I was skeptical about freezer cooking for a long time before trying it. I was afraid, like most meal plans I figured it would be more expensive and we are living on a strict budget. I was also pretty positive spending several hours prepping meals would end up taking more time than I had to devote. I was surprised to find that I saved not only time throughout the month, but I was able to do it on less than our budget.
Do you remember the phrase time is money? Well for me and my family that is absolutely true. With a toddler, two businesses, a job, and this blog it is imperative that we spend our time wisely. I started searching for a way to minimize my time spent in the kitchen so I could maximize my time spent with family and on my businesses.
Freezer cooking is where you prepare your meals ahead of time, pop them in the freezer, and then thaw and cook them. Of course you have to find the recipes, put together a list, and then spend a bunch of time at once preparing the food. So upon finding the program I use for freezer cooking I was shocked at how easy it actually is.
Freezer Cooking Made Easy
What if I told you there is a place you can find recipes, compile your list, and get instructions for preparing and cooking all at once? That program is called Once a Month Meals.
Once a Month Meals is an entire system filled with recipes. As you add recipes to your menu a shopping list, recipe cards, labels, and everything else you need is compiled automatically. Additionally, you can adjust the serving size according to your family size.
Freezer Meals For A Month Shopping List
The thing I love the most about Once a Month Meals program is it allows me to create my own menu. I can pick recipes based on how much effort it takes to prep, what cooking method I want to use, and what the cooking method is.
It then compiles instructions for prep and cooking and gives me a shopping list with exact amount needed for my recipes.
The shopping list is one of the more important parts of the program because it means you never forget or miss an important ingredient. It means you are only purchasing exactly what you will use instead of throwing away food that’s gone bad. This feature saves you money in the long run because you’re never wasting food.
Cooking Freezer Meals For A Month
Not only does it save you time and money, but there are thousands of recipes that are diet friendly. Imagine this, you decide to go on a diet, you pick recipes based on that diet, prepare them and freeze them. For one month you have all of your meals planned and ready to help you stick to your diet.
Furthermore, you can narrow down by keywords, meal times, what it takes to prep, and what way you want to cook them. Once a Month Meals makes freezer cooking easy.
It took me 3 hours to prep all of my meals. I cut up and divided up all of my veggies, spices, and meats then just went through cooking one meal for prep and putting another together for a dump and bake.
This is the most exhausting part of freezer cooking but it was so worth it when I had zero prep work involved for the remainder of the month. I wasn’t standing in my kitchen for 30-45 minutes every night prepping and cooking dinner. Instead I was only spending 10-15 minutes cooking at night.
Faster dinners, meant happier family, meant more time to focus on other things in my life.
How I used Freezer Cooking to Save Money
Alright I’ve told you what I use to save loads of kitchen time and money. Let me tell you exactly how I did it.
Upon signing up for Once a Month Meals I pulled my sales ad for my local grocery store. You can find these online if they don’t come to you in the mail.
Based on which meats were on sale I started meal planning. With ground beef and pork chops on sale I knew I was going to focus most meals around these two items. Chicken is always on sale at my grocery store even though they don’t always advertise it in the ad so I added a few meals with chicken.
Logging into OAMM and I went to my blank menu. I clicked the swap button under one of the blank recipes and started my search.
I narrowed down those search results by the meat I wanted to use. Then narrowed the search results more for oven or slow cooker recipes. Additionally, I picked recipes that required minimal prep time.
I picked 11 recipes total and we went grocery shopping the next morning. When I finally added up the total of the 22 meals, we only spent $68.18. That truly shocked me.
When I got home I planned to spend 5 hours in the kitchen. The second shock came when I realized it took me only 3 hours to prepare everything.
I started off by baking some chicken for one of the recipes. While that baked I diced up an onion and two green peppers. I also diced up bacon for two of the recipes. I started cooking up meals that needed to be precooked.
While I cooked meals on the stove top, I started creating sauces for other meals. I bagged up everything, labeled the bags, and stuck them in the freezer.
By preparing everything all at once I just moved from one recipe to the next. Things that I knew would take longer I started preparing first. In between stirring ingredients in a pan I prepared other meals and packed up meals.
The Cost and Savings
You’ve heard how the program works, how I used to it save money, and how much time I’m saving using this program. So how much does it cost?
For $20 a month you get access to over 5500 freezer cooking recipes. You also get prepared shopping lists, prepared recipe cards, and all the instructions you need. Even with the cost of the program the savings are more than the cost of the program.
In addition to time and money saving I didn’t have to spend hours researching sales and cutting coupons. While you can absolutely add this program to your routine it’s not necessary to see the savings.
Freezer Meals For A Month On A Budget
Alright let’s break this down. I have zero food waste because I only bought exactly what I needed. Only buying what I needed and basing the recipes on what was on sale saved me a lot of money.
Furthermore, if I were to make 30 minute meals for 22 meals I would spend a total of 11 hours in the kitchen for those 22 meals. For a full month that ends up being 15 hours. For the one or two dinners I will be in front of a stove top for I still will only spend a total of 4 hours cooking.
Once a Month Meals is a game changer when it comes to saving time and money. It’s a game changer for sticking to a diet. It’s a game changer for making life easier.
Has freezer cooking worked for you? Would a program like this work well for you? Let me know in the comments. Pin this to your favorite cooking board and follow me on Pinterest for plenty of easy recipes and more.
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