If you are like most moms around the world, there never seems to be enough time or energy at the end of most days to prepare the nice home cooked meal you would love to have ready made for your family. Unfortunately, cooking a good family meal requires both time and energy. To avoid this, why not try once a month cooking!
The thought behind once a month cooking is that for one or two days of prepping and cooking, your dinners will be ready for an entire month. Not only does this help by always having something nice and home cooked for dinner, but it also helps stay within a budget.
There are some important things you must keep in mind if you are considering once a month cooking as a way of life for your family.
Plan ahead. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that planning is the key. You will need to set aside a day (or two) for the cooking when nothing else is on the calendar. It is simply too difficult to see to all the details if you are planning your cooking event around car pools, soccer games, or dance practices. You need a full day that will be relatively uninterrupted.
Create a menu and shopping list. You should also create a thorough menu followed by a list of each and every ingredient you will need. Shopping needs to be done on a day other than when you are planning to cook. This means that you aren’t likely to rush through the shopping trip and forget something as a result. Bring your menu and your list and get everything you need in one trip whenever possible. You can also save money by planning your meals for the month according to the sales circulars and coupons you have for the week in order to stretch your budget a little further.
Gather your supplies, dishes, and containers. You should also make sure that the recipes you are using for your once a month cooking marathon are recipes that freeze well. It is even better if you have recipes that double well so that you can get twice the results from the same effort.
Prepare yourself! Make sure your kitchen is clean and organized before you begin prepping your meals. Folding card tables make an excellent flat surface for storing things out of the way and freeing up valuable counter space for preparing and assembling the foods that will be prepared. You should also utilize as many appliances in your kitchen as possible for maximum efficiency. Don’t limit all cooking to the oven. Find dishes that freeze well and can be prepared in the crock pot or on the range top.
Once a month cooking can be a challenge but many will agree it is well worth the effort on those nights when the thought of cooking seems unbearable and the wallet has been stretched to its limit!