For me, this time of year always brings feelings of renewal. We made it through the Yom Tov season and now have to start getting back on track – eating healthier, saving money and spending more time with our family. Once a month cooking (OAMC) is how I’m doing it.
Planned the right way, you won’t need to buy pricey, unhealthy convenience items, won’t need to spend hours in the kitchen, and you and your family can enjoy yummy home-cooked meals all month long.
When I saw Mara’s post about December being Menu Planning month, I knew this would be a great time to tell you about my most recent Kosher Once a Month cooking day.
I began doing OAMC to save time and was shocked at how many people said they did it to save money. Does my OAMC really save money? Let’s see…
On my most recent OAMC day, I made:
- 3 quarts Lentil Soup
- 2.5 quarts Vegetable Soup
- 2×4 pieces of BBQ Chicken
- 2×4 pieces of Cranberry Chicken
- 2×4 pieces of Maple Glazed Chicken
- 6 pieces Mushroom Scallion Stuffed Chicken
- 1 9×13 Apple Kugel
- 2 8×8 Broccoli Kugel
- 1 9×13 Carrot kugel
- 1.5 quarts Quinoa, Black Bean, & Corn Salad
- 2 8×8 Zucchini Kugel
- 24 Cinnamon Swirls
- 1 Orange Walnut Cake
This amount of food will probably last my family of 4 for at least a 4 Shabbosim. I figured that we would eat 1 quart of soup, 2 chicken dishes, 2 side dishes and 1 dessert each Shabbos. (I divided each 9×13 dish in half). I would still need to add in some “fillers” (salads, fish, additional sides, etc…), but the main dishes for each meal have already been taken care of.
So, how much did this all cost?
The chicken cost $59. Before I set out on my shopping trip, I crossed off all the ingredients that I already had in my pantry, so the rest of the grocery shopping cost $53.40 ($58.40 minus $5 for apple juice that was on sale and not needed for my cooking day). So for, $112.40, I have (almost) enough food for 4 weeks. That’s $28.10/week or $14.05/meal.
I was also curious to see how much this would have cost if I would have needed EVERYTHING on the shopping list. I went to my local supermarket’s website and priced out all the items, using store-brand items where I could.
Every single ingredient (except the chicken) would have cost $119.60. Not bad considering that I would’ve had a lot of basic pantry ingredients leftover for future cooking!
Stay tuned tomorrow and Friday, when Shaindy shares her plan and recipes for this budget-friendly OAMC menu!