Once a Month Cooking

Quite a long time ago I had read about Bulk Cooking on someone’s blog. I wish for the life of me I could remember who, but it has been SO LONG that I can’t remember.

So the general idea of this plan is that once a month you cook the ENTIRE DAY. You are a cooking FIEND. And you put everything in the freezer, well wrapped and labeled, until the day before you want to eat it. Then you thaw it in the fridge overnight and then heat it up for dinner. No cooking, just heating. So on any given day you don’t have a lot to worry about or do – just thaw a meal and put in the oven – that is your entire duty. But one day a month ALL you do is cook.

Because I’m a person who really doesn’t like to cook, this idea appeals to me. I mean, now that I see the benefit financially and taste-wise of cooking, I’m TOTALLY okay cooking 3-4 times per week (I’m the queen of left overs), but I still don’t enjoy doing it.

So I put on hold the The Everything Meals for a Month book by Linda Larsen at my public library and I finally was next on the list for it this week. I browsed through it last night as I was going to bed and I think that I may try some modification of the techniques in the book.

First, this book is aimed for a family of 4. The SMALLEST recipes are for 4 servings and the largest are for 12. The idea being that you make a triple batch of a recipe and then your family can eat it 3 times that month – and you’ve just saved some time.

However, since I’m a single chick living on my own, a serving size of 4 leaves me with 4 meals to eat – which means each recipe I’d get to eat 4 times during the month (not just 3 like you would if you were a family and made a triple batch). However, I eat my left over dinners as lunch the next day. So I think I would probably just take the family of 4 recipes and STORE them in halves. That way when I cook dinner for one day I’m also cooking lunch for the next.

Instead of spending all day slaving in the kitchen for a month of food when I’m not sure if I’m going to like the process, I think what I’m going to do is make two different meals and freeze them. Then eat the two different meals (for me, this would give me 8 total meals – or 4 days worth of food – 4 lunches + 4 dinners) over the course of the next week. If I like the convenience of just thawing and reheating food then I’ll see about continuing with the Once a Month Cooking.

If nothing else, I think that doing 1-2 meals and freezing them would be really good for days when I KNOW that I will be tired when I get home or when I know that I won’t have much time to get a meal together. Those are the days that I usually end up eating out at some really crappy fast food place. It would be nice to know that there is food at home ready to just be heated and then eaten.

Have you even tried any bulk cooking? Did you have positive or negative results with it? Any tips for me?

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8 Responses to Once a Month Cooking

  1. Jessie says:

    That’s a neat idea. I’ve never cooked before with the purpose of storing/freezing it for later. It could be worth trying out!

    • SS4BC says:

      That was my thought, too. It has the potential to make my life A LOT easier (of course, it also has the potential of sucking… but I’m willing to give it a shot!)

  2. MPP says:

    I am always on the lookout for good meals to make ahead and freeze. Soups are very easy and I usually make a huge things of spaghetti sauce and freeze it for easy pasta nights when I have nothing else to eat. I’ve also heard that lasagna and enchiladas are great to make ahead and freeze, but I’ve never done it.

    I think the key for this is to have portion-size containers that you can easily take out the frozen meal. You don’t want to have a huge pot of soup in one container that takes an hour to thaw, so strategically freezing things that are easy to reheat are best. Please let us know what recipes you find in that book! That’s a great idea.

    • SS4BC says:

      Yeah, the issue I’m actually the most concerned with is the containers. I have a whole bunch of Ziplock and Glad tupperware containers – but I’m not sure how good they’ll be for freezing and keeping things air tight. The book recommends just using foil, freezer paper and freezer tape. So I may pick some of the freezer paper and tape and try that. We’ll see, I may just call my grandma and ask her for advice since she is a great freezer-person.

  3. Laura@mtp says:

    This sounds like a good idea 🙂

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  5. Linda says:

    Bulk cooking is a great way to prepare for days you need a fast meal and don’t have the time to prepare it. My grandmother used to do this. She would purchase divided aluminum trays, and make two weeks worth of meals into TV dinners. When it was time to eat, she popped one or as many as needed if she had company, into the oven. Another way to practice bulk cooking is to prepare portions of recipes in advance, such as cooking 5 or 10 lbs of hamburger or chicken and freezing it for use in 30 minute recipes.

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