Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Terrific Tuesday

Ok, I have a mental block. baby Dear is helping me while her mom is doing her lesson plans,,,not like we wait till the last minute!! on her defense the last kids mom came at 7 o'clock last night. It made for a long day.

Feeding your family on a 1/2 price budget can be a challenge. the rewards are many.

1) there is a smug satisfaction that you have beat the stats.
2) there is a sense of security that you always have food in the house.
3) no child should live with the insecurity of not having food in the house to eat.
4) teaching a child that one doesn't have to eat pudding cups, chips and junk food is a good thing.
You are also teaching your children how to shop wisely and not waste money.

5) If you are lucky enough to have the money you save, you can put that money into something else ..pay down the mortgage, the kids education fund, a much needed vacation. The first time I went to Disneyland was when I was 21 years old. LOL. I survived childhood without it, but it would have been a fun memory. We learned to work. It was a good lesson that has carried me through a lot of hard times.

I am always watching for easy crockpot recipes. I found a new book at the TJ Maxx. A good basic slow cooker cookbook is a good friend in the kitchen. I get some business supplies there because they are fractions of the cost of buying them elsewhere.

My mantra of "spend more time on the front of the Get the meals on the table train and less time on the back" holds true here. A few well spent minutes in the morning saves a lot of headache at night if you have hungry kids when you get home or have to help kids with homework after school.
Remember, you get "paid" for shopping, not for cooking.

My other catch phrase is 4+1=5. Four people, one meal, five bucks. To maintain a 1/2 price budget, you need to average 5.00 a dinner. Some meals can be cheaper, to afford some that are more expensive. We want variety and somewhat healthy--avoiding a lot of salt and fat and incorporating whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

Hearty soups and stews are a great mainstay for the economy budget.Kids need to learn that food doesn't come out of a can or box. My daughter used to teach at a school that was mainly low income students, She sat done to eat her lunch of leftover Mac and cheese. the kids wanted to know if that was ( the name of a box mix) When she said it was scratch, her mom made it they couldn't believe it. It takes no more time to make Mac and cheese from scratch than it does from a box. I love recipes that you can put together and shove in the oven and go on to multitask. the chew calls it passive cooking. Whatever you call it, it's efficient.

If I am going to spend time in the kitchen, I want to be saving money by making my own taco seasoning, breadcrumbs or grinding my own hamburger. When good hamburger is upwards of four dollars a pound, I buy a cheaper cut of roast or steak and grind my own. I can control the fat. Batch or marathon cooking saves a lot of time and puts the cooking chore at a more peaceful time than the hectic " I just got home the mail is waiting to be sorted, the kids are cranky and hungry and you want what? Time.

Precooking means-- I can have

roast beef a jus sandwiches and a salad in 15 minutes flat
BBQ pork sandwiches and coleslaw in 15 minutes or less
tacos and refried beans in 10 minutes

Crockpot meals are less than 15 minutes, I usually cook a brown and serve baguette
Or bread stick. I brush the bread sticks with a little butter and sprinkle them with a little Romano or other finely grated cheese. just a pinch.

Pizza is another when I get crusts for a buck at grocery outlet for two.
I keep toppings chopped and ready to go as I chop something for another dish. We have pepperoni from the dollar store, red and yellow peppers, chicken pieces, black olives, onion, ham cubes, hamburger and sausage crumbles in the freezer. Any number of combinations.

Thanks for stopping by.
please share and comment..what do you put on your pizzas?


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