Once-a-Month Cooking: Tips and Resources

source: francois et fier de l'Être

source: francois et fier de l'Être

The key to successfully using the once-a-month cooking method is to get organized and plan ahead. This is not the time to fly by the seat of your pants in the kitchen! While I’m sure there are a few people who could do that and still end up with a freezer full of delicious home-cooked meals, most of us would simply end up huddled in the corner in tears because of the chaos of trying to cook 15-30 meals at once without a plan.

7 Once-a-Month Cooking Tips

If you’re ready to take the plunge and give once-a-month cooking (OAMC) a try, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Start small. Plan to cook one or two weeks worth of dinners during your first cooking session rather than starting off with a full month of all three meals. Follow someone else’s plan your first couple of sessions before attempting to create your own.

2. Bring in the reinforcements. Ask a friend to join you, and double the recipes so you each have a set of meals at the end of the day. Have your husband or someone else wrangle the kids so that you can focus on the cooking.

3. Shop the day before. Don’t try to shop on the same day you’ll be cooking. You won’t have time to get your ingredients organized, and you’ll probably end up exhausted by the time it’s done!

4. Clear out the freezer. Whether you’re using a refrigerator freezer or a chest freezer, take some time to clean it out ahead of time. Throw away food that is unrecognizable or has been in there through more than one season and move ingredients and meals that still need to be used to the top so that you can use them up first.

5. Use freezer bags or vacuum sealer bags to freeze as much as you can. This will allow you to stack them flat and fit more in your freezer.

6. Label, label, label. Be sure to label everything with the name of the meal, the date it was frozen or an expiration date and instructions for cooking it. You can make these labels ahead of time as well to save yourself time on your cooking day.

7. Take a break when needed. I love this tip from the Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites book. If you start to feel your stress level rising, take a few minutes to step outside and get away from the kitchen before heading back in to finish up!

Once-a-Month Cooking Resources

A couple of you mentioned that you’d love to see vegetarian plans for once-a-month cooking, so I did some searching, and here are two that I found:

:: A Soy Vegetarian OAMC Plan, Ellen’s Kitchen

:: OAMC – Vegetarian Plan, Fractured Frugal Friends

If you’re looking for books with recipes and plans laid out for you, here are a few options:

:: Once-A-Month Cooking and Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites

:: Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

:: Everything Meals for a Month

:: The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy

:: Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving

And finally, be sure to check out these websites for everything you want to know about OAMC cooking and more:

:: Once a Month Mom

:: Official Once-A-Month Cooking website

:: Once A Month Cooking World

:: Organized Home: Freezer Cooking Guide

If you’re a veteran OAMC-er, share your best tip! If you haven’t yet tried once-a-month cooking, are you ready to put a date on the calendar to give it a try?

And if you’re looking for another opportunity to win the Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites book, be sure to head over to Food for My Family to enter!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

7 Responses to “ Once-a-Month Cooking: Tips and Resources ”

  1. Thanks so much for telling others about my site! I love once a month cooking and love having readers that want to learn more. I’m totally bookmarking some of these sites for myself too!
    Tricia (Once A Month Mom)´s last blog ..Think Ahead Thursday: OAMM Tweet-Up – What Do You Want To Know? My ComLuv Profile


  2. OK, Mandi. You have convinced me. I’m going to try it! I will put a date on the calendar today.
    Marci´s last blog ..Resources for Overcoming Busy My ComLuv Profile


  3. It’s funny you did this now. I just borrowed a book from the library about this topic. I haven’t done it yet. But I would love too. I will research the recipes for ones I think my family would eat and then try it out.

    Thanks for all the links, what a timesaver.


  4. I really like tip #2. Maybe with an extra set of hands, I wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed.
    TheRoosterChick´s last blog ..Save Time In The Kitchen & Get Dinner On The Table In A Hurry! – Part 4 of 7 My ComLuv Profile


  5. [...] Once a Month Cooking: Tips and Resources @ Organizing Your Way [...]

  6. What a great list of resources! I have been trying to find a resource for freezer meal recipes…Thanks for this info! I hope you and your Sideny are doing well. My Sydeny is doing well at 20 months with unstoppable little legs and fingers! Best, Abbie
    abbie´s last blog ..what i’m reading… My ComLuv Profile


  7. As soon as we move into our own house next month I am going to start this. I think I will start with Thanksgiving left overs and go from there. Thanks for all information and greast support site.


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