Meal Prep Mastery: Simplify Your Week with Once-a-Week Cooking

If you're similar to the majority of moms around the world, you often lack the time or energy to have ready-made, homemade food ready for your family on the final days of your day. Unfortunately, cooking a nutritious meal for your family requires both effort and time. A few wise moms have come up with a concept that is commonly referred to as freezer cooking every month of the year or "freeze out" nights, these strategies are intended to assist with limited time or energy during those nights.

The motivation behind monthly cooking is that for one or two days (if you prefer to spread the process over multiple shorter days instead of one long day of cooking), your family will have a feast for a month. Many women who attempted this also reported that it had a positive effect on their diets and helped families stay within their means.

Too many mothers have a reluctant hand to raise when asked if they've ever eaten fast food or junk food simply because they were too tired to cook or lacked one ingredient, they didn't feel the need to go to the grocery store to pick up an extra ingredient. This practice can become expensive over time and take away from your family's fun money that was earned with hard work.

There are a few crucial things you should consider if you want to consider cooking as part of your family's lifestyle once every month. The first step is to remember that planning is essential. You will need to devote a day (or two) to cooking when there is no other scheduled events. It's simply too difficult to observe every nuance if you plan a cooking event around carpools, soccer games, or dance practices. You will need a full day that is free of interruptions in a majority of cases. If you have a partner, spouse, or family member that can take the children for the day, this would be the most ideal situation. Otherwise, be sure to have plenty of distractions available for the children or find a way to involve them in any cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, or peeling that is necessary. 

You must also create a detailed menu along with a list of every ingredient necessary. Shopping should not take place on the same day as preparing the food. This implies that you're unlikely to rush through the shopping trip and forget something as a result. Bring your menu and your list with you and utilize everything you need in one excursion as often as possible. You can also reduce costs by planning your meals for the month based on the coupons and sales circulars you have available each week, this will allow you to extend your budget a bit further. 

Ultimately, you must ensure that you have all of the supplies, dishes, and containers necessary in order to prepare and store the meals you've prepared properly. Also, you should make sure the recipes you use for your monthly cooking marathon are recipes that can be frozen. It's even more beneficial if you have recipes/recipe ideas that double as well, this would allow you to reap twice the benefit from the same effort. 

You must also ensure you're mentally prepared for the marathon duration of your cooking endeavor. Starting with a neat and tidy kitchen is a great first step. Card tables that fold make an ideal flat surface for storing objects out of the way and freeing up valuable counter space for preparing and assembling the food that will be prepared. Additionally, you should utilize as many kitchen appliances as possible in order to maximize efficiency. Don't limit all cooking to the oven. Look for dishes that are easy to freeze and can be prepared in the crock pot or on the stove top. Every month, cooking is a challenge, but many women will admit that it's worth it on those nights when the thought of cooking seems impossible and the wallet is already stretched to its limits. 

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