I had heard about women who do once-a-month freezer cooking, and wanted to give it a try. A couple of weeks ago I did just that! I wanted to see if it was worth the work, and if it really made my life easier in the kitchen during the week. The results are in.....
I started right away in the morning. I made about 15 meals for the month including:
~~honey lime chicken
~~chicken and wild rice
~~tater tot casserole
~~cheesy beef and rice
~~spaghetti hot dish
~~lemon garlic rice as a side dish for the honey lime chicken
~~4 pounds of ground beef for taco's
~~several balls of dough to freeze for pizza crusts
It took about 6 hours total to make everything. I definately learned some things. First, I think I will cook the ground beef a day or two ahead of the big cooking day. I cooked up about 10 pounds total of ground beef for the meals. This took up a big chunk of time since I don't have a very large pan. I can only cook about 2-2 1/2 pounds at a time. Since none of it really needed to be hot, I could easily do that on an earlier day to make things a bit easier on the big day. Second, I learned that my husband does not really like to spend his Saturday off with me in the kitchen the entire day, and he and the kids left on their own. He was great, and really helped by keeping the kids busy and happy, but I could tell he wasn't exactly thrilled by this idea.
However....it has been very nice to pull something out of the freezer in the morning, or the night before, and know that dinner is done. Done! No planning, no prep, nothing. Well, unless I want to add a salad or something with it. I don't have to spend time in the kitchen in the afternoon, and I get to spend more time with our kids. This has been especially nice this week as it has been in the 70's every day this week. I got to enjoy being outside, too!!
Sooo....that all being said....I do think I will continue to do once-a-month cooking. There is something very satisfying about having a full freezer. It is also great to have something for those crazy days when there is appointments, or games, or (you fill in the blank) and it is so tempting to stop at the drive through to get supper. I am hoping this will make it easier to stay within our monthly grocery budget, and I know that my family is eating good, healthy meals. I will definately try cooking any ground beef ahead of time, maybe that will help cut down on the time it keeps me in the kitchen that big day. I am also going to enlist our 2 oldest children to help out. That should also help with the time factor. I would like to find some recipies for soups to freeze, as we enjoy soups when the weather starts cooling down.
Have you tried once-a-month cooking? What were your results? I would love to hear about any freezer recipies that your families love!
Have a blessed weekend.