Taking a stab at OAMC (Freezer Cooking)

Chicken cooking on a gas grill rotisserie. The...
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I was about to post about how disappointed I am with the recipes I’m finding for Once a Month Cooking (OAMC).  Many of them are “put chicken and marinade in freezer bag”.  That’s not cooking, I can do that any day of the week when I grocery shop.  Making lasagna in advance is cooking.
Then I looked further and saw that on any given menu (in the book I checked out), there are multiple recipes that are essentially the same thing.  Apparently cooking BBQ chicken using 3 different recipes counts as different meals.  Not to me it doesn’t.  I wanted some variety.
As I thought about how I was going to voice my unsatisfied opinion I realized I’m just utterly bored with food in general.  Every time I think I want to cook something I get bummed over how it’s all the same stuff.
I have picky eaters.  I am a picky eater.  I have a tiny one that doesn’t want momma in the kitchen, he wants momma in her chair feeding him.  Fancy dishes are not going to happen.  Dishes where food touches ( as in soups or casseroles) are not going to fly with the young crowd here.
I guess I’ll have to stick to what they will eat *yawn*, and build from there.  So I’m hoping to make my mac and cheese recipe in a pot, them move it to big muffin tins lined with saran wrap and foil.  Once frozen I can take out one mac and cheese “muffin” for each person and reheat.  I may even take a stab at making my own frozen pizzas!  Thanks to Candance at FrugalMom.net, I now have a great chicken nugget recipe to try!
For those who might read this and have tried OAMC before I have a few questions:
1.  Do you only prepare entrees? Or do you sometimes prepare sides as well?
2.  What is your favorite recipe?
3.  Have you tried anything the just did NOT work out right?
4. What’s your favorite way to freeze stuff? any tricks or tips for me?
Thanks all!!

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8 thoughts on “Taking a stab at OAMC (Freezer Cooking)

    • TaderDoodles says:

      I won’t be able to do actual OAMC until my kids are big, or moved out. I don’t buy a months worth of chicken nuggets at one time so I dang sure know I’m not going to actually cook my own! I’m hoping to find a few new dishes though, that I can make up in advance for days I don’t want to cook. Our grocery budget went crazy the last couple months with all our eating out and eating premade-nukeit-bakeit-pretendittastesgood crappola. I tried actually cooking last night and it took 3 hours because I could only make one thing at a time (Kids were going nuts).

  1. Rose @ AdventuresinSavings.com says:

    I have done OAMC a few times and I really like it. I have 5 kids (and another on the way), so having meals or parts of meals already cooked and ready to go makes my life so much easier! I do a variety of things.
    I’ll cook up 5 pounds of ground beef and separate for easy meals like spaghetti, chili, or tacos (sometimes I preseason it, sometimes not).
    I’ve also done large pans of chicken spaghetti, chicken pot pie, and Baked Penne (full meals when I add some garlic bread or salad).
    I’ve done sides as well… large pots of brown rice and divided into portions to freeze and use quickly later or whole bags of beans or peas for tacos, chili, or just a side dish of black-eyed peas.
    I often freeze large items (whole meals) in the pans and the sides I use small tupperware bowls or ziploc bags (I reuse them until they get holes). I’ll even do small things like onions and peppers. A few months ago I found bell peppers on clearance (4/$.25) so I bought a TON of them, sliced & diced them all up and frozen them in small bags. Now, when I need chopped peppers for chili or baked penne or spaghetti, I just grab a small bag and toss them in!
    OH, and I do breakfast items. I’ll do pans and pans of banana muffins with over-ripe bananas or I’ll do a quadruple batch of pancakes/waffles and freeze them.
    Anyway, I didn’t mean to be so long-winded, but I really do enjoy it and I do what works for me. I don’t always do ALL of the items I listed and I don’t do it EVERY month, but when I have the stuff and the time, I enjoy it and it does save me time and money later on!

    • TaderDoodles says:

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!
      I doubt I’ll ever actually do cooking for an entire month at a time. With my four running around under my feet and school to tackle, I just don’t have an entire day or weekend to devote to it. But I do think having even a few things premade, prepped, or shortcutted a little will cut down on the number of times I call for pizza delivery.
      Congrats on the new baby!

    • TaderDoodles says:

      Hey Linda!
      I wish that was my chicken… I totally borrowed that picture 🙂
      OAMC may be a bit much for me right now, but the concepts and ideas are inspiring me to at least pre make a few sides or prep some main dishes (like meatloaf) so I won’t want take out quite so often.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Lisa

  2. Melissa says:

    OMAC is overrated especially if you can’t be in a kitchen ALL day for a whole weekend! I try to to DDOLOL my meal plan that is D-double, O-once, L-leftover. say I make roast beef, I make double the amount of the beef and save it and the extra broth to put back for beef stew or vegetable beef soup, then I make chicken breasts again double (sometimes triple) the meat because I am going to save the excess to make a chicken casserole, chicken Alfredo, chicken salad, enchiladas etc, then I make spaghetti(NO ONE in my family will eat noodles once they have been frozen!), since I put ground meat in our spaghetti sauce if I plan to use ground meat again for lunch or dinner in the next 3 days I will make it all at once and put the excess in the freezer to use later maybe for tacos or lasagna, then comes either the leftover beef meal or the chicken (I try not to do two things the same too close together especially if i use one or the other for a lunch that week as well) then another O dinner like pizza or my kids favorite… BREAKFAST LOL they love to have that huge breakfast spread I just don’t have the energy for at 6:30 am so we do it at least 1x a month for dinner. and then the other leftover of either chicken or beef. and if you still have it and didn’t use it in a lunch, you have ground meat for dinner tomorrow! I love the B1G1F meat sales at my local grocery stores and that is when I stock up so i can get 4 decent roasts for about $30 and 4 big packs of pork chops for $20 and if I am lucky chicken breasts go on sale too as well as the whole roasting chickens that I boil and make homemade chicken noodle soup from or roast for a dinner. At thanksgiving when the 4 different chain grocery stores around me all decide to compete for the lowest price turkey, i buy one at every store and I still have 2 turkeys in my chest freezer! This way you don’t get stuck in the kitchen too long it really doesn’t take much longer to cook double of something as the original did and then your meat is preseasoned for the next meal you just add a lil of this or that and make it into something else. And you don’t get sick of the same old dinners all the time because you can completely change your menu every week if you like! This can also be done with more variety and make it into a 2 week meal plan.

  3. TaderDoodles says:

    Your plan sounds a lot like what I actually end up doing LOL !
    I need to take better advantage of the fact that I cook enough food to feed an army and always have a ton of leftovers! Lately they’ve been wasted! *gasp*
    I’m pretty sure I’ll never do actual OAMC but the ideas and concept are helpful in stirring up ideas for saving time and money 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your strategies!
    Lisa B

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