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:

2 Stuffed Pancake Cupcakes
2 Banana Pancakes

2 Beef & Lentil Stew
2 Sloppy Joes

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


  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!

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

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

  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!

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

  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! :)


  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!

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

  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.

  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!

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

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

  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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