Monday, December 5, 2011

Once-A-Month Cooking: December

The meals I made last enough was just the perfect amount to get us through Thanksgiving.  I even had 4 meals left in the freezer to serve up the week after, which was perfect, because who has time or energy to shop & cook when you get back from vacation?  So this weekend I embarked on my mission to make December’s meals.  I needed 15 to bring us up to the weekend before Christmas. Here’s what’s on the menu:

One-Dish Meal:  Chicken Pot Pies
Main-Dish Component:  Italian Beef

The pot pie recipe makes 3 meals (6 mini-loaf pan pies), and all the rest make two.  You do the math and say, “Hey, that’s only 13 meals?” Yes, it’s true.  I cheated this month.  I bought a bag of frozen ravioli, and some garlic bread from the store.  *gasp!*  No, really, I like to have pasta on the menu, and Miss A loves ravioli and tortellini and that sort of stuff, and honestly, it’s a PITA to make, so, I bought it instead.  Plus, after 6 hours of cooking, who wants to do homemade ravioli on top of that?

Anyway, the one thing I love about this whole process is seeing all the colorful meals come together.  So I took some pictures this time.  Just look at all those great fresh colors!!

This is what my freezer looks like.  The top two shelves are the meals.

And, people asked me last month if this method of meal preparation saved any money.  Well, I added up my bill from yesterday.  I spent about $135 total on ingredients.  $80 of that was at Earth Fare on organic produce and antibiotic/hormone-free/free range chicken and pork.  Seriously, to get all that for under $100 shocked me.  I did have some great coupons (as Earth Fare always has great coupons) but I was still expecting it to be more.  The rest I picked up at Publix (again with some great coupons).  So that comes out to less than $10.50 per meal per family.  So, to feed 2 ½ people a meal for $10.50 a night is pretty good.  And, if you decide to buy all your stuff at cheapy wal-mart (which I typically do, but this month I decided to buy better quality ingredients) it would be about 20% less (as a guess).  So, I do think it saves money.

Also, I’ve noticed I’ve been less wasteful this way too.  For instance, when a recipe calls for something like, 3 cups of broth…well, one of those big cartons is 4 cups.  So, typically I’ll have a cup leftover, shove the carton in the fridge and hope I get to it before it goes bad (which, never happens).  Well, now I’ve been saving the leftovers in freezer bags (much like I did with the chicken stock last month), which again means we’ll be saving money in the long run. 

Man – I really wish we had room for a deep freeze.  Even a small one. 


1 comment:

  1. super cool, I think you have me stoked to try this out this weekend. Yummy