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Welcome to OAM Cooking

Those of you that know me know that I have been doing Once-a-Month Cooking days for several years now. Actually, they have been like once-every-three-to-six month Cooking days, but who’s keeping track! I love it! I love to cook, he likes to eat, and we love not having to eat out as often. I started doing once-a-month cooking because I not only liked cooking but I also thought it would be a great way to have great home cooked meals on nights that I was tired, or had a late business meeting, or couldn’t come up with anything else to make.

Well, I would like to make them more frequent than that and challenge myself through this blog to stick to the plan and to go one step further and do it frugally. I have done many OAM Cooking days in the past and the average price per family (usually 2 families) is $150 (or $300 for 2 families). That is for approximately 20 meals. The math on that (if you have trouble with math) is about $7.50 for a meal that feeds 4 people (or 2 people twice). Not too bad considering that the cost also includes baking dishes and baggies needed for storage.

However, I think I can do better! I want to do better! I have never done an OAM Cooking day where I actually shopped for the products when they were on sale, or used coupons. So this is a new day. And one other slight change, we will be incorporating breakfast items, lunches, and dinners – not just dinners. Think I can beat my $150 goal? I hope that I can – join me for the journey. In fact, join me for the cooking day and prove to me and so many others that you can have a good meal, at a low cost, on a fixed budget, quickly and easily WITHOUT going out to dinner!

Over the course of the last 2 years of doing OAM BIG DAYS I have had more people say that they would really like to do them themselves. They tell me they just don’t know how to get started, how to plan the meals, how to set up their kitchen for optimal efficiency, how to figure out the grocery list, the best order for preparing meals, or don’t know if they have enough freezer space. Additionally, I just haven’t found many resources for OAM cooking days for this myself. So, onceamonthmeals.com-OAM Cooking was born!

Here is the plan:

1. Commit to doing an OAM Cooking Day yourself!

  • Need help figuring getting organized, read here!

2. Monthly Menu

  • You will see this month’s menu posted below and in the Menu section of the site.┬áReview the menu. I hope that you like the dishes that we have picked. I will be honest, I have done a similar OAM menu before and figured I could use it as a reference for this first month’s menu.
  • A brand new MENU at the beginning of the month with the following features:
    • Recipes for the month
    • Recipes that cover approximately 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 15 dinners for 2 families
    • Entrees feed approximately 4 adults
    • Step-by-step instructions for preparing the recipes on your OAM Cooking BIG DAY!

3. Monthly Grocery List

  • The monthly grocery list includes EVERYTHING you will need to purchase for the February OAM Cooking BIG DAY! This should help you as we shop throughout the month for our items. Print this grocery list out and keep it near your coupons or in your purse for quick reference throughout the month.

4. Review Your Pantry

  • Look through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to see which items on the list you already have in stock. If it is appropriate, create a box or specific shelf, drawer, or location for those items so that you don’t use them in other cooking. In the case of spices and such, just make sure you aren’t going to run out before the BIG DAY. Use a highlighter to highlight the items that you already have so you remember that you don’t need to purchase them.

5. Check back often for Grocery Updates!

  • Each week as other great websites post the specials at grocery stores we will be highlighting the items that are on our OAM Cooking Monthly Grocery List. This grocery list will help you (and me) to keep track of how much we are spending on each of the items on our list. In addition, I will take pictures and post weekly results of how I am doing towards the OAM Cooking BIG DAY!

6. Find an OAM Cooking Partner

  • OAM Cooking days seem to work best when you have a partner. You don’t have too but I highly recommend it.

7. Schedule an OAM Cooking BIG DAY!

  • Try to schedule this day towards the end of the month or the first week of the following month.

8. Shop throughout the month for your OAM Cooking BIG DAY!

  • Decide with your OAM Cooking Partner who will be doing the shopping and check the OAM Shopping How To’s for more helpful hints.

9. Link Up & Post Often

  • Grab that month’s link and when you post include the link in your post. Keep track of how you are doing towards your OAM Cooking BIG DAY. Include your name and website and let us know that you have joined us for the monthly OAM Cooking. We would love to see how you are saving money and spending less through OAM Cooking.

Okay, I think that is all for now. Remember to subscribe to the RSS feed, register to receive the email in the right sidebar, or follow us on Twitter (Tricia, Cortney) for more great things. I’m looking forward to spending the month saving and cooking with you!

4 Responses to “Welcome to OAM Cooking”

  1. Annette says:

    Ok, I am shopping for a freezer and planning forward. I have a couple of questions. I started really couponing a few weeks ago and found your site. In the past, freezer menus I have found did not have much on them that my family would eat. Kudos to your menu–it looks like we would eat everything! I also like your plan to shop the sales in preparation. One of my questions is when you post the March menu, are you shopping thoughout March and cooking the beginning of April? I cannot start until we get the freezer and if you are trying to follow some of the stores sales rotations, maybe I should start with the April menu, since it will be another week probably on my freezer? Help, I want to start with the most probable sales matching up to the menu. Thanks for the work you are putting into this site. I think it will make a huge difference for our family. I have a 3 and an 8 year old and am starting nursing school in August, so the planning will make sure we are still saving money and eating well at home! Thanks!!!!

    • tricia says:

      Thanks! I am glad your family will benefit. There is a full explanation in the “About OAM” section that you might want to check out. Starting with us in April will likely be your easy method for getting started. The new April menu will get released April 1. Of course, if you end up not liking those recipes you could go back and do February or March. We do gear the menus to sale items for the month but I think that you will find reasonable prices on these items no matter when you do it. Just give yourself a couple of weeks with any menu to watch the sales.

  2. mjpuzzlemom says:

    I host Freezer Food Friday and thought you might be interested in participating… adding you to my ” to read ” list.


  3. […] Comments While checking out some other blogs that do freezer cooking, I came across Tricia at Once a Month Mom. She has a great offering where every month she makes a freezer plan, makes the grocery list and […]

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