OAMC ~ I've tried my hand at this a couple of times and every time I just kinda quit doing it. Well, I'm giving it a go one more time. The "one or two cooking days" type thing...that was just so overwhelming to me and made such a huge mess.
I plan on making no less than one or two "dishes", that's 4 - 8 meals, two or three times a week until I have a month of meals in the freezer. Mostly breakfasts and suppers with a few lunches thrown in.
If you are new at this there are four things I think you really need to take into consideration:
- Freezer Space ~ make sure you have enough!
- Recipes ~ make sure you can adapt them for freezing/reheating if necessary, and don't make something you don't know for a fact your family likes! If you come across a new recipe, try it first for a dinner, if they like it, work it into your menu for the next month.
- Variety ~ don't just go make 12 meatloaves and 12 chicken casseroles and call it done. You will get sick of those two things very quickly.
- Menu ~ make one! Make a menu for the month, 3 meals per day. That way you make sure you have made enough meals. Check off the meals as you make and freeze them. Count for leftovers too. One casserole or meatloaf will feed us for two meals.
~Do some internet searches or check out your local library for books on OAMC for some more great tips/recipes. ~
You don't have to be rich and buy an entire month's foods, condiments, spices etc. to start doing this. Really, you don't. Check out your grocery store's sales flyer for this week. If they have chickens on sale for 59 cents per pound (or whatever is a good deal for your area) then buy 3 or 4 of them and stick them in the freezer when you get home.
In a couple of days, as you get a chance, throw two of them in a crock pot, stockpot or roaster and cook them up. Remove the meat from the bones and put in a bag in the fridge. Do that for 2 days and you have 4 whole chickens cooked. Now you have tons of chicken for making casseroles, BBQ sandwiches, soups etc.
You can do one or two "sale" items each week until you have a good stock built up. Example, Meatloaf ~ you make 4 one week, the next week you make 4 chicken/broccoli casseroles. The next week, when planning your menu, use one of those meatloaf and casseroles, but make 4 lasagnas to put in the freezer. Before you know it, you have no less than a month's meals in your freezer. Replace them as you use them that way it's not so overwhelming. Another way is the day you have Lasagna planned, just make 4, eat one, freeze the other three. I do this sometimes.
It is very rewarding to go to the freezer and have basically a month's worth of meals done in there. Especially on those days you really don't feel like or have the time to cook a good healthy meal. So much better than going through the drive thru somewhere on the way home.
In the coming weeks, I hope you will see that it doesn't have to be overwhelming or expensive to do OAMC.