Time is Money

by Marcy on April 15, 2009 · 0 comments

The following is a guest post written by my friend Tricia from Once a Month Mom. I love the ideas that she and her co-author Cortney share, and once I find a victim friend to partner with me, I hope to share a few of my own “Once a Month” cooking experiences with you, using the awesome menus and lists that they provide!

I can be frequently quoted as saying “Time is money.” Don’t worry, I know I did not come up with that brilliant piece of advice, but it is true. You can always save money if you are willing to give up a little time to get it (example – clipping coupons, following sales trends, shopping different grocers and sales, etc). You can also get a little more time if you are willing to put a little money into it (example – hiring a maid, babysitter, grocery shopper, etc). However, the problem that most of us face today is that we have little of both, time nor money. However, there are a few ways out there that you can actually save time while saving money. It doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally, with the right resources, it does happen.

One of my favorite ways to actually save time and money is to cook a majority of our meals for the month in one day. Don’t stop reading now. I know, some of you almost stopped reading. You said things like “Lady, I don’t have a whole day to dedicate to cooking,” “I don’t like cooking enough to do it all in one day,” “I wouldn’t even know where to begin,” or “But what would Sally our waitress down at Chili’s have to say if we weren’t there every other night?” But what if I told you that dedicating one day to cook would actually end up saving you almost an entire day over the course of the month? Would you listen then?

If you add up the time that it takes you to prepare meals each and every morning/day/night for your family you will find that the average is at least 30 hours a month. We arrived at this number assuming you made 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 15 dinners for your family in a given month, which is a conservative number. By cooking all in one day for 8-10 hours you have essentially saved yourself an entire day! Stop for a minute and just dream about what you would do with an extra day each month. Ah, the possibilities are endless.

So yes, you have an initial investment of time up front for preparing your meals. But for the rest of the month you can sit back and relax because all of your meals are prepared and waiting for you in the freezer.

Cooking once a month (also referred to as bulk cooking, freezer cooking, power cooking, and OAMC) can not only get you an extra day’s worth of time, it can also save your grocery budget tremendously.

When you cook a month’s worth of meals in one day you are buying bulk items. If you plan accordingly and shop for 2-4 weeks for your needed ingredients you will also find that you can save money by buying products when they are on sale and through clipping coupons. On average, how much do you spend on your monthly groceries? Do you know? Our monthly grocery bill for making 35 meals (10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 15 dinners) in one day is always $200 or less. I have been doing once a month cooking for several years now and I can tell you that the most I have ever spent on 35 meals is $130 , and this was when my menu had items like salmon and shrimp on them. In other cases, I have spent as little as $75 !

There is the savings at the grocery store initially but you will also find that you save in other ways as well. My husband and I are not tempted nearly as often to go out to dinner because we know that there are good, healthy meals waiting for us in the freezer. I also spend less on last minute items I forgot to get in preparing a particular dish. Running to the store for those items wastes time, usually costs more because the item is not on sale and usually results in me picking up additional items that I don’t necessarily need. So not only am I saving on my grocery budget, I am also saving on my overall food and living budget.

Some of you are probably thinking that it all sounds nice but you would have NO IDEA where to start. That is where Once A Month Mom can help you! At Once A Month Mom we are trying to help families turn everyday chores into monthly memories. Each month we introduce a new monthly cooking menu for you to follow along and make. We provide you a menu with 10-15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 15 dinners for 2 families of four (we recommend working with a partner ). The menu comes with a grocery list for purchasing all of the ingredients, step-by-step instructions for cooking all of the items on your designated cooking day and labels for marking your food. We also watch the weekly ad circulars and point out discounts and deals that you will find at local grocers. Not to mention there are several hundreds of others that are doing the same thing you want to do that will be at your disposal to ask questions and to work alongside.

So if you are struggling with your grocery budget, or you find it hard to find time to cook each day, or you are looking to simplify your life a bit, think about giving Once A Month Mom a try. I guarantee that we will at least be able to help you find a little more TIME and MONEY each and every month. (But maybe you don’t need either – yeah, right!)

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 and her co-author, Cortney, are 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, Once a Month Mom , 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 or baby food.

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