I love to cook for my family. Love, love, love! Not every day though. So what do we do on those days that I just don’t want to cook? We go out to eat. We order pizza. We stare longing in the fridge just hoping that something will magically appear. Let’s face it. Options one and two cost money and option three will probably lead to options one or two. We are not unlike many families that are trying to live on a budget so going out to eat every time I don’t want to cook is just bad for the budget.
Today I happened to stumble upon a website called Once A Month Mom. I actually found it when I was looking for new baby food recipes, but I think I’m going to use it more for big people food. Each month she posts about 15-20 recipes. The theory is that you shop throughout the month for the ingredients you need and cook all day (or over the course of two days) to have all these meals ready to go. She plans the menus seasonally so a fair number of ingredients should be on sale during that particular month.
Now, it’s designed for two people to cook together. Two people split the cost of the food and spend a day or two working together and at the end of it, each of you has 15-20 meals that will feed your family of 4. Genius! It’s not enough to feed your family every night of the month but it’s definitely enough to keep you going on those days you’re just too busy or too tired to cook.
What I really love is the organization of her recipes. She not only has a spreadsheet for you to keep track of the food you need and how much you spent on it, but her instructions are fabulous! She optimizes everything from the order in which you chop the vegetables to the order in which you cook things. Example, you’re making Taco Sleeping Bags (a nifty taco hot pocket to pop in the microwave for lunch) and Taco pasta. Make all the taco meat together, kill two birds with one stone!
Did I also mention that she also has labels you can slap on your freezer bags to remind you of what is is and how to reheat it??
I’m not ready to dive right in quite yet but I did test out a few of the ideas. The Taco Sleeping Bags were a huge hit for lunch today! I also made the taco pasta sauce. I’m thinking I’ll freeze the sauce and while I reheat it make the pasta. I personally have never been able to freeze pasta without it coming out all mushy. So that cooking took me about 30 minutes and included 3 lb of beef, 2 packets of taco seasoning, 3 tubes of crescent rolls, a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced chilis. What did I get? Enough taco sleeping bags for 4 lunches and a meal of taco pasta.
This might be my solution to having quick breakfasts, lunches, and a few meals in the freezer ready for me when I’m just too tired to cook.
Think you’ll try it??
Until the next time …
The girl behind the Lama