A young lady in my life was asking me about the cost to feed our family of six. Since I enjoy eating and saving money very much, this topic intrigued me. I hoped that maybe it would appeal to you all as well! This is the first in a mini-series of posts about making the most of what we have for meal time. I want to start with some organization, because meals don’t magic themselves on my table!
I do a cursory inventory, then make a menu based on what is already in my cabinets and fridge. My menu is a simple list of seven meals for the week, which allows me to tailor the meal for each day based on time and energy. Longer prep meals are for stay at home days, or weekends when I have afternoons to enjoy kitchen time. I take these meals from a master menu list kept in my home management notebook. I combine variety, colors, and nutritional value to the week’s meal plan, so that we’re never bored and we’re getting good food, especially for growing teens! My grocery list is made based on what we need for those meals, then some basic items for breakfasts, lunches, and inexpensive snacks.
I don’t enjoy freezer cooking, but I do enjoy having part of the meal prep done in advance. I often make all the shredded chicken needed for the week at one time. The same concept can be applied to ground beef or veggie prep! Save yourself time and energy, and prep all your carrots at once for the week. I would call this “meal starters”, as opposed to freezer cooking. How easy would spaghetti with meat sauce, or taco salad, or cobb salad then be?
I hope that as a homemaker, you will think about your family’s food needs and budget. Identify some of those gaping holes in your budget plan, like eating out for convenience. The least expensive fast food option is often twice the price of a fancier meal at home. If I could choose only one money saving method, mastering my food budget is numero uno! I hope you’ll give this matter some consideration!