You know how guilty you feel when you have to call for takeout AGAIN because there just never seems to be enough hours in the day to work, help the kids to their homework and pick up that never ending trail of toys and odd socks, let alone cook a healthy meal?
Well it seems we’ve been doing it all wrong!
I was talking to some girlfriends last week who told me that they do this thing called Freezer Cooking. I thought they meant that they just bought food from the freezer section and made that instead of calling for takeout. So I felt a bit embarrassed when they said that all their meals were home cooked from scratch, and then they were the ones who froze them!
Apparently they spend one weekend cooking all the meals for the whole month, pop them in the freezer and then when dinner time rocks up they already have a healthy dinner ready and waiting to be cooked!
I thought it sounded like a lot of effort but they said it really was a lot easier than trying to cook every evening. And get this. Not only do they now have extra time to spend with their kids they even have extra time to themselves!
Imagine that. Being able to actually go get your hair done or go for a run without feeling guilty!!
I thought it was a worth a try, since what I’m doing now just isn’t working (and while hubby never says no to takeout he always gets cross when we run out of money before the end of the month!)
Freezer cooking is actually pretty simple
- First you have to decide what meals you want to eat during the month. Oh and they said to make sure you write down which evenings you’re out at swim meets or whatever because those nights its easier to have leftovers.
- Then you do the grocery shop for the whole month’s worth of meals. Now I LIKE the idea of not having to shop every single week!
- Then you have to do the prep work like chopping veggies and pre-cooking meats.
- Finally package it all up and label it (so you can find it again when you need it) and fill the freezer!
I have to confess at this point I started to waiver again. I LOVE the idea but you know I’m not the most organised of folks and it just felt a little bit overwhelming.
Which is when they told me about Once a Month Meals and suddenly I could really see how BRILLIANT this freezer cooking thing actually is.
Once a Month Meals makes it even EASIER!
With a subscription to Once a Month Meals all of that planning and co-ordinating stuff is taken care of.
They have a number of menus you can choose from, or there’s 5,000 recipes in their database you can use instead!
Once you’ve decided which recipes your family will enjoy the most the magic happens, because the system takes all of those recipes and gives you a combined grocery list, preparation and cooking instructions!
You print out:
- One shopping list, with all the combined ingredients on it
- One set of Prep instructions so you know how the meats need to be sliced, which ingredients need to be cooked in the oven and how all the veg needs to be chopped
- One set of Cooking Day instructions which tells you exactly what needs to be cooked and how to prepare the other ingredients for freezing
- One set of recipes so you know what supplies you need and how to cook to freeze/cook after freezing.
- One set of labels, so you don’t have to worry about Unidentified Frozen Objects in your freezer! The whole point of planning ahead is that you can find the meals and know how to cook them when you want to eat them right?
- One thaw set. This sets out for each recipe how long it takes to thaw (if required) and how long it takes to cook in either your oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot. This is a brilliant way of deciding what meal to eat on which day as you will know how long you have to prepare dinner.
There’s no figuring out batch sizes either because you tell the system how many people you need to serve and it will figure it all out for you, adjusting the recipes and the shopping list accordingly.
The website is really easy to use
I found the website SUPER easy to use and I love that they send you a Secret Handbook which walks you through everything step by step.
There are so many different pre-selected menu options with everything from Instant Pot recipes, to Paleo, Gluten Free and even a menu for tots!
If you prefer to make your own menus from scratch (or just switch out some recipes from a pre-selected menu) then you can choose from a whole heap of yummy recipes including breakfast, side dishes and even snacks.
You can also choose recipes based on how you want to prepare the meal before freezing, or how you want to cook the meal on serving day.If you want to be able to feed your family home cooked meals and still have time to juggle family life AND have guilt free time to yourself then the Once a Month Meals website will be your new best friend!
It certainly gets a big thumbs up from me and you can check it out here.
Now all you need to do is grab your calendar to schedule in a day to do your cooking and then pick up the phone and call your hairstylist. Before she really forgets what you look like!