Monday, April 30, 2012

Once a Month Cooking

'One a Month Cooking' has always intrigued and intimidated me. It seemed to take a lot of organization and time (a whole day of cooking??) but not having to make dinner and therefore saving yourself 1-2 hours per day....that seems worth it to me. There are so many other things I could do with that time.....and so after some encouragement from my friend who does this all day cooking thing once a month, I bought the cook book. Now I have no excuses. GULP. Several weeks later, a fantastic opportunity arose to use this cooking sister had just had her 4th baby and one thing I remembered about having a newborn was what a blessing those meals were that others had made for us. So, I thought it would be a great gift for Julie (and her family). I decided to try one of the 2 week menus (cuz that was only 14 meals to mess up and not 30!!) so I went grocery shopping and had the book open to the shopping list page as I perused  the store. Well laid out, (groceries divided into categories such as dairy, meat, produce etc) and easy to follow, I was done within the hour. My husband volunteered (Seriously....I didn't even ask him!!) to help me out and so we woke up early late and started the whole process around 10:30am (after the kidlets had left with Grandma) and when all was said and done, it was 2:15pm and we had 12 meals made and ready to be frozen! Not gonna lie....we gave eachother a high five and felt pretty good about it all....maybe he'll volunteer for the next cooking session??!! :) So, here are my thoughts about the whole process....from one rookie to another...

12 Meals made in 3.75 hours 

- Categorized grocery list cuts down on shopping time (no wandering the isles aimlessly.... except to try to find mango chutney???)
- Step by step instructions on what to cut up and how much, as well as when to start cooking what meal in order to maximize efficiency
- Gets all the major cooking over with in one day (all you need to do is prepare side dishes or rice etc)
- If you do this with a friend...its a social time and even....FUN! (important to have the kids being looked after by someone else...uninterrupted cooking!!)
- Saves money by buying exactly what you use...nothing goes to waste
- Cook book offers 2 monthly meal plans, 2 two week meal plans as well as a 2 week gluten free meal plan and a 2 week summer meal lots of options and variety
- Cook book only costs $13!!! Free shipping anytime/anywhere at

- Half a day (2 week menu) or a full day (1 month menu) is required to make this happen as well as babysitting and coordinating a free day between friends and schedules
- Majority of recipes require meat which increases the cost (could be a bit cheaper if more dishes were meat-free)
- Requires a chest freezer to store the meals
- Shopping list provided needs to be edited or added to if swapping meals within the plan (can get confusing depending on what you are omitting or adding)

- Photocopy/scan the grocery list that the book provides for easier editing and carrying around with you in the store (I got some weird looks in the store as I pushed my book around in the cart) as well as protecting the book from wear and tear
- Do this with a friend....not only for social and fun reasons but two hands make lighter work, and it will be easier to stay on top of dishes while still preparing the meals
- Either put one of the meals aside for dinner that night, or plan to go extra cooking for you!
- Label each dish and include baking time/temp and any extra instructions (permanent marker right on the foil)

Hope this helps those of you who are contemplating this cooking method......


  1. I am about to purchase it with my Amazon points (I use swagbucks search engine to get 'swag points' - all totally free - and use the points to get amazon gift cards -- seriously ALL FREE no catches) and so I have $15 in Amazon gift cards to spend :) Thanks for sharing with my via messages on Facebook about this cookbook, and thanks for this post! It helps confirm to me that I need to do this - especially with Baby #2 on the way!

    1. Awesome Leah! Let me know how it goes for you.....