Freezer cooking for me began when I was pregnant. I’d double a few recipes and stick one in the freezer for later. After a few weeks of doubling meals, I had plenty of food ready to go for those first few weeks of motherhood.
I’ve continued cooking this way off and on for the past year but never cooked an entire month’s menu in one day. Every month I would think about trying it but just never nailed down a time to actually do it!
Well, I finally decided to officially try once a month cooking using Once a Month Meals Paleo menu and got to work!
Cleaning During and After a Once a Month Cooking (OAMC) Day
Clean out your refrigerator and freezer before the big day. Give it a good scrub down. Your OAMC day will be more organized plus your food will look more appealing.
Start with a clean kitchen and an empty dishwasher. Take everything off your counters so you can utilize your entire workspace. Trust me, this is a big help! You also want to be able to clean as many pots, pans, and utensils as you go and have an empty dishwasher to load at the end of the day.
Keep a trash can in the middle of your workspace. I knew better but just didn’t implement it this month. Many, many precious steps were wasted walking to and from the trash can!
Your kitchen is a only a disaster one day a month. But, the rest of the month it’s reasonably clean! Seriously, this is one of the best benefits. Of course, having pre-cooked homemade meals is pretty nice but next to no cleaning 30 days of the month is priceless!!
Use resources from others to make the process easier! I’ve made my own monthly menu before and let me tell you, it’s a LOT of work! You can shave off a lot of the prep time by utilizing a site like Once a Month Mom. She comes up with the menu, provides a grocery list and even gives you step by step instructions for the big day! She does all the hard work for you. All you have to do is cook!
Don’t have your house on the market to sell during your big cooking day. Why? Because someone will surely call wanting to come see it in two hours! Can you guess how I know this? My house wasn’t picked up and my kitchen was a DISASTER! Plus, I was making soup so the smell permeated the entire place. The soup smelled great but I usually like to have a fresh clean scent when potential buyers are looking at the house. When I got the call, I stopped everything, stuffed all the food in the refrigerator, swept up everything I had dropped on the floor (*ahem*) and got to work on the rest of the house. Then I had to leave for an hour with a baby in tow. Everything worked out great, but it did put a slight kink in my cooking day plans! So, the following day I tried to finish up and, can you guess what happened? As soon as the cooking supplies were out and I was elbow deep in ground turkey…we got another call! I may just have to plan a big cooking day every day until we sell this place!!
All in all it was a great experience!
We have tons of food ready to eat. If we need to bring food to a family it’s ready to go. We won’t have to ask “What’s for Dinner?” for at least a month (probably longer). Last, but not least, we will have a reasonably clean kitchen for the next 30+ days! We may even be able to clean it in less than 5 minutes and spend more time doing the things that really matter!
Have you ever tried Once A Month Cooking? What’s your favorite benefit?