A couple weekends ago, we did another cook-a-palooza. If you recall, earlier this year I wrote about how we plan, prep, and freeze a mass quantity of breakfasts, snacks, and dinners. We spent a good deal of money at Costco in preparation for the endeavor. And, it took the better part of the weekend to accomplish our goal and clean up from the chaos that ensued. But, here’s where it gets good! Guess what our bill was last week for groceries?! Drum roll please…$54! That is correct. $54 for a family of 7. In a quick 30 min trip to Aldi, I was able to get milk, fresh fruits and veggies, bread, nuts, some crackers, and a couple treats.
Not only did I save money, but I saved time. I spent less time shopping for food. I spent less time thinking about a menu and what ingredients I needed. I spent less time prepping that food. I spent less time cleaning up from the meal prep. And, our family still ate home cooked meals all week.
Now, I will not sugar coat the actual weekend of cooking. It is exhausting. And, it’s messy. See here for a heart-stopping, morning after shot:
That is not easy for me to share. I still cringe at the site. Anyway, the good news is, it looks much better now!
The kids’ involvement in the process is another positive aspect of this undertaking. As our cooking day approaches, we pep talk them as if they are gearing up for a big game. They understand that their contribution is critical for a successful day. Their pride is palpable when we warm up a dish that they helped prepare. It also makes it more likely that they will eat the food.
Our plan is to keep doing these days every few months. We make enough food to get through 2-3 months with little daily meal prep. It is one less worry on our plates–pun intended.
In case you are interested. We made the following foods:
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Enchilidas
- Chicken Taquitos
- Bagel Bombs
- Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Shallot and Gruyere Quiche
- Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells (my own recipe–not written down)
- Mustard Roasted Chicken (link is to cookbook it came from)
- Turkey Burgers (also from cookbook above)
- Fish with Onions and Capers
- Healthy Chocolate Muffins
- Energy Bites
- Breakfast Quesadillas with Cheese, Spinach, and White Beans
- Whole wheat banana waffles
You may notice that many of these are repeats from the past, as they were hits with the family. We made about 3-4 recipes (7 of some!) of each of these. It is a lot of good food that I’m excited to enjoy with the family!