This week we are faced with the desire to do some cooking for a family in need. I did a quick meal plan for a few meals plus snacks and quick items. When I added it all up and included disposable packaging, the total cost was more than $125, which is higher than our weekly grocery bill. That would be a blow to our budget, so I made a few changes to allow us to provide hearty, nutritious meals that could be prepared and delivered the same day.
I got up very early this morning and got to work putting a whole chicken in the crockpot, ingredients in the bread machine for rolls and two dry mixes in bowls for scones. I also boiled and mashed some potatoes that I found in the pantry. All of these items were prepared with ingredients I already had on hand, so chances are they were bought on sale, purchased with coupons, or bought in bulk. This means I am already ahead of the game on cost with my cooking. I threw in some home-made peanut butter granola bars I made earlier in the week as well.
Next, I decided to take a look at some of my freezer items to see if I could make some good quick meals out of them. I already had frozen vegetables, so a quick heating and some seasoning, and I had two different side dishes. I also had some brown sugar ham, fully cooked (tastes even better after a freeze) and some turkey with honey gravy, also cooked, for more meals.
That left me with just a few items on my grocery list to get for this cooking session. We needed various disposable containers that could be microwaved (the family would not have access to an oven), some fresh fruit, salad ingredients, and the makings for macaroni and cheese, a filling comfort food that I just wanted to include.
All in all–it was a busy morning, but I think it worked out nicely.