Cook Meals for a Month

Find out how you can cook for a day and then eat for a month.

Plan Out Monthly Meal Schedule

Plan Out Monthly Meal Schedule

Save yourself time and money by preparing a whole month's worth of meals in one day. Home economist Deborah Taylor-Hough explains how it's done.

  • Planning and preparation are most important. Make a master menu with your recipes and fill in a calendar. Most families will eat the same dish three times in a month, so find 10 recipes everyone likes and triple them.
  • After your recipes are chosen, write down all the ingredients you will need for each one (remembering to triple the amounts). Group recipes according to like ingredients.
  • The day before your big cooking day is shopping day. Put away perishable foods, but leave nonperishables out on the counter to save time the next day.
  • The night before, do as much prep work, like chopping vegetables, shredding cheese, etc. as possible. Consider buying pre-shredded cheese or chopped vegetables to save time.
  • Fix similar recipes together. For example, make all your ground-beef recipes (meatballs, meatloaf, Salisbury steak) at the same time.
  • Make complicated recipes first, while you are fresh, and save the easier ones for last.
  • Label freezer bags. Freeze the food out flat and then stack the meals upright like books in the freezer. This saves a lot of space.
  • To use, place a bag in the refrigerator overnight, or microwave to thaw the next day.

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