Friday, November 20, 2015


Our household goes through a lot of food.  I have to go to the store about every other day because of milk and fresh meat. If I buy meat and put it in the freezer it never seems to make it out of there.

I don't mind cooking but I am tired of deciding what to cook. I will call my husband and ask him what he wants for dinner.  Anything he wants I will make for him.  Most of the time he says he doesn't care. Not much help there. Sometimes I feel as though I cook the same things over and over. I miss having Sarah around, she is great for looking up new recipes online for us to try out.

Since the weather has gotten somewhat cooler I made lasagna the other night.

I tried a new crockpot off the internet last night. It was a simple recipe that will be made again.  My husband and most of the kids went back for seconds.

Mushroom soup, packet of onion soup, cubed steak and I added fresh mushrooms.  So simple and tasty. he meat was so tender....

Stuffed mushrooms from the internet.

As the kids have gotten older we allow them to make their own plates. Emma is our pickiest eater so we watch her snack intake during the day.

Benjamin is a great eater. He no longer likes to eat in his booster seat!

I am not sure how big this pot is but it is huge.  We have to fill it.

Sometimes I dish out soups and such and let the kids pick a bowl.  Emma and Michelle are challenged with anything remotely high and hot. Chicken and dumplings

Italian meatball soup

Roast that has cooked all day in gravy in the crockpot.  In the morning a sear the meat and use the oils to make a gravy that is put in the crockpot. One of the families favorites.

We try to keep fresh fruits in the house.  Sometimes it is challenging and very expensive.

Fresh peach cobbler, very good.

Often on Sundays we have friends over to share a meal.

Desserts from facebook are fun to try. I wasn't a big fan of this oversized ice cream sandwich.  The proportions seem off to me.

On my wish list is a double oven.  The single, undersized wall oven we have is not sufficient.  We are always looking for creative ways to cook everything. I also own the largest skillet and pots that I could find.  My stove top isn't big enough either!

When I cook I have extras. Kids and friends stop by and we are always able to feed them.  Sometimes we have food left over but not enough for a second meal.  Normally I cook for a few days and then we have dig-up night. Typically that is when all the food that is left over is eaten.

Our food budget is huge, well over $1000/month. I try to buy when stuff is on sale but out here in the boonies I am limited. I was excited that Walmart had vegetables on sale for 50 cent a can, so I bought several cases worth. I will stock up when I find a good sale. I should do more couponing but I don't have the time. I also don't have any store around me that doubles coupons. I would have to go into town to really get the coupon/sales benefit. I don't have time for that either.

Besides not eating, does anyone have a way you save on food?

Anyone else tire of meal planning? I am always looking for quick, easy meal ideas. If anyone wants to share a great recipe please do so.


  1. Maybe get the kids coupons get and offer to put the savings (or a percentage) into a holiday account.

  2. Oops my keyboard sticks.. Get the kids couponing is what I meant!

  3. We use a meal planning service called The Fresh 20. It is about $8 a month. Each week we get a PDF emailed to us that gives us a grocery list, prep list and 5 new recipes for each week. It helps us save by having a plan for dinner each night, and really reduces how much we toss produce that turned bad. We are a family of 4 but have found that it's very easy to bulk up each recipe depending on how many servings we want. For us it has taken away all of the stress of "ugh, want to do you want for dinner tonight"

  4. I have a few meals that I make cheaply: Cook some chicken, keeping the broth to which you add corn, then add top ramen noodles. A quick, cheap soup if you add water, and thickened it is more of a dish. Just started making "salisbury steak" using hamburger, onions, dry onion soup mix, a tad bit of stuffing mix, fry then simmer in a gravy of beef gravy (of a variety of ingredients on hand).

    I have the same problem of not having enough variety and sticking to some regular meals that we have long grown tired of. I am not a chef, nay, not even a cook by anyone's standards. Just try and throw things together to make it worth eating. Most of what I make, I have to have on hand a second meal for my very (VERY) picky almost 16-year-old who won't eat most things I make. He prefers boxed mac and cheese to home made, for example.

    My town store charges three cents per every coupon we use to cover "shipping and handling" (or some such nonesense) and doesn't double. We have to travel 25 miles to the next nearest store, so weighing the higher cost of local food versus money spent on gas and wear and tear on the car to go get the cheaper food is a toss up.

    Your menu above looks amazing, creative, and way out of my ability to make. Amazing!! Can we come for dinner?? (ha ha)

  5. Sometimes when I feel this way, I have each kid pick a meal for the week, and then when it's their night - they get to help me in the kitchen. This usually works out pretty well :)

    We do have some standbys that may be lacking in nutritional value, but certainly get my family through -

    We make pizzas on top of tortillas (each person builds their pizza, and I bake it.)
    My oldest LOVES frito pie.

    Last year I was really great at researching and creating "freezer meals." I dedicated one whole day practically to cooking, and then froze the food and just warmed it up each night. (Like a prepared lasagna at the store - except my recipe. - there are a ton of recipes on the internet for this.) My kids surprisingly really like this way - they never wonder what's for dinner.

    Also, my oldest has a fix-it-and-forget-it kid cookbook :)