Army wife shares time and money-saving cooking

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

As an army wife, Julie Hubbard said she’s had opportunities to share her special cooking method around the country — in parks, recreation centers, schools, churches, culinary centers and homes. What is this special method? “Freezer Cooking” — preparing meals for a month all at one time and freezing them for future use. This method of cooking has several benefits, she said. Buying a month’s supply of groceries at one time cuts down on shopping trips, and the less you enter the store, the less impulse buying you do and the less money you spend. Also, buying in bulk saves money.

Julie Hubbard, back left, says her special way of cooking gives her more time to spend with her family: Georgeann and Chandler, front, and husband Scott and daughter Gillian, back. (contributed)

This method also saves time, she said. You use all your pots, pans, etc., to prepare meals. But when serving a meal, you don’t have all these to clean. She suggested that when you add the cleaning time you save and the time saved preparing a meal, “you have an average of forty-five minutes extra per night to spend with your family.”

“You can thaw and heat a meal faster than you can drive to (the nearest fast-food place), so you eat out less and are eating less processed foods high in fat, sodium and calories,” she said, so you’re eating healthier.

“I have been cooking the Once-A-Month way for over 13 years,” she said, and like all cooks she’s had disasters. Her worst? She was carrying bags of spaghetti sauce to the freezer, dropped one and it busted. She slipped in the mess, fell flat on her back, and slipped a few more times trying to stand up. When finally upright, she was covered in spaghetti sauce. Now she carries filled bags to the freezer on a cookie sheet.

As a 30-Day Gourmet Consultant since 2003, Hubbard teaches “Once-A-Month Cooking” classes. She will come to a home, school, office or church and present an hour-and-a-half seminar for a minimum of 10 participants at $5 each. For a flat fee of $50, she will present the seminar to a not-for-profit group. Contact Julie Hubbard at (256) 443-6953 or


Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at