By now you've planned your menu, done your bulk shopping, and have had your prep time. Hopefully you've got all of the kitchen supplies that you'll need for this bulk cooking extravaganza. I have more cooking supplies than most, and even I found myself amazed at the sheer volume of things I was able to get dirty in one session.
Seriously, there cannot be too many cooking spoons, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and mixing bowls in your house... the more the better for an adventure like this! In some cases, and for some menus -- you'll even need two crockpots -- so you may need to plan ahead and borrow one from someone.
Make sure you print all of your cooking day instructions AND recipe cards. I taped the cooking day instructions to my cabinet so that I could check them off each time I finished a step. A good thing to note too: the cooking instructions are set up so that you will get through the most complicated portions of the cooking first and save the simpler tasks for the end of the day. Had I planned and prepped accordingly -- my first cooking day would have gone a bit smoother.
When it comes down to your cooking day - remember these tips:
1) Get a good nights sleep & plan to wake up early to get started.
2) If possible, get a baby sitter or mother's helper to come in and take care of any littles at home.
3) Wear your best supportive shoes, because you literally will be on your feet for a good 8-10 hours.
4) Document your experience so that you will learn from your own mistakes.
5) Take notes so that you'll know if there are things you would change in how you managed this process.
6) Follow the instructions to the letter, and label each item as it gets packed. With the recipe labels provided or with a Sharpie. Include the date on your bags for the freezer so that you'll know how long it's been in there.
7) Remember that these recipes are for the main dish -- so you will need some refresher items from the store, and side dish plans for the meals as needed.
That is how it's done! Now, I can safely tell you that we've been eating on these meals for over two weeks as planned -- I think we will at the very least get one more full week out of them, and then we will be ready to do another round of cooking. Isn't that exciting? It is for me... I haven't had to think of a meal to cook for dinner in over 2.5 weeks!!
If you think that this plan is something you might want to do for your own house -- you can even start with a mini plan which is only 5-6 meals to give it a try. If you want to try it out go to: Once a Month Meals, and decide which plan is for you. The regular membership has menus for 9 different dietary restrictions, but they can't be edited. The Pro membership (what I got) you can edit and swap out the recipes on the menus for anything in the database of thousands of recipes.
If you are just finding this post -- Here is the post on Planning, Here is the post on Shopping, and Here is the post on Prepping.
I hope that this helps everyone get on top of their cooking, and gives you some valuable time back in your evenings!! Enjoy!