Friday, April 12, 2013

Fun Friday- Saving Money on the Kitchen, snacks and such!

Welcome back to the second in my new Fun Friday series-
If you have just joined me you might want to start by reading the kickoff post on budgeting and last week's post on meat to catch up.
A quick word about meat before moving on.  I want to give you another real life example.  Last week I bought a medium sized pork roast for $8.17. (beef roast would work just the same) 
I popped it into the crock pot and we had pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, a family favorite.
The next day, the kids and I had pork sandwiches for lunch as well.
On Tuesday, the pork got pulled out again and served as stuffed baked potatoes.  (We did add veggies, I promise!)
Plus I froze enough meat to have pulled pork sandwiches again next month and my husband has enough for a few lunches. (he makes a wrap to take to lunch each day)
So that is three dinners, one big lunch and several smaller lunches for my hubby.  Depending on how you calculate it, that is at least $2.00 a meal or under! 
All this to say, do not be afraid of buying larger pieces of meat because of the price.  By the time you divide it up you will save money and time!  A win-win situation.
OK, on to snacks. 
We still have a snack time at my house.  I could blame it solely on the 5 year old, but that would not be quite fair.  Regardless, snack foods are expensive.  And they are loaded with bad-for-you-stuff!  You know, the stuff you cannot pronounce!  On our journey to eliminate dyes and high fructose corn syrup from our diets we have had to chosen to give up much of that stuff.  (Please remember- it does not have to have color to have dye.  Even your favorite cinnamon rolls from a can you pop open have dye in them.  Ask me how I know!)  So snack foods- yep, full of it! They are, after all, marketed for our kids and the theory these days seems to be the brighter the better.  Plus the cost- well, do not get me started.  Because they are in cute single serving sizes the prices are hiked way up!  Convenience is costly friends.
So our solutions-
First, fruit!  We try to keep our fruit basket full.  You never know what fruit you will find in it though because I buy what is on sale.  While some of that pricing is for seasonal reasons, some grocery stores just seem to alternate willy nilly what is less expensive.  Just buy what is on sale, it will keep your kids from getting bored!  And keep them healthier!
Our second line of defense- frozen cookie rolls!  The more, the better!  Each time I make homemade cookies I freeze at least one if not more cookie dough rolls.  Just wrap them in foil, label with cooking directions and store them all in a large plastic bag in the freezer.  That way, when you need cookies it is an easy task.  By doing this just a few times at first, you will build up a stash that only requires the extra mixing time once a month or so.  Think of it this way, most recipes will make 2-3 dozen.  If I make them all, I will eat them.  After the kids are long gone from the snack table a mom just feels the need to clean the plate, right?!  By only making a dozen at a time, I am saving my waist line and storing extra dough for the next week.  I even do this with the round snicker doodle dough.  The kids love it!
Next up- popcorn.  We use to save popcorn for family movie night, but I found that the kids really enjoy the treat and it is healthier than most of the other stuff out there.
There are chips and stuff out there that are not so bad for you, but they tend to be expensive.  I just do not buy them regularly.  If you feel your children cannot live without them, then I encourage you to at least buy in bulk and put them in serving size baggies for your kids.  Do not pay someone else for a few minutes worth of work you can do yourself.  It is just not worth it.
Other ideas- cheese squares (again, do it yourself), crackers, muffins, veggies and Popsicles.  Yes, even Popsicles.  I would have NEVER let my kids eat the ones out of the freezer section just for a snack, but since we make our own now and I know what is in them, there is no reason to save them just for special occasions. Remember, the idea is just to tide them over until dinner, not nourish them for the day.
And speaking of special occasions- cakes and other fancy desserts cost a fortune.  Make your own.  You will create fun family traditions in your kitchen and save money.  We typically do a special dessert on Fridays, but if that is not doable for you choose another day.  By limiting dessert to once a week it is reserved as a treat and fighting childhood (and parenthood) obesity.
Cooking from scratch saves money.  Really!
So that's it for that subject.  Again, the key is homemade.  If you can make it, do it!  I assure you it is cheaper and way better for you.  Chips and other processed foods are over rated and a habit we could all afford to take a break from.
You can do it!
See 'ya next week for a look at breakfast and lunch food,
Linking up with Caroline at The Modest Mom today!
Also linking up with Amy at Raising Arrows!
Welcome Home Wednesdays


  1. We have been making changes to our eating/snacking as well. I love your cookie roll idea! It solves the problem of having sugar for days as we finish the whole giant batch! Great tips. :)


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