Create Your Own Menu: Introduction

On January 6, 2010 by Kelly

I have been meaning to write a post series for some time now on creating your own once a month cooking menus. Whereas, I am sure many of you love, love, love the Once A Month Meals menus (what’s not to love?), I am also certain there are many of you out there that would like to try your own hand at producing a menu. Or would like to incorporate your own family favorites into a menu.

Some of you may have already done that. Others of you are completely overwhelmed by that process. And still others are up for the challenge but aren’t sure where to start. That is where this series comes in!

Over the next five weeks I have written a series of posts that will walk you through the steps I take each month to create the Once A Month Meals menus. You will find step-by-step guides on selecting, producing, and cooking your own menus. My hope is that at the end of the series you feel like you have enough information and resources that you could tackle your own once-a-month cooking (OAMC) menu.

Now don’t panic, Once A Month Meals isn’t going anywhere! Just want you to not only be equipped to do your own if you would like, but also want to show you the time, effort and thought that goes into each months menus.

I hope you enjoy the series. We begin tomorrow with Part 1. Here is what is in store the next few weeks:

Part 1 – Overview & Assessing Needs

Part 2 – Researching Sale Items

Part 3 – Planning Recipes

Part 4 – Finding Recipes

Part 5 – Selecting Recipes

Part 6 – Evaluating Quantity

Part 7 – Creating a Grocery List

Part 8 – Creating Instructions

Part 9 – Substitutions & Equivalents

Part 10 – Creating Labels

Part 11 – Bringing It All Together



Join the discussion
  1. Thank you! I’ve been hoping for something like this! I like incorporating some of your recipes but for the most part I want to use recipes in my files that I already know my husband and son will eat. I look forward to reading the series.

  2. I am not a blogger (maybe someday) but I am so happy to have found your blog! I am sure that criticism would make me a little uptight! I have been pondering the Once a Month cooking for awhile and my sister and I have actually scheduled our first one for Jan. 16! We are both really excited and totally amazed at what all you put in to the recipes, instructions, and grocery lists! I am looking forward to the new series! =)

    1. Welcome! I can’t wait to hear what you think after your cooking day. Best of luck and remember to share with the rest of us.

  3. I often do mini OAMCs with my own favorite recipes. And I have labels – my friends laugh at those. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing how you do it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. Yay! As a mom to 5 little ones, I can tell you that I need all the help I can get. And to get tips from a real pro…even better!! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  5. I am so very excited about this series. I know I’ve been one to offer criticism of certain things so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of new perspective by trying to create my own!

  6. This is awesome!! I have done two OAMM days (all by myself with a baby to deal with while my husband is at work) and there are some recipes my picky husband doesnt like (and then I have three more in the freezer 🙁 ) I love most all the recipes but would love to omit the ones I know he won’t eat and add some of his faves. This new series will never cause any of us “die-hard fans” to stray – I think if anything it will only enhance our enjoyment of your blog 🙂 As a mommy of a six month old I found your website out of desperation to fill the freezer so I could spend more time every night with hubby and baby without excess dishes and work. so thank you – from the bottom of my heart and our wallet 🙂

  7. I cant wait to read these psots!! Thank you! (and I totally agree with Anissa – my situation is the same except I have a 4yo and a 16 month old)

  8. Thank you for doing this series. I do a menu for two weeks, but it’s with the cookbooks meals. I want to learn how to incorporate our favorites.

  9. Lately I’ve been doing mini-freezer meal sessions rather than a big OAMC day. I pick and choose from the OAMM recipes as well as some family favorites. It’s not easy for me to select recipes that my husband and daughter will both like. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to try to please all your readers with their various likes and dislikes as well as their dietary and budgetary concerns.I can’t wait to read about your process. You might have some tips that I can use to streamline my selection process.

  10. This is exactly what my daughters and I need. We have wanted to try OAMC but have so many food allergies that we need to use our own recipes and have been looking for guidance on how to make our choices and get started. This is perfect timing. Thank you for putting the time and effort into this for us!

  11. THANK YOU! This is so awesome! I was just thinking tonight how I’d like to do the once a month cooking thing but I’m such a picky eater that I can’t normally follow other people’s meal plans. This is exactly what I need, so I’m totally looking forward to the series 🙂

  12. Truly it really is extremely valuable post and I like to examine these skills and also I am trying it and many for sharing such kind of methods please retain it sharing.

  13. Thanks for this series. I’ve been wanting to make my own menu for awhile, but loved the organization of your menus and shopping lists. Thanks for sharing the step by step process. I was happy to share it with my readers and direct them back here for more help!

    1. Awesome! Yes, making your own family friendly recipes menu is usually a fun thing to do. And knowing all the work that goes into our menus is helpful too.

  14. I am excited about this. I just started on this yesterday and instead of doing a entire cooking day what I have started by actually just cooking more. For example, yesterday I made collard greens. Instead of one batch, I actually made enough for three Sunday dinners. I used one for dinner and froze the other two in seperate bags.

  15. What’s the best way to combine recipes from several different menus to create your own custom menu? For example, there are some from the June menu I know my family wouldn’t like so I want to add in some from May. Is there a way to swap out recipes and still have the amounts accurate?

  16. Thanks for keeping this series of posts available. I think this website is the “missing piece” of the puzzle for me. I have been thinking that cooking things ourselves is healthier for me and my family, but taking time once a week was too much. But, looking at the menus – I know my family would want more of some meals and would hardly touch others. With the 4+ years of recipes available that are proven “freezer friendly” and this series of posts – I am confident we will improve our eating habits in a time efficient manner that has the greatest possibility of lasting. Thank you from North Pole, AK (not kidding, that’s really the name of our town).

    1. Well thanks Jackie! We’re happy to have you here! Stay tuned because things will just get better here!
      My cousin lives in Seward, if you’re ever around there go eat at the EAT food truck you wont be disappointed!

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