I am incredibly interested in once-a-month-cooking. I would love to have menus planned and prepped for a whole month. It just isn't possible for me right now, for several reasons:
- I don't have a large amount of kid free time to prepare more than a handful of meals and trying to cook is hard with a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old who want to help and be underfoot
-I don't have a freezer large enough to hold a months worth of meals
-I don't have a kitchen big enough to prepare a lot of meals
- and finally I don't have enough money to buy enough groceries for a month's worth
I have been trying to do more freezer cooking for awhile now, I double some recipes and put one in the freezer for later and eat one for dinner. Having a prepared dinner in the freezer makes me feel good because I know that on a day when I don't feel like cooking we won't be tempted to go out to eat or just eat junk, we can have a decent meal despite a lack of motivation. So I have been slowly moving towards once-a-month cooking and I have figured out that it works best for me on a smaller scale- a week's worth. So if I get a couple hours kid-free on a Sunday to prep some meals, I go to town. I have found it makes the week so much easier especially when I just have to pull dinner out of the freezer and put it in the oven.
Yesterday while Lily napped and Lance and Jeff went to the children's museum I went went to work in the kitchen, preparing 4 of the 7 meals for this week. It was pure chaos, and there were TONS of dishes to wash afterward, but most of my meals are prepped and ready to go. Which reminds me I don't mind cleaning the kitchen and a clean, organized kitchen makes me feel good, but I get tired of messing it up to make dinner and clean it up every night and that is why plan ahead cooking is ideal for me. I make a huge mess one day and the rest of the week the mess is just plates and a casserole dish, not all of prep bowls, measuring cups, spatulas etc that need cleaning when you are prepping meals. Having a clean kitchen also helps motivate me to keeping the rest of the house clean and when I don't have to spend over half an hour cleaning the kitchen I am a bit more motivated to pick up other areas on the house in the evening.
So hopefully I will continue to meal plan and find the time to do once-a-week-cooking to make the week run a little smoother and help us to save money by not wasting food and eating at home.