Ed note: This originally appeared as a post to the Thrifty schooler Yahoo group. Reprinted with permission.
Dear Thrifty schoolers,
List member Christy recently wrote to me . . . “I am looking for a cookbook or ideas on making meals for a month (or at least a week) and freezing them. I know they have cookbooks that you can do this for a month. Has anyone used one and which would you suggest? Thanks for any help.”
. . . And then the very next day, I happened to get an email from my dear friend Ann Marie on this very topic:
Subject: I OAMC’d Today!
OAMC means Once A Month Cooking, and my freezer is now occupied with THIRTY THREE (postpartum) MEALS! I am thankful to God for giving me the energy to do this today, and grateful to all the patron saints of cooking whose intercession assisted me, not to mention Ray who took all our kids, plus two extras, away the entire day, *and* my mom, who rewarded my efforts at day’s end with a delectable meal of one of my favorites: liver and onions and cheeseknots!
I am hoping not to have to cook for at least 6 weeks after baby Cletus the Fetus arrives . . . though I am sure I will do some cooking since I like to and also enjoy having a fresh/non-freezer meal! The meals I made today will last some time as we alternate them with brought-in meals from friends and remains of the day (i.e., leftovers!).
ham and cheese quiche-4
cheesy rigatoni bake-2
sweet and sour meatballs-1
colorful chicken casserole-2
crescent chicken bundles-1 [ed note: Crescent rolls don’t freeze well so it is better to freeze the filling and use fresh rolls when you are ready to bake]
poulet de France-1
large taco pie-2
short and sharp chops-2
citrus marinated chops-2
macaroni cheese and ham-2
sloppy joes– 2-3
(I am thinking about doing freezer pizza, but methinks I will just go to Costco and get me some Boboli bread shells to make into pizzas.)
Wearily but Contentedly Yours, Ann Marie
. . . Ann Marie’s goal from here on out is to double all her dinner meals. That way one gets eaten and the other goes in the freezer.
Here are websites on this topic:
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/advice/20000131a.asp (article on how Once a Month Cooking saves $$$$)
Finally, and this is long, a post from one of the NFP (natural family planning) boards (reprinted with permission):
Q: Which OAMC cook book do you use? Also, what kind of containers do you freeze in? I am having trouble thawing some of my casseroles that are in 9×13 glass dishes. I may buy some aluminum pans for freezing. Any other suggestions on containers?
A: I use the original Once a Month Cooking (affiliate link) cookbook, but only used, um, three recipes from there: taco pie, poulet de france, and the chicken packets. I plan to make Mrs. Ringle’s Brisket (and pork roast/shredded pork/navy bean soup) once my replacement crockpot arrives. I also got some recipes from the OAMC websites.
The rest of the recipes came from my Quick Cooking magazines. The newer editions of the magazines – last three copies – don’t have the Freezer Pleaser section, so you are in luck to have the older ones.
I use freezer quart and gallon bags, and aluminum pans, 9X9 and 9X13. The pans are very reasonable at WalMart, so it is part of the investment for me. I spent $200 on all foods and supplies, and I have a lot of leftover chopped ham, ground beef, and quite a bit of chicken breasts – I miscalculated on the amount I needed, but that is ok since we will use those extras between now and birth day.
. . . I’ve never done a full month of cooking, but I have done the two week plan and I do double, triple, and even quadruple recipes sometimes when something is on sale way cheap. I do the same with canning.