Get Started: Budgeting for Your Once A Month Cooking Day
How much will a month of once a month cooking cost? is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at Once a Month Mom. Many people are sold on the idea of preparing a month’s worth of meals and are anxious for the time they know they’ll will save throughout the month, but when it comes down to it–cost can be a deterrent.
Earlier in the getting started series we gave some tips on saving money on your once a month cooking costs, but how much will a month’s worth of cooking actually cost?
Tricia shared the details of one of her monthly cooking experiences in which she and a friend prepared 60 meals for a grand total of $171.90, giving credit to some savvy shopping tips like shopping sales and purchasing manager’s specials. Another month she and two friends prepared meals for three families of four (or 12 people) for just $218.11–averaging to $72.70 for each family and Christina reported her recent OAMM experience cost her $191.57 for a month’s worth of meals for her family of five.
While I can’t give you an exact number as it’s going to vary a depending on the menu you choose, the region you live in, how you shop, and how big your family is, BUT most of our reports from test cooks, readers, and Facebook fans are sharing that shopping for a monthly menu costs them between $150-300. That averages out to be around $5 (or less!) per entree. I know I can’t even feed my family on the fast food dollar menu for that price, so for healthy, homecooked meals, PLUS the already-prepared convenience, I consider it a great deal.
Budgeting for the big cooking day can be a bit overwhelming as well. For those of you that are on tight food budgets, coming up with $150-300 for next months groceries can be quite the challenge. Here are some ideas for getting started.
- Start Small -Choose several of the months recipes to cook. Perhaps basing the choice on the meat sales at your local grocer? Or perhaps even the recipes that are meatless? This will help you to have back up meals in the freezer so you are tempted to eat out or stop at the grocery for unnecessary items.
- Half Month – doing a half months worth of recipes will be a little more than half the estimated prices ($75-150). This doesn’t require as much up front money and will allow you to save up a bit for the next month when you can do a whole menu.
- Dive in – If you don’t shop the sales the whole month and just go shop and then cook all at once you can use the current months menu and reap the benefits immediately.
If you’ve recently prepared a OAMM menu, let us know in the comment section how it went for you, including dollar approximations. Your feedback and insight continually helps make the site better.