I followed Once a Month Mom's Traditional Menu for May and this is what I made today -
- Cheesy Meatloaf Muffins
- Hot Ham and Cheese Croissants
- Black Bean and Corn Stuffed Potatoes
- Southwestern Egg Rolls
- Chili Dog Casserole
- Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken
- Meatball Minestrone
- Chicken Marsala
- Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne
- Coconut Chicken
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Sweet Mustard Beef**
Speaking of money - how much did this cost me?
I printed off the grocery list (another cool thing about the site - you put in how many people you are feeding and it adjusts the grocery lists and menus accordingly!) and went through what we had on hand. I had several of the ingredients (for example I had a TON of frozen chicken and did not need to buy any chicken) including most of the spices and pantry staples (flour, cornstarch, sugar, etc). I hit up Aldi first and then went to Walmart for everything I couldn't get there. I spent about $130 on groceries needed to cook this menu (though I am not sure how much it would cost if I had to buy everything). Not bad at all!
The night before
I followed the instructions on the Once a Month mom website and we grilled the chicken for the Chicken Fajita soup the night before (we were grilling out anyway). I baked the potatoes needed for the Black bean and corn stuffed potatoes and threw them and the cooked chicken in the fridge. I also made sure that all of our meat (chicken, hamburger) was in the fridge to thaw overnight.
The big day
I started cooking at about 11 am. I cooked all day until 8:30 pm following the step by step instructions on what to do when. It worked really well! I took a break mid day for a nap and had several times when I stopped and played with Fisher. I like cooking but I often feel so rushed cooking when I have a hungry toddler and my own stomach is growling. So it was actually really nice to spend the whole day in the kitchen and not being rushed. I did make quite a mess and used a ton of dishes! I ran our dishwasher twice during the time I was cooking and I also hand washed several things that I needed quickly. When all was said and done, Shawn came in and cleaned the kitchen up. He spent probably thirty minutes cleaning.
I feel accomplished!! Our deep freeze is half way filled with cooked foods! I am super excited that I have food for the majority of those nights when I come home from work feeling like blah-I-don't-want-to-cook. I hope this keeps us away from eating out. However, one thing I like about this plan is that there are still plenty of nights that we can eat whatever we feel like. I love grilling out in the summer and of course eating out with friends and family - so I liked that I didn't make 30 dinners and would feel like we needed to stick with the menu and eat them so they wouldn't be wasted.
I will let yall know how the food actually tastes - but from my taste tests throughout the day, I think it is going to be pretty good. I have a feeling Fisher is going to love the Chili Dog casserole (one I am not looking forward to myself) and I can't wait to have the French Toast casserole this weekend!