All day cook-a-thon

Last weekend I joined two friends and we had an all day cook-a-thon. One of my friends organized the whole event. She picked the menu, bought the food and containers, prepped her house, and took charge! To put it simply, it was awesome! My monthly to-do list had me making four freezer meals in November and four meals in December. This all day cook-a-thon had me knocking 10 meals out of the way in one day and I had help doing it!

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We started {bright and early} at 9 am and I arrived with a toddler in tow. Our day lasted a little longer than our blog template said, but I take some of that credit blame. Being 8 months pregnant, with a toddler to watch, really slows the pace down. I was definitely the weak link. I think I only prepared one of the meals myself. I spent a lot of time peeling and chopping during the preparation. Then I spent a lot of time putting the meals into containers. All necessary jobs, but also perfect for a pregnant woman to sit down and do. πŸ™‚

We used this blog for our inspiration. We made 32 meals, had extra noodles for a few additional meals, and spent less than $10 per meal. Our organizer shopped the sales and generics as much as possible and I know she did a fabulous job. Our meal prices did include the containers to store them in so that added a little more cost. The uncertainty of meat prices also affects the price per meal. The total price spent was about 1/3 of our family monthly grocery bill. That’s right on track for 10 meals, but I think my family will get more than 10 meals out of the food. With 2 1/2 people eating, a 9×13 pan of lasagna will easily be two meals, if not more. So, my family will make these meals stretch a lot further than some others may. And that means I spent 1/3 of my monthly budget on 2/3 of the monthly meals! I’m looking forward to the budget savings in December and January!

My family hasn’t eaten any of the meals yet, but they sure did smell good when we were making them! Here’s the part I didn’t like…I spent all day cooking {helping} and then didn’t have a plan for supper that night! If I wasn’t about to have a baby, we would have eaten one of the meals. But, with the impending life upset, I know it’s much easier to stop and pick up a Papa John’s pizza now instead of using up one of the precious meals.

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My friends and I agreed to doing another cook-a-thon sometime this winter. We may focus more on crockpot meals the next time. {Unless we absolutely love these 10 meals and don’t think our family can live without us making them again.} Besides making life a little easier for our families, we’re trying to find new, wholesome meals. For instance, none of us had ever made tater tot casserole per her recipe. I made it clear that adding sour cream to the mixture was the most amazing thing I’d ever heard and that my meal better not have any less than the required amount! πŸ™‚ Needless to say, I’m really excited to try some of these meals!

Now that I have more than enough meals made, I may take a day and spend some time making breakfast freezer meals. I remember waking up each morning feeling more hungry than I ever was during pregnancy. Those nursing calories really leave you famished! I’d also like a holiday baking day, but I know that I’m making my expectations a little too high with the amount of time remaining before this little baby shows up!

Have you done a cook-a-thon? What menu do you use?

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All day cook-a-thon

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