Monday, March 8, 2010

Once a Month Cookoff Entry!



This month I decided to follow the February meal plan from Tricia's Once a Month Mom site. Wow! This process has been a blast! I had lurked the site, wondering if OAMC was for me. When I saw that prizes were inovlved, I decided to take the plunge.

I'm home on maternity leave with 2 of my 4 children; Ben is 2 and Aaron is 6 weeks. While this is a fabulous bonding time, it doesn't leave a lot of flexibility to dive in and cook. Luckily, I had FIVE days, back to back, to get cooking! I did run into a few issues...

While I was cutting chicken, Ben decided to change his clothes and run out front!


You can see what happened with the popcorn, 2 seconds after I gave Ben his snack! YouTube Video

And of course, there were the play times needed to get through the day (for my sanity too!) .


I took my time, shopping sales and finding steals. Fry's had boneless skinless chicken for $1.67/lb! I found 93% lean organic ground beef on clearance at Sprouts for $1.99/lb! That was the ultimate steal as it was regularly $6.99/lb!! I shopped Costco for the staple items and some produce. I shopped Frys and Safeway when I had a coupon to double. I took weekly ads to Walmart to price match, and that is where I got the biggest bang for my buck.

Get this... had I cooked the entire menu as Tricia had set up (12 breakfasts, 16 lunches, and 32 dinners), my total would have only been $165.17 or $2.75 per meal! Each meal is built to feed a family of four so that is less than 70 cents per person per meal! Wow!

Here is the link to the prices I paid, assuming I made the entire menu: OAMM OAMC February Price Google Doc

These recipes that Tricia provided were tried and true. My family is open to new recipes, but I figured that making FOUR of each meal (as I have no cooking partner) would not be wise so I dropped to two of each meal as follows:

Breakfasts:
2 Stuffed Pancake Cupcakes
2 Banana Pancakes

Lunches:
2 Beef & Lentil Stew
2 Sloppy Joes

Dinners:
2 Easy Taco Bakes
2 Pizza crusts & Chicken Ranch Pizza Toppings (With BACON!)
2 Curried Chicken Tidbits
2 Asian Pork Roasts
2 Black Bean Salsa Chicken

I ended up with chicken, ground beef, and steak left over. I used the oats, ground beef, and egg to make meatballs for spaghetti and sub sandwiches. I shredded the chicken to use for taco soup and chicken sandwiches for lunch time. The extra eggs from Costco went on to become hard boiled eggs for breakfasts and lunches.

I also tried Amy's Pigs in a Blanket as a breakfast option with turkey sausage rather than hotdogs. Yum! These were packed into lunches and eatten as a dinner. I was sad not to get any into the freezer, but I now know to add this to my next OAMC adventure as a breakfast and / or lunch option!

Each day ended the same, lots of dishes, a hungry mama, and wild boys. (Don't mind the pump pieces on the right... LOL)

We had a blast, and the the boys had a chance to better bond as Ben helped me feed the baby!

Whew! My freezer is full for now... With a total of 30 meals and fixings for a few more, my total came to $165/2 or $82.59!! At less than $0.70 per serving, I will definately be completing the March 2010 OAMM menu that Julie put together!



~Allie Z

13 comments:

  1. I added bacon to our pizza, too. We ate one Friday night, and it was AWESOME! Definitely going into our pizza rotation. :) I had forgotten all about the convenience of Pigs in a Blanket. I need to remember those for next time.

    You did great!

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  2. Thanks Phoebe! Great feedback on the pizza too :)

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  3. I'm going to have to try that site, even if it's just me and my hubby. Thanks!

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  4. You are so brave to attempt OAMC with young children around! My sister and usually only have one child who hangs around while we cook --- my niece, who's 7! :) Our hubbies usually take the other kiddos out for a play date somewhere or visit grandma and grandpa while we "do our thing." Great job - congrats on accomplishing it over five days!

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  5. You did a great job! I don't think I could do it with my little one around.

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  6. Hey Sheena! How fun to see you here! if you need some ideas, let me know. I love having cooked meat on hand ot make meal prep that much easier in the evening...

    Jamie, thanks for the encouragement! I felt funny submitting after it took me 5 days to get meals done! LOL Definately worth it ;)

    Zonnah, my 2 year old likes to help out. I try and involve him in a recipe that he can mess up (like oatmeal drop cookies) that don't require baking. Otherwise, I try to get as much done before he wakes up and during nap time! :)

    Allie

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  7. Wow, great job! I'm nervous about trying i with my boys - 18 months and 4 years and you did it with 2 LITTLE ones! Feels great to have all that food there doesn't it? Have a great week!

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  8. WOW! I about fell over reading this. You are amazing!

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  9. Hi! Thanks for the earlier note and super interesting information. I'll be honest -- I was so taken aback but the whole thing that this is one time I didn't google for the deep down real information on whats going on with those dates.
    And glad I could give you a laugh. All that writer's training hasn't been wasted after all. Excellent.

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  10. You are amazing to cook all of that food with the two babies...and to be working full time with 4 kids. I know your life must be hectic! Sending blessings your way. :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog today - I think the Products link is back up and running. They've been having major problems for the last two weeks, sigh... Thanks for taking the time to take a peek!

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  11. Way to go! Those pigs in a blanket look yummy! What a productive day:)

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  12. i found you doing the 6 degrees of blogging experiment and decided to follow even though you are not my 6th click

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  13. Rochelle, Amy, Chris, Leanne, Adrienne ~ Thanks for the comment love! I didn't mean to leave you hanging there. I fell off the earth ;)

    Adrienne- the 6 degrees of blogging experiment sounds so interesting!

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Who doesn't love comments? :)