Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Food Experiment Follow Up

The month is over and I thought I'd report how my 'Once a Month' cooking experiment went.  I've done freezer meals for years, but normally only 1 or 2 meals a week.  I've never planned breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner with about 80% of the food prepared ahead of time.  As a side note, our microwave broke the day we began this so we were microwaveless for 3 weeks.  It was tough...

Egg McMuffins: F - epic fail! though we had to reheat in the oven from frozen and it took too long and over cooked everything.  I'm willing to try again with  microwave reheating.
I also never got around to pre-making pancakes but we did do muffins and they worked
Other breakfasts: Smoothies, cereal, pancakes

Mummy Dogs: A+ .  They actually are so much better when you bake them from frozen. 
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: B .   Good, but took longer to reheat then it would to grill fresh, so no point in making ahead.
Pizza Cups: A...Definitely a keeper!
Chicken Nuggets: A.  They take time to make but SOOOOO worth it!
French Bread Pizza: A+.  Best discovery of this month.  So convenient, yum, cheap and kids loved them!
Bean&Cheese Burritos: I didn't try-my bad...but they seem awesome and convenient
Chicken Salad:  A.  Everyone loves
Other lunches: ham sandwiches, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches

Cheese and Crackers: A+
Fruit Smoothie: A+
Granola Bars: C : too much honey in them.  I need to find a better recipe
Yogurt Parfaits: A+.  The kids favorite snack.  Clear cups, frozen fruit, greek yogurt and granola.  They ate these alot.
Chocolate Pudding: A.  It doesn't get easier than this
Soft Pretzels: A when fresh.  B when frozen and reheated. 

Cranberry Chicken: B.  I really enjoyed this.  The kids not as much.  They kept expecting it to taste like BBQ chicken because of the look but it didn't
Teriyaki Honey Chicken: A.  Everyone loved this
Twice Baked Potatoes: A.  Yummy,
Ranch Chicken Parmesan: A+.  Sooooo good. Everyone loved
Greek Chicken: B.  I overcooked it so we'll try again. 
Other dinners: Spaghetti, Taco Salad, Burrito Bar, Soup

I had vegetables cut up in the fridge daily for consumption.  I had a basket of fruit available every day for them as well. 
The other

So...did it work?  Yes!  We only did take out 1 time for the entire month. 
Cost effectiveness?  Saved $400 on our food budget-which is HUGE.
Quality of food?  We ate soo well.  Excellent vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, cheeses etc.  Our meals were well balanced.  The snacks were nutritious
Convenience:  A!  Kids were able to handle all of the meals if needed
Time?  We did the cooking over the course of 3 days.  One really long night and two shorter stints over 2 days.
It took me much longer to plan the food menu, recipes, ingredients and shopping list.   
Was the time worth it?  Yes! Because when it came to daily schedules, we had great food available.
Will I do it again?  Yes! Yes! Yes!  I'm working on this months menu right now
Do I recommend this type of cooking? Yes!

Do I have a file with all of the recipes, shopping lists and menu? Yes thanks to Kristin!  Love you woman!
The end!!!