The great thing about Once A Month Meals is that we take a once old school, and cumbersome process, and create a streamlined system you can follow.

Our hope — make freezer cooking easy, and freezer meals fast.

There can be a bit of a learning curve when you first attempt to make days, weeks, maybe even a month’s worth of meals, and creating your own resources from scratch can quickly become overwhelming.

The hardest parts of freezer cooking are:

  1. Finding and choosing recipes from all over the interwebs. (Are they freezable or not? Will my family like them?)
  2. Creating a combined grocery list for those recipes, manually. (So. much. math! Especially if you decide to double a recipe!)
  3. Organizing your cooking process for all those recipes AND their instructions. (Because let’s be honest, we all need a plan.)

When you become an Once A Month Meals member, all of the above are done for you.

Here, let us show you how:

1) Start with a Membership

To get started with Once A Month Meals, simply sign up! You choose either a Free or Paid Membership!

What’s included:

Subscribe on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, and either gives you access to ALL of our recipes and meal plans. That’s right: over 13,500 recipes, 1300 meal plans, and 20 meal plan types (and growing!)

Each meal plan* (pre-made or customized) comes complete with a shopping list, prep instructions, cooking day instructions, recipe cards, labels, and thaw sheet that can be customized for the number of servings you require.  *Resources cannot be downloaded with free memberships*

2) Make a Meal Plan

There are four ways to make a meal plan:

  1. From An Existing Meal Plan

    Make a meal plan by editing and customizing an already curated meal plan. Click here for more detailed descriptions of our meal plans.

  2. From A Recipe

    Make a meal plan by finding a recipe you like and building a meal plan based on that single recipe.

  3. From Scratch

    Make a meal plan totally from scratch using the “Create a New Meal Plan” Button

  4. From Your Favorites

    Make a meal plan based on your favorite recipes using your “My Favorites” list.

Our Recommendation:

If you are completely new to freezer cooking, you should start small by cooking one of our Mini Meal Plans.

Mini meal plans (5-6 recipes doubled to 10-12 meals) are shortened versions of our full meal plans (15 recipes doubled to 30 meals). They also tend to be designed for specific seasons or occasions, such as an all breakfasts or side dishes, holiday themed, or using seasonal produce.

Related Resources:

3) Prepare to Cook

Before you rush into the kitchen, you will want to quickly consult your calendar and your budget.

There is an upfront time and cost commitment when it comes to freezer cooking, so you will want to plan for that. Costs vary depending on what meal plan you choose and your regional prices and sales, but typically our members spend approximately $200-$350 when shopping for a full cooking day (mini meal plans are less.)

You will also want to check your calendar and make sure that you have at least 8-10 hours free to complete a full cooking day. *PLEASE NOTE: This time estimate will vary based upon the number of recipes you make, and the amount of servings you are cooking for.

Some Recommendations:

Shop and Prep BEFORE you cook:

We recommend that you grocery shop and prep on the day or night before your big cooking day (prep includes chopping produce and pre-cooking some meats and other ingredients). This will allow you to finish all of your tasks quickly and efficiently the following day. If you try to do it all in one day, you will be exhausted, and might not even finish in time.

Start with a Mini Meal Plan:

Again, if you are short on time or want to simplify for your first cooking day, try a mini meal plan. Your shopping and chopping lists will be shorter, and your total time spent will be more like 6-10 hours. Some of our mini meal plans are designed to be even quicker than that, such as our “Dump and Go” (formerly Easy Assembly) meal plans.

(From here on out it’s pretty simple!)

4) Print Your Meal Plan Resources.

After you decide on your meal plan and customize it to your liking, print your documents to get started!*

You will need to print and read all of the following:

  1. Combined Grocery Shopping List organized by category for faster and easier shopping.
  2. Prep Instructions to help you prepare all your ingredients ahead of time.
  3. Step-by-step Cooking Day Instructions for fast and efficient freezer cooking.
  4. Individual Recipe Cards with detailed cooking and freezing instructions.
  5. Printable Labels for your freezer bags with thawing and reheating instructions.
  6. A Thaw Sheet for a full list of your meal plan’s defrosting or reheating instructions.

*Remember, EVERY meal plan of ours comes with ALL of these resources! Even the ones you customize and make your own!

*If you have a free membership you have the option to become a paid member to download and print your resources.

5) Shop Your Grocery List

Go to the grocery store and purchase all the ingredients listed on your Shopping List.

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6) Prep Your Ingredients

Chop, dice or slice to prepare all your ingredients from your Prep Sheet so you can begin cooking.

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7) Cook Your Recipes

Follow your Cooking Instructions for step-by-step instructions on how to cook your chosen recipes.

8) Freeze Your Meals

Package and freeze your meals according to your Recipe Cards for proper storing.

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9) Thaw Your Meals

Thaw your meals according to the Thaw Sheet and safe practices.

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10) Serve and Eat

Once thawed, reheat your meal according to its Label, and enjoy!