Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Many people ask me, "How do you feed them all?" I am always unsure if they mean how to we afford it OR how we physically put food on the spoon and in the mouths of 4 kids who cannot yet feed themselves OR how we get it cooked OR how we get it from the pan to their plates. In this blog I'm going to talk about the food budget. Next time I'll talk about shopping; and later cooking.

In a typical month, I spend $600 on food & $300 more on cleaning supplies, baby food, wipes, bottle liners, formula and diapers. I budget $1000, but usually spend $900 by the time I use the ads, coupons and/or coast along out of the pantry if there aren't any good deals. I do make up a menu, but I don't insist we follow it exact so we mix up the days and meals based on what the kids want.

I clip coupons, print online coupons, buy coupons on ebay, match the coupons with advertised sale items for more impact. This usually saves 20% of the total receipt. We shop at the farmers market for seasonal bargains. I know when certain store items will be at their lowest prices and I buy enough for the year. Some examples are the following:
  • apple sauce will soon be at its lowest price
  • In November-pumpkin, broth, au gratin potatoes, boxed stuffing, cranberry juice, and green beans
  • In December-flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and summer sausage
  • In January-Cheez Whiz, Velveeta, chips, pretzels, soda pop and soup
  • In February-laundry soap and dishwasher liquid
  • In March-cabbage, ham and some paper products
  • In April-diapers, wipes, and baby food
  • In May-chicken, paper products, chips, soda pop and fruit juice
  • In August-canned pastas and soups, pasta, pasta sauce, ice cream, pizza rolls, mac n cheese, frozen pizzas, snack crackers, popcorn (and even though its not a food...this is when underwear is cheapest!)

When I do the BIG shopping trip, I try to do so the third week of the month, when the sales are usually most impressive.

Lastly, I have a very small container garden to supply our lettuce in the Spring and Tomatoes and Peppers and Herb in the Summer and Fall. Friends and family give us samplings out of their gardens too. A few friends and family bless us with meat from butchering from their farm or hunting.

I have some pet peeve BUDGET BUSTERS when I shop which include the following:
  • Being asked to send monthly snacks to school for 22 to 24 kids that must be individually wrapped and not homemade (and without nuts)...I do this for 3 classes. We don't eat convenience items like that in our home so I resent being asked to donate something that is usually outside of our budget and lifestyle...if we need snacks at home, they come in a jumbo bag or I make them.

  • Food allergies: I am often forced to buy higher priced brands due to allergies and sensitivities in our family. By the time I get no MSG, no milk and no citric acid, then the top brands tend to be the only option.

  • Deals like Angel Food Ministries can be BIG budget busters. We only order 1 or 2 times a year and usually it is near the holidays for the cases of fruit. I do not generally order because the packages are loaded with one time convenience foods, and meats that we may not be able to use due to it having bones, being too tough or too spicy.

  • Single frozen items are a waste for us.....I end up opening small package after small package so I buy jumbo family size or commercial sizes, split it in 1/2 and store it.
Today's after school snack is an affordable easy treat. Corrine helped me today. The recipe is from my great aunt Wanita.

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats

1. Add the first four ingredients (through the cocoa powder) to a 4-quart saucepan.
2. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute. (If you don't get a good boil for 1 minute,
then the sugar doesn't fully dissolve and the cookie are kind of gritty.)
3. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Let cool until set.
Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies or bars

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.--I Cor. 10:31

No comments:

Post a Comment