Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Update on OAMC

I wimped out and hardly took any pics this time around due to our crazy busy week. However, everything on my list is done and I'm quite happy with the fact that meal prep for the rest of the month should be a snap. The biggest problem I have is the size of our freezer. We do have a deep freeze in our shed, but don't really have the space for it here. So, we make do with the little above-the-fridge freezer. However, at our last house I could store about twice as much. Our fridge is very small and so is the freezer. I ended up having to pull as much as I could out of our freezer, saving some to thaw for meals in the next 7 days, giving my kids ice cream for dessert to try to free up freezer space, and having to cook half as much rice as I wanted to. I would have liked to save all of the cookies and muffins for later in the month but I had to thaw some already since the space just isn't there. Because of this issue, I think my future bulk cooking days will omit actual meals and that I will go back to doing meats, beans, rice, tortillas, and shredded cheeses and stick with dry mixes as much as possible for baked goods.

Helpful Tips I picked up on this go-around:

*My new griddle from Black Friday (I used my Christmas money for my first little cheapo mp3 player and a pancake griddle) made tortilla making so much nicer! Before, I could do one tortilla at a time and it took a couple of hours to make them. Now I can do 4 at a time and it's done within about 45 minutes. Yay!

*I really like doing just a few hours a day stretched out for more days. I was so sapped after the last bulk cook-a-rama, but this week I have just been focusing on a few bulk things a day and life has been much easier, even though we've had tons of stuff going on in our lives this week with church events, ballet recitals and performances coming up, and family things.

*Dry mixes are awesome! Having 7-Grain roll mixes on hand last month to just throw in the bread machine with water and 2 T. butter sure was handy! I forgot all about the cornbread mixes I made last month and never used them but this month since I have 4 bags of frozen chili made up, I will pair them with that.

*My dishwasher is such a blessing for clean-up! I doubt I would do these cooking days without one!

*Whether or not you cook once a month or not, you ABSOLUTELY should have a generalized guide for a month's worth of meals. I know people survive without them, but I think that it is a wonderful blessing to have at least a rough idea of how the month is going to go meal-wise so that you're not racking your brain for supper ideas at 4 p.m., or trying to find time each week to sit down and make a menu. If you like more variety than the same meals over and over go for themes. For example: Monday is Italian night. One week chose Ravioli, the next choose Pizza, the next Spaghetti, the next Alfredo. Tuesday is Mexican night. Wednesday is Asian. Thursday is Fast Meals. Friday is Kid's Favorites. Saturday is Breakfast for Dinner. Sunday is Leftover Night, etc. When you go with themes you will find that a month's worth of ideas come together in a flash. Then you just have to stock up all at once or weekly to buy the ingredients.


Candi said...

I completely agree - if you do OAMC, you might as well have a monthly meal plan in mind. we do something similar: monday (classic 3 course, chicken, veggie, starch) tuesday (casserole), wednesday (breakfast for supper - eggs are cheap :), thursday (soup), friday (pizza), saturday (mexican), sunday (leftovers or sandwiches).

the momma said...

would it be possible to run a heavy-duty extension cord out to the shed & use the freezer out there??

Rachael said...

Hey lindsey-
We had the same issue with our deep freeze when we lived in Bemdidji and didnt have enough room in our apartment. Casey got a ourdoor extention cord and plugged it in. It was kinda cold to go and get stuff in the winter but it worked. You did an awesome job on your bulk cooking, I wish I had your tenacity:)

Tammy L said...

Your freezer cooking days always AMAZE me!! :D ...and I really should make granola some cold morning when I want to warm up the house a little... :)

LS said...

Good idea for the deep freeze ladies! Our deep freeze is in our shed at my parents' house across town, but if we were staying here for a long time we would. Because we have to move out in April or May for them to raise up the house, we will probably just try to make do without it until we find a permanent place. I like the idea of putting it in a locked shed behind the house though! I wouldn't have thought of that!

Thia said...

The extra freezer space is wonderful to have. We have an upright freezer, but are looking for a good used chest freezer. We'd like to start buying really bulk meats, like quarter cows, pigs etc.

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