A couple of months ago, Carin at Round the Twist started talking about a new website she had found called Once a Month Meals. With Once a Month Meals she was able to get a full menu for her family one time a month (hence Once a Month Meals).
This idea sounded awesome to me.
With school starting back for my husband and my schedule of continuing to work full time we often resort to a quick meal at night when we get home. I decided to give Once a Month Meals a try and see how I liked it. If nothing else, we would try it for a month and move on. If we liked the meals and it worked in our favor, we would try again next month.
The Basic Rundown for Once a Month Meals
After you sign up for Once a Month Meals you get the option of picking what type of menu that you want. The options are:
- Whole Foods
- Gluten Free Dairy Free
With a basic membership ($10) you get one menu for the month with 12 different recipes. If you have a pro membership you are able to swap out recipes you don’t think you would like for other ones that you might like.
As you build your menu, you choose how many people that you plan on cooking for each month. The recipes will then adjust so you have enough to feed each member of your family.
All in all you get 12 different meals with portions enough to freeze two separate meals out of each one. This then becomes the 24 meals that you have for the month. They assume that you probably will eat out (or eat left overs) a few times during the month.
How It Worked
I chose the Whole Foods menu, but was able to substitute out a few recipes that I didn’t see us eating (ie: breakfast soup). When I first printed everything out, I was completely overwhelmed. As I started sorting through everything I was amazed by how awesome and detailed each page was.
They gave me the following:
- Shopping List
- Prep Instructions
- Cooking Day Instructions
- Recipe Cards
- Thaw Sheet
The best part is, some of the items overlapped so you could cook for more than one recipe at a time. For example: I was able to cook chicken for three recipes at once instead of having to make three separate rounds of chicken.
With the way my schedule has been working lately, I decided to break it up into a few nights over the period of one week. After 4 nights of less than 2 hours a night, I wound up cooking for about 4-5 hours that Saturday. Things like meat that needed to be cooked in a crock pot for 8 hours, I threw in the night before so I could cook it over night and deal with it the next night.
After everything is cooked there are instructions on how to freeze each of the meals. They also give you labels that include the thawing and cooking instructions right on it. The labels were hands down my favorite part!
I absolutely loved being able to get everything cooked with Once a Month Meals. While at first it was a little bit of sticker shock buying all of the meat up front, it was well worth it knowing that we don’t have to think about dinner for the next month!
Some of the meals actually made way more than two sets of meals so I was able to freeze them in 4 separate bags. Looking in my freezer and seeing 30ish meals there feels amazing. As someone who likes to plan our meals for the week, I’m so excited not to have to think about it before a big grocery trip for the next few weeks.
Just the way we are with eating, there is a good chance it will take us more than a month to eat all of these meals. This makes me even more excited. As I start next month’s prep, we can continue to use the meals already stored in the freezer. We will then have a little more variety each month.
So far we’ve tried three of the different meals and have enjoyed them. They were easy to warm up & they tasted great. We even convinced the little man to try “taco bread” also known as Mexican Stromboli. He was a fan too.
I will definitely be trying another month of Once a Month Meals again soon.
Check back next week for tricks I came up with on staying organized while cooking for a month.
Have you tried Once a Month Meals? What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy freezer cooking?
Disclaimer: As a Once a Month Meals affiliate, I was comped a pro membership. This post does contain my affiliate link.