The following is a guest post from Tricia, Once a Month Mom. I first met Tricia at Blissdom in February, have hung out in with her and the Ohio ladies for several months now, and she is also one of my roomies for the big blogging conference, BlogHer coming up in a few weeks. Tricia has some great tips below on how to get a few meals prepared if you are going to BlogHer. Even if you are not going to BlogHer, these tips can come in handy for any time!
Don’t we all dream of getting away for a day or two (or weeks)? To just be out on our own, or to have a girl’s weekend? To not have to worry for a few days if the Cheerio your son just found and ate was from this morning or last month? I know I do. But those dreams are usually quickly shattered not by my husband or my lack of finances but the reality of everything that has to be taken care of if I were to decide to escape for a few days. Who will pick up the kids? Will the schedules work? Can my husband survive without me for one day, two days, or more? Will my child be dressed or will he spend the weekend in his pajamas? What will they eat?
Last year about this time I started following blogs fairly regularly. And I found out that I wasn’t alone. There are in fact a multitude of women out there that are wrestling with the same questions. How is it that I knew they were experiencing the same things I do? They were heading to BlogHer, a blogging conference, and were frantically writing about their preparations to be away. I chuckled as I started seeing all of these frugal shoppers splurging on their grocery bills stocking up on frozen pizzas, frozen entrees and boxed macaroni and cheese. With dad in charge, most felt more comfortable leaving the “easy” stuff for the family.
This year it is my turn to join the frenzy. As I head off with the fabulous Briana and the other Big Deal Moms from my neck of the woods, I am grateful that I already have a solution to at least the meal portion of the “mom is away” weekend. My solution? Once a month cooking.
I regularly take one day each month to cook nearly a month’s worth of meals for my family. I find life easier this way. I spend one long day in the kitchen so that I have 29 other evenings to spend with my family. This method of cooking once a month is simple and easy. And when I am headed out of town there isn’t a need to stock my freezer with Tombstone and Stouffer’s because I have a freezer full of meals that I have made myself. Each of the meals includes instructions on the top too so it is simple enough that even if the kids are screaming and running around in their underwear, dad can still make dinner.
Whether you are a blogger getting ready to head to this year’s conference or just a mom that is going to be away for some time, you don’t have to blow your budget or your kid’s nutritional intake while you are gone. Sure all of those things are quick and easy to fix, but so is a good, home-cooked meal. No, I am not suggesting your husband mess up your kitchen while you are gone. But taking a few simple steps to prepare a couple (or a lot) of meals doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
For those of you who are down to the wire and don’t have time to shop and cook a whole month of meals (after all BlogHer is just around the corner) there are other solutions. You could just select a few meals that your family would enjoy while you are away, freeze them, and be on your way. Here are a few suggestions from some of our most recent menus that your husband and children might enjoy in your absence:
- June Menu (these recipes are all from men’s websites so you know hubby should approve)
- Fresh-fruit Pancakes
- Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Pinwheels
- Tater Tot Casserole
- Simple Lasagna
- July Menu
- Raspberry Coffee Cake
- Baked Corn Dogs
- Mac & Cheese Casserole Cups
- Mom’s Enchiladas
- Ground Beef Casserole
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. What’s even better is that you will find many of the ingredients to these recipes on sale this month.
So whether you are headed to BlogHer, headed away for a time, or just want some meals to have around the house; consider making some of your own and freezing them. It really isn’t as difficult as it first seems. And it will save you a lot of money in the end. Once a month cooking saves me an incredible amount of money each and every month. By buying seasonal sale items and buying in bulk, I am able to make my family home-cooked meals for a fraction of the everyday cost. Not to mention the time I save myself each evening.
Now that meals are figured out, I better make sure that my son has enough pairs of pajamas clean to make it through the weekend with my husband.
Tricia recently had her first child and is getting used to her new career as a stay-at-home mom in Ohio, where her family resides. She is trying to show others how to be good stewards of their time and their money while still providing wholesome and nutritious meal options to their families. Her website, http://www.onceamonthmom.com, is dedicated to “making daily chores monthly memories” by providing monthly meal plans, grocery lists, instructions, recipes and more for families curious about once-a-month cooking and baby food.