When I was growing up I was home-schooled and I remember my mom doing once a month cooking. She would prep for 1 day and cook for 1 day and because we were home-schooled my brother and I had the pleasure of doing it with her. At the time it probably wasn’t my favorite thing to do but now I’m so grateful for learning because it set the foundation for what I do now.
I work full-time and so the last thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is cooking a meal for my family. I do it even though I don’t want to because I know it’s important for my daughter and my family but it’s really not my favorite thing to do!!
The first thing I do when I decide to do a major cooking day is plan out which meals I want to cook. Since we are going into the fall I’m planning to do a few different soups because they freeze really well and it’s super easy to make large batches of them. Here are the meals I plan to make next month (most of these are more than one meal per recipe):
- Taco Meat – (Meat + Taco seasoning – nothing fancy!!)
- Pulled Pork
- Meat Loaf
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
- White Chili
- Crockpot Chili
- Split Pea Soup
- Taco Soup
- Hamburger Patties
- Teriyaki Chicken (Raw chicken + marinade – freeze chicken in a bag with marinade)
- Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde
- Crockpot Thai Peanut Pork
So now that I know what I’m cooking the next thing I do is look at all the recipes and determine what I need to buy for my cooking day. Because I’m quirky and love Excel I put all the ingredients in an Excel spreadsheet to create my list. I left out all the spices and anything I knew I already had. I created a column that say’s “Already Have” because I always “shop” my pantry before I go to the store so I’m not buying things I already have.
|2||large||Costco sized bags of chicken|
|3||15 ounce cans||Petite diced tomatoes|
|9||15 ounce cans||Stewed tomatoes|
|1||28 ounce can||Diced tomatoes|
|3||6 ounce cans||Tomato paste|
|1||16 ounce tub||Low fat cottage cheese|
|12||ounces||Monterey jack cheese|
|1||16 ounce tub||Fat Free Sour Cream|
|1||24 ounce jar||LaVictoria Salsa|
|2||15 ounce cans||Black beans|
|4||16 ounce cans||Cannellini Beans|
|5||15 ounce cans||Thick and chunky cans of chili|
|1||16 ounce bag||Split Peas|
|10||cups||Fat free chicken broth|
Because I’m planning I’m actually planning ahead this time, I’m hoping to find these ingredients on sale. The bulk of the money your spending is on meat so watch for good sales on Chicken, beef and Pork and you’ll save a ton!
Next Up: Shopping for the big day!