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Freezer cooking or Once a Month Cooking May 12, 2012

Posted by thecouponjunkie in Uncategorized.
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Once a month cooking has been on my yearly goals for the last few years.  And each year it has gone as unreachable goal. This year with a new addition joining us on May I have made it my goal to try this Once a month cooking for myself by the first of February.  I am so glad to report that I have tried it.  It took me almost a month to do some research (I know I am a nerd), pick my recipes and also then to get all the items for the recipes.

 

My biggest problem that I had with the first few task was to stop my family from eating the stuff before I found the perfect day to do it. There just wasn’t any perfect day to just cook.   So I decided that I would break it up into several cooking days instead of just one big one.  But what I have decided is that it is okay to break it up.  It was great.  The first time I did this it took me three days to put 20 meals in the freezer plus over 100 pancakes and three loafs of bread in the freezer.    It even lasted us just over a month. The family loved it.  My dear husband loved how easy it was to fix dinner on nights that I was gone and he didn’t have to do much besides heat and serve.  Maybe do a side depending on the dish.  I loved how I used both meals that you heat and eat and also the ones that were crock pot meals.  I even had a few of the just pop in the oven because it has been put together but not cooked yet.  All the prep work was done for me.  Sometimes the prep work part is the most time consuming.

 

I started planning the next Once a Month Cooking.  By the time I gathered the recipes, the items and picked a day we were almost out of the last batch that I had made.  I did do the Once A Month cooking part for this.  I cooked 15 meals.  I had hoped for more but there just wasn’t enough time in my day due to other activities that came up.  I would say that if you are wanting to do more, I would enlist a friend and you do it together.  Because if I had to leave the kitchen to tend to children or other things, there would at least be one person still cooking and prepping that you could get more day.  SO if I do it again I am going to enlist a friend.  I am now taking applications 🙂

 

Since we are getting even closer by now to the arrival of the newest Coupon Junkie, I am in the middle of yet another Once A Month Cooking.  My plan this time included 47 meals (both lunch and dinner) plus snack foods, breakfast times and lots of baked cooks.  Since my daughter is allergic to so many food items and I will have people helping out for a few weeks after this little bundle is born I did make my wish list of meals larger than I had ever done.  I wanted to make it as easy as possible for those that will be helping, also I would have less to worry about with my #2 daughter’s allergies while I am in the hospital.  It is a win win in my mind.  I can tell you that I spend the last week and half before the arrival preparing all the meals and things.  I tried to do a little baking each day and also a few meals.  This also did a few things that I had trouble with in the past months.  Since my frig was not crammed up with items that my family would eat as soon as it came in the door.  This meant I spent less on buying things twice.  I did try to pick meals that the items were more on sale too but didn’t have to go with things I was unsure that they would eat.

 

I found a lot of the recipes that I used on Pinterest or out of a great book that I got on amazon.com called “Fix Freeze, Take and Bake”.

 

Some of the recipes that we made were:

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – this was just a family recipe.

Three Bean bake – again a family recipe

German Pork Chops — This didn’t freeze well.  I would not recommend it at all.  😦

Macaroni & Cheese with Ham — This is wonderful.  It is from the book “Fix Freeze, Take and Bake”

Chicken Potato Casserole – From “Fix Freeze, Take and Bake”

Hamburger Soup — a family recipe

Wild Rice and Mushroom Chicken bake — from “Fix Freeze, Take and Bake”

Cheese Cake — This was from one of recipes in my binder.  I have no idea where I got the recipe but it is my favorite.  It is so easy my oldest can make it my herself.

Mini meatloafs — I found it on some website through pinterest.com

Shredded chicken – this can be used for any number of meals on the fly and the hard part is already done

Zesty Pineapple chicken – found on a website.  Super yummy.  The last time I did 6 of this meal.  The times before I did 2 and I was told I needed more of that one. It is a new family favorite.

Stuffed Shells —http://freezermealsforus.blogspot.com/

 

This site http://momsbyheart.net/once-a-month-cooking-tutorial/ has some great information and recipes.  She also gives a great way to keep track of your meals and planning tips.

 

This site is another good one that I have used.  http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/06/freezer-meals-on-cheap.html or http://pregnant.livejournal.com/17071127.html or http://ovenlove.blogspot.com/2012/01/adventures-in-freezer-cooking.html

I have found recipes on each site and or tips or tricks that have worked well  for me.

 

I will have to start posting the recipes as I refind them on the web.  I didn’t do a good job bookmarking them.

 

This is something I can see us continuing to do on a monthly or bimonthly bases.  I do know that for me it works better to do a little at a time then to do it all in one day.

 

What has been your experience with freezer cooking? I would love to hear from you.

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