Lately I have been asked by several people how I feed my growing boys. Since it has been asked by more than one person I thought it would be a good blog post.
My mother stayed at home with me and my brothers growing up. Everything I know about being frugal I learned from her. Even when it comes to how I plan my meals and shop for food, I do exactly as I watched my mom do my entire childhood. My mom also happens to be an amazing cook so I learned to make everything from scratch. When my little brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes our diet changed. Eating healthy, well balanced meals, and snacks became a part of my every day life.
When we had our "Yes" day, I realized I am a food Nazi. There is a reason for that; all food in our house has a plan. If you eat the apples for breakfast, we won't have them for snack in the afternoon. It is the one way I can keep us on budget with our groceries. With 4 growing kids, staying on budget every year is becoming harder and harder. I prefer freezer cooking. This month I do not have 2 days in a row to make that happen. I planned meals 2 weeks at a time. I start with a blank calendar of the month. I first write in any days we will be out of the house for meals. I then write down any activities the kids have that would make us need to have a quick meal or if we are at a field trip all day and need a crock pot meal. Then I go through the freezers and cabinets to see what food we already have. I stock up on anything we use regularly when it goes on sale. I then plan meals based off what we all ready have. We normally eat two meals a week that are meatless. We eat at my parents every Sunday for dinner. Once I put all those meals onto the calendar, there are few days left to plan meals for. I then add the new meals or something my family enjoys that we haven't had in a while. I figured the easiest way to show you was to share what we are eating for this week. Here is the plan:
Lunch: Mom & Dad's
Breakfast: Breakfast casserole & fruit
Lunch: Field Trip - eat out
Dinner: Baked potato bar with all the fixings
Breakfast: Monkey bread & fruit
Lunch: Quesadillas, cottage cheese, apple sauce & fresh veggies
Dinner: Chicken breast, green beans, apples & salad
Breakfast: French toast & fruit
Lunch: Hard boiled eggs, pasta salad and fresh veggies
Dinner: Wild rice soup and homemade bread
Lunch: Homemade lunchables
Dinner: Rice & Bean Tacos with salad
Breakfast: Biscuits & Gravy
Lunch: Quiche & fruit
Dinner: Weiner Roast with grandparents
Lunch: Cheese soup
This plan is not set in stone. I do not always stick to exactly what is planned for the day but I do only cook what is on the menu. Plus there are days that life happens and frozen pizza or dinner out happen. We also have one snack each day. It is served at 3pm. Snacks are not as planned. I make a list of the things available and serve the kids whatever is easiest that day.
Here is the snack plan for this week:
Apples and peanut butter
Veggies and dip
Jello with cool whip
Nuts & popcorn
Hummus & tortilla chips
Homemade granola bars
That is my week in food. I would love to know what your meal planning looks like. I also love for you to share any cheap meals you serve to your family!