am planning my own cooking day in a few weeks with a friend. This is something I have wanted to do for awhile and am excited for a great guide on how to do it! Thanks

  • Mandi - March 03, 2009 @ 2:34 pm
    3

    What a great post! I’ll admit I’ve never been very good at OAMC despite my best intentions, but before our youngest daughter was born I stocked our freezer with about 6 weeks of breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and it was the best thing I ever did. I always wish I could pull it together to do it for every day life too because it made life so much easier!

  • VanderbiltWife - March 03, 2009 @ 2:55 pm
    4

    Yay Tricia!! :) [I am her cousin, I can say things like that.]

    She almost has even me convinced on the OAMC. I will do just about anything to save $$.

    One thing that worried me was eating the same 7 or 8 things all month. But Tricia explained to me that she still cooks several nights a week, she just uses the OAM meals when she’s tired, busy, etc. That totally appeals to me! Thinking of asking a friend if she wants to join up and do this with me!

    Jess

  • michelle.babiesonline - March 03, 2009 @ 5:04 pm
    5

    Thanks for this post.

    I have always wanted to try bulk cooking, but it does sound a little intimidating.

    At any rate, I want to stock up on extra meals as we are expecting another addition to our family. I like to have extra meals on hand for days when I don’t feel so good, as well as for the week after delivery.

    Thanks again.

  • Money Savin' Momma - March 03, 2009 @ 5:27 pm
    6

    Great post!

    We do LOTS of once a month/bulk cooking. We have posted recipes on our site, along with step by step photos of some of the dishes we make. Feel free to check it out at http://www.engineeradebtfreelife.com/search/label/bulk%20cooking

    $ Money Savin’ Momma $
    Engineer a Debt Free Life (lots of freebies, bargains, and ways to make money online)
    http://www.engineeradebtfreelife.com

  • Nicole - March 04, 2009 @ 7:08 am
    7

    Well shoot. I may need to break down and try this. I’ve wanted to for a long time and I think she just talked me into it. ;)

  • Amy in Ohio - March 04, 2009 @ 4:29 pm
    8

    Great post! I love OAM Cooking, just did my first month of cooking on Saturday and I’m hooked.

    I’m also in the process of trying to lose weight and I’ve found the meal planning to be very helpful. And pretty Weight Watchers friendly to boot!

  • Kate - March 04, 2009 @ 6:45 pm
    9

    I often cook in bulk and freeze, and it came in very handy this past month when a freak disease surprised me with a week stay in the hospital. My husband had enough work taking care of our 5, 3, and 1 year olds without having to worry about cooking too!

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