Monday, April 27, 2009

Once a Month Cooking (OAMC)

My New Year's Resolution was to plan out our weekly menus at the beginning of each week. Each Sunday I would take a scrap piece of paper and write out the days of the week. Then I would fill in the days with whatever meal I planned on making that night. I hung the paper on the fridge as a reminder throughout the week.

Sounds simple, right? Wrong. It took me FOREVER to decide what to make. The hard part is that I only make meals from my stockpile, so if I don't already have it and it's not on sale, then I'm not making it. I buy all my beef and pork from the Sippels a couple times a year. When I run out of a particular cut of meat, then I'm out until they harvest another animal. Occasionally I'll pick up chicken or smoked sausage or canned tuna from the grocery store, but only when it's a super deal and not all that often.

As with any resolution I could only keep up so long. I did well with this until about the end of February. At that point I was still writing out the days of the week on paper, but then I would only fill out one or two days on Sunday. I'd go day by day just like I had been doing before.

One day while catching up on one of the blogs I read, Stretching a Buck, Marcy had a guest post by Tricia who is half of the blog Once A Month Mom, which is all about once-a-month-cooking, also known as freezer cooking, bulk cooking, etc. I had heard of OAMC before but never really tried it. I gave Tricia's blog a look and liked what I saw.

Each month, Tricia and her friend Cortney put together a monthly menu complete with shopping list. Throughout the month they post when a local store has an ingredient on sale so it can be purchased inexpensively. Anything left on the shopping list will need to be bought the final week right before the Big Day when the entire menu will be prepared and frozen.

So I have a problem with the OAMM menu. Remember how I purchase meat? I don't do it at the grocery store. April's menu is full of ham dishes. I like ham, but I don't have one. I'm completely out of chicken.

I decided that I like the OAMC concept, but that I'll have to devise my own menu to fit what works best for me and my family. I think OAMC (or twice a month cooking) will help me in my meal planning.

My next Big Day is scheduled for May 3. If I don't answer the phone, it's not because I'm ignoring you. It's because I'm going to be very busy making 2, 3 or even 4 weeks of meals. I gotta stay focused.

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