OMAC, Once a Month Cooking, Session Cooking, Freezer Cooking all different names for basically the same thing. Getting food made and in the freezer to make life easier.
I decided I wanted to do this. We get home from work it is late, we get cleaned up and in comfy clothes (because really work clothes don’t stay on for long once we get home, it is a race to get our comfy PJs on to relax, anyone else like this?), dogs loved on, then cook supper, do dishes, barely have enough time to watch some TV, and then it is time for bed. Grr… So a lot of the time I don’t want to cook. We eat out, order in Pizza, eat some weird TV dinner thing that has been in the freezer far too long, or more often than not we eat on of our three go to meals – Popcorn, Chips and Salsa, or Pepperoni and Crackers! So some form of freezer meals sounded good.
The first try was loading up at Sam’s every 3 months. And when I say load up, I mean load up! We literally did not have to buy meat again for those three months. I would crock pot up a roast for Fajitas and then freeze the leftover in individual bags, same with ribs, pork tenderloin, and browned hamburger meat. It made life a little easier. But the stuff in the freezer was hard to keep track of, and other than those few things I still have to cook everything.
Some more research lead me to Once a Month Cooking and Freezer Cooking, and I think I was able to come up with a system that works well for our lifestyle here at The Den.
I don’t need everything to be cooked. My Stir Fry and Chicken Scampi for example are something I worried about freezing. But what takes so long there? The prep work.
Here is how the first freezer stocking event went:
The first step was to invest in an upright freezer. It would be easier to see everything, keep it organized, and hopefully stay on track. Luckily there is a big box store going out of business nearby so I was able to score a great deal. Otherwise we’d still be waiting to start this plan.
The next day I stocked up on groceries and came home to get the meals together. Wolfy helped all day so if you are by yourself be warned it will take a while.
I started prepping onions while Wolfy found a cleaned out the proper cooking devices.
We like onions in our food so I chopped three bags of onions (9lbs I think) in the food processor. I put these in a bowl and just took what I needed for each meal. The left overs were frozen.
What we cooked:
- Two chickens in a roaster
- Beef Fajitas in a crock pot
- Pulled Pork Tenderloin in a crock pot
- Pork Ribs in foil in the oven
- Green Beans and Potatoes (stew) in the oven
- Ham and Beans (stew) pressure cooker on the stove (with Corn Bread in the oven)
- Spaghetti Sauce
Other meals were assembled for example Stir Fry:
- Chopped chicken breast in a zip top bag
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot mix in a zip top bag
- Butter, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in a zip top bag
- The three bags were then put into a gallon sized zip top bag with still packaged rice noodles and the frozen.
- It will be super easy to pull the bag out the night before, let it thaw, and then whip up a delicious home cooked meal.
Other meals like that:
- Chicken Scampi
- Hamburger (browned), Broccoli, and Rice
- Chicken Legs
- Pork Chops and Sauerkraut
- Chicken Ravioli (made with leftover chicken meat and the broth from cooking the chickens)
We ended up making enough for 52 meals. Can’t beat that. That is 52 suppers that are ready or almost ready to eat. That is a minimum of 7 weeks of food. I say minimum because a lot of those meals will have leftovers and then there will still be the days that I just want a salad for supper. Plus we have the 25 fish fillets for Wolfy that we purchased while in Destin during the beginning of March.
I also made up Sub bread so we could take sandwiches every day for work. The goal is to get ahead of those and have several in the freezer.
Right now on every other weekend I plan to make one or two more types of meals to add to the freezer. This will do two things. One, it keeps the number of meals in the freezer up so we don’t need to do an all-out cooking day. Two, it adds to the verity of the meals we have to choose from. For example last weekend I made a huge batch of Chili which worked out to be 7 meals for us and more than made up for what was taken out of the freezer in the past week. Next time I plan to make a bunch of hamburger patties and chicken packets up so we have something to grill as the weather gets nicer. I also plan to make a few batches of Amish Friendship Bread up so there are plenty of regular sized and mini muffins frozen for snacks and breakfasts.
Why every other week? That is when I am going grocery shopping. I have it figured out that I still need to go to the store every other week to stock up on soda (yes, we still drink soda, don’t judge), fresh veggies, and whatever ingredients are needed for a few more meals.
So what do you think? Is this something you do at home, have done, what to do? Is this journey even something you want to hear about? If so I am more than happy to share my freezer recipes as I figure them out.