I am so excited to start this post because I am now enjoying nightly dinners without having to cook thanks to my new cooking plan where I seriously cook only once a month…AND I’M LOVING IT!!
Check out my freezer!! How cool is this??!!
1. Select recipes and portions
There is no sure fire monthly meal plan that will work universally for all families. So when I was planning what meals to make for this month, I chose meals that 1.) I know my family will like 2.) Are budget friendly 3.) Will freeze well 4.) Have crock pot potential 5.) Require fewer ingredients. As far as portions, with six of us (including three teenage boys), we are obviously going to need more than a smaller family. Take this into consideration when selecting recipes.
2. Figure out what storage containers you need and how you plan to mark what is in each one.
This was my biggest mistake throughout this process. I just went into the store and bought a bunch of freezer bags and foil containers. I overestimated freezer bags and seriously underestimated foil containers. I had to send My Better Half to the store halfway through the cooking to get more. So my suggestion is when you are planning your meals, mark down what you will be storing it in…freezer bag or foil container.
3. Clean out refrigerator and freezer for storage
I didn’t think ahead to do this so on my cooking day, I was cleaning out the freezer and trying to find room in the refrigerator to store my supplies until I found time to cook this.
4. Plan the shopping list
I can’t help but think, “He’s making a list and checking it twice…”. This is what you need to do. Go through each of the recipes and write down the ingredients. Then mark off what you have in your stockpile or pantry so you don’t buy twice. Once you create the shopping list, go over it again. I was certain I hadn’t missed a thing but I still had to send My Better Half back to the store…twice!!
5. Recruit help
This is not a mandatory step but I would still highly recommend it. It is nice to have someone opening cans, stirring, chopping, and browning. My kids helped me this time and we have some good memories from the day. They did get bored after about two hours but we had a nice dent in the cooking by then.
So those are my “preparing to cook for a month” pointers. I’ve got meal plans, recipes, and a grocery list to share with you. Make sure you follow along so you don’t miss any of the upcoming posts.
**Update: I have now shared recipes, grocery lists, and frequently asked questions. You can see those posts here: