Hey everyone.. Im in need of a little help.. both of my adult children have moved home.. plus my son in law.. times are hard.. for everyone, any ideas on how to feed us all on a very very tight budget?
i too have a family of 5. my kids aren't grown, but they eat like grown men. the one thing that has helped me out is serving a lot of soups and cornbread. there are tons of free cookbook eBooks that you can download to your computer and they will give you great ideas for soups and stews. Here is the forum that shows how to download kindle for PC and 2.
we also do a lot of popcorn for snacks and desserts. we don't use microwave popcorn we use the regular stuff. all you need is a saucepan with a lid and a little bit of butter. just remember to keep shaking the pan. 3qt pan will hold 2/3 cups of kernels.
In the same situation as you. Grown sons moved home.
I make a ton of meatballs and put them in the freezer for quick meals.
I make pocket sandwiches and put them in the freezer for them to snack on also. the pocket bread is cheap to make and you can use up any bit of leftover meat and gravy type filling to fill them.
I shop sales and freeze or home can. I buy whole chickens, won't pay more than $.99 per pound. I take at least 12 ounces of meat off the chicken right away for use in a pasta salad. If I don't put the meat out, they don't eat it so I am ahead.
We eat a lot of chicken or turkey, I buy them on sale and cut them up into smaller pieces to use during the month
I buy frozen veggies (I won't spend more than $1.19 a pound) and throw them into every casserole I can find!
if I find a sale on produce, I wash it, peal it (or not) slice it and pickle it in the fridge. I put my veggies into as many jars as I need packing them tight, than for every quart jar I heat up 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar in the microwave. Add salt and garlic, pour the brine over the veggies and put them in the fridge. Can be used for a side very easy. Put it onto a plate with some chicken and rice, it is fresh and the vinegar will help to curb their appetite a bit so they don't eat you out of house and home at every meal!
I day a week I cook 15 eggs for breakfast sandwiches. I do 15 of them because that is what fits into the pan. You can do less but not more.
I use a 9x13 pan, larger will work also, spray it well, layer some ham slices in the bottom (or crumbled bacon or sausage, whatever I have)
I put about 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella on the ham for 'glue'.
I break all the eggs into the dish, try to line them up 5x3.
I sprinkle cheese on top and than pour 3/4 whole milk over the top (I have used canned milk or cream, basically a heavy milk, skim doesn't do as well).
Salt and pepper well.
Bake for 10 minutes than with a small knife, poke the yokes to break them.
Bake for another 15 minutes.
Cool completely than cut into 15 squares. Each square will fit perfectly onto a toasted English muffin.
I usually make them all up and set them in the fridge or freezer.
They are tons cheaper than purchasing even a value meal breakfast sandwich. My sons are big eaters but for some reason, these fill them up well. I use whatever cheese is in the fridge, even cream cheese. One son likes mushrooms so I put a large mushroom slice on some and a pepper slice on others.
Potatoes are a great filler! Almost anything poured onto a baked potato fills them up really fast!
I add beans to most anything that I can get away with. A 1# bag of beans cost about $1 and can extent a lot of meals.
I make my own bread, not that it is cheaper but because the smell of the bread baking makes the home feel cheerier. I can also throw on a little cinnamon sugar on some bread dough and the guys feel like they are getting a very special treat that will make them feel happy.
The happier they are, the more chores they do (yeah! right) actually, the happier they are with the complete meal makes them snack less and my budget can stretch.
They don't notice that I have cut the chicken all to pieces and given them less than a whole chicken.
Due to job furloughs I've gone back to poor roots. I am the oldest of five siblings so we were a family of seven. My mother used to fix a lot of hamburger but she would stretch the meals out with homemade breads, veggies, etc.
I do something similar except I prepare a lot of soups and stews. Along side I serve homemade bread and lots of veggies, salads, etc.
A seasonal dessert made with fresh fruit helps too. In the fall I make a lot of apple or pear recipes for example.
I also avoid purchasing junk food or pre-made desserts unless I can find them on sale.
Garlic Crusted Fried Chicken is a great addition to your chicken recipes. Especially if you like bold flavors and you are a garlic lover. Surprisingly enough the kids loved them too. The leftovers make that chicken salad lunch something to drool over.
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