Saturday, February 13, 2010

Q&A Saturday: Once-A-Month-Cooking

Recently I received a question about Once-A-Month-Cooking from my cousin's wife, Sarah:

"I saw a little while ago that you did a oamc day. How did it go for you? I am thinking about trying it myself, but wanted to get your thoughts. And, if it went well did you get the actual cook book for oamc? Or were you able to find enough meals on line?"

These are great questions and I thought it might be beneficial for everyone who follows this blog to know the answers.
I've been participating in Baking Day/Freezer Cooking Day/OAMC Day for just a few months now.  I learned about this wonderful idea from Crystal at Money Saving Mom and Jessica at Life as Mom.  I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't stumbled upon their blogs.  After my first OAMC day, I was hooked!  I knew right then and there this could be a huge time-saver for me.  In fact, I love it so much, I start planning the next month's OAMC day two weeks ahead of time.  

I started out creating weekly meal plans and after I did the first OAMC day, I realized having a monthly meal plan in place would be easier to plan what to actually cook or bake on OAMC day.  I used what pantry items and freezer items I had purchased the previous month and planned accordingly.  Just before OAMC day, I create a time table to keep me on track so I utilize every available minute.  I wash up all my kitchen towels in preparation for lots of messes.  I try to organize everything in the kitchen so the plans will come off without a hitch.  But, as many of you know, where there are children, comes changes even for the best laid plans.  

To help out with planning meals, I decided to break it down by days:
Monday: Classic 3 Course Meal (meat, starch, veggie)
Tuesday:  Casserole
Wednesday:  Breakfast for Supper (cheap eats for sure!)
Thursday:  Soup
Friday:  Pizza 
Saturday:  Tex-Mex 
Sunday:  Crock Pot meal

Using this plan has made it easier.  Instead of trying to figure out 28-30 meals, I just need to focus on two casseroles (I double each one and we eat them twice for four meals).  Four soup meals, Four pizza meals, four crock pot meals, four breakfast for supper meals, four classic meals.  It doesn't seem to be as overwhelming when I look at it from this angle.  

As for my favorite online sites for research, I love these:
Crock Pot 365 - She cooked in her crock pot for 365 days and created a cookbook about it!
Once A Month Mom - She is currently writing a series about OAMC.  A definite must-read.  She includes a monthly meal plan (for the following month so you can purchase what you need when it's on sale during the current month), grocery lists and recipes.

These are some of my favorite sites for freezer recipes:

I've borrowed one book from the library:
Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead  by Susie Martinez, Bonnie Garcia and Vanda Howell.

I've also requested these and still waiting on them to come in at the library:

I got a couple of yummy sounding recipes from the Don't Panic Cookbook, and I'm going to be trying a couple of them next month.

I can't wait to get back into the kitchen in a few weeks!  I hope you'll join us.  If you have a twitter account, you can follow the hashtag #oamc to see what everyone else is cooking and planning.  Some bloggers link their recipes they plan to use too, which is always a great way to share.  In fact, last month, Jess at Cupcake Mommie's Menu shared her yeast roll recipe.  I baked two batches last month and we've been eating the rolls this month.  It's the best recipe ever, YUM! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I love to hear from all y'all!


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