I get so many questions on how I can possibly feed our family of seven (with three teen age boys) and still stay under $500/month.
Well, it’s here!
31 days of sharing how meals work (and don’t work) in our kitchen while still staying under $500 for “all you can eat” style feedings. If you haven’t seen our intro video, click below to meet my fellow partners in crime (Toni and Kate).We all have different lifestyles, different approaches and it should be very fun. Yes, it will be revealing even for myself to see how life with a large family is lived out on a daily basis.
Boxes of stock piled cereal comes with the territory of many kid, quick snacks and a Grocery Guru mom, but I am trying to get away from eating so much cereal since my guys can eat three bowls and still be hungry.
So we started off the day indulging in Easy Oatmeal with Diced Apples. It’s always great to use up those apples as they start to go. I hate wasting produce.
For lunch, my children are Smoothie Masters (and yes, they make up all different kinds of recipes). They can look through the fresh produce (preferably the items that have gotten too ripe to eat raw), as well as the fridge and freezer and surprise me with all kinds of delights.
Since most of the produced they use has been marked down for “quick sale,” it’s an incredibly economic way to get their raw foods in on a daily basis. Lunch ended up being strawberry and banana smoothies and Taco Dip made with fresh guacamole (free with coupons), red peppers/tomatoes (marked down produce), salsa, cottage cheese, and sour cream. You’ll see these two items a lot in our nearly daily repertoire.
Tonight’s dinner was one of our weekly staples – Taco Soup. Since my day was literally met with a five hour interruption, I was quite nervous about dinner plans. When I questioned at about 5:00 – “What should I make for dinner” (yes, that typically foils everyone’s best laid budget plans), I was delighted with how my 12 year old son responded. “Mom, make Taco Soup. You already made up all the meat yesterday.”
That, my sweet overwhelmed cooking friends, is WHY I FREEZER COOK, even if it’s just taking one hour out of my day!
My son knew I had done the busy prep work ahead of time and this meal is one of those “go to” items when meat is already prepared. Even though I wasn’t able to step up to all that I wanted to accomplish in the last two days with my freezer cooking. I did let my crock pot work for me and cooked up eight pounds of ground beef (while I was at church), and then baggied them up for times just like this. I was able to grab cans of crushed tomatoes, already prepared ground beef and rice (I needed a little extra to fill them up), your choice of beans (we LOVE black beans), bags of stockpiled frozen white shoepeg corn, and yummy seasoning. Besides just the typical taco soup seasoning, I added some Hidden Valley Ranch packages (the dry stuff) for a twist…it was yummy. Topped with cheese, sour cream, and some crushed tortilla chips, this is a family favorite that my kids can’t get enough of. For those of us who loved fresh red peppers, we chopped those up and served them separately….yum!
My kids were stuffed, happy and I do believe when the tally occurred at the end of the day, I probably fed my entire family of seven (with left overs) for under $15. I’ll take it, but I’ll also start showing you the receipts of how I get to that point. 🙂