Creating a Recipe Binder

Last year I was on a quest to get organized with my meals.  I spent several months making a couple of new meals each week, so I would have a wider variety to choose from.  I am starting to finally see the positive effects of this…or should I say my family is. One of my goals was to avoid cooking the same meals over and over again.  So I purchased a binder with clear pocket holders to help in organizing my recipes. I have to share one of the best resources on the web for printing recipes.  It is the … Continue reading

Toddler Fun Foods

It can be difficult to get toddlers to eat. Most are finicky eaters and do not like to try new foods. Several toddlers only want their favorite foods and complain about trying different foods. Making “fun foods” can help convince your toddlers to try new and healthy foods and snacks. Let’s look at some “fun food” ideas: Fun Shaped Sandwiches Take any peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cut it with a cookie cutter for an instant favorite. Use cookie cutters for ham and cheese sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches or any kind of sandwich that your child eats. If it … Continue reading

Sneaky Ways to Reduce Your Preschooler’s Food Waste

I can be a sneaky, sneaky mama. However, when my daughter starts to eat a pear, takes a single bite all around the middle and then determines that she is finished, I despair. I don’t like wasting food. Here are a few sneaky ways that I avoid food waste. I cut things up. Cutting things up means that when my daughter eats half a pear, there is still half a pear for me to eat. It means that I get more logical about portion sizes, and that is always a good thing. While I may be the odd mom who … Continue reading

Meals to Make from Bread

Stretch out your food budget by not letting anything go to waste. When you are faced with dinner time and there is “nothing” to prepare, take a look into your pantry. There are so many things you can make with what may be available. Today let’s take a look at bread. You can usually find bread in most people’s kitchens, and it is great for turning into meals and side dishes. This post is part of the Ideas for Cooking from Your Stockpile series. Main Meals: Try these ideas to make bread, fresh or stale, into a main meal. The … Continue reading

Dealing with Food Strikes

When my kids were younger (and they still do this to some extent) they would go in phases with their food intake. There would be periods where it seemed like they were eating everything in site, other times where they ate like tiny birds and still others where they seemed to be on “strike” and refusing to eat a certain meal or a type of food. For a parent trying to make sure the child gets enough nutrition, it can be extremely frustrating and it is hard not to worry that the child will get dehydrated or get rickets or … Continue reading

Are You a Short-Order Cook?

I have found that many parents fall in one of two categories–either they are of the “I’m making one meal and if you don’t like it, you can make yourself a peanut butter sandwich” camp, or they are in the short-order cook camp–preparing a different meal for each member of the family. I am not here to pass judgment, only to share an observation and I am wondering–which camp are you in? I am somewhere in the middle…I am definitely not willing to stand in the kitchen and prepare four meals to order–but I also do try to take into … Continue reading

Saving Money With Cookbooks

Cookbooks are a handy accessory in the kitchen, and they can make meal planning a much more pleasant experience. In addition, nobody in the family will get tired of eating the same old thing day after day. But how can cookbooks really save you money in the long run? Here are a few ideas. First of all, limit the number of cookbooks you purchase. It is ridiculous to own 10 different cookbooks if there is only one or two recipes in each cookbook that you actually use. Unless the cookbooks were hand me downs, there isn’t a cookbook worth its … Continue reading

3 Fantastic Kitchen Tips

Often I am asked for tips in the kitchen, and seeing that it is one of my favorite rooms in the house (other than my scrap room), I love to share tips for saving money in the kitchen. While I have dozens of other tips that might not save money but would be fun to do, these do save money. 1. Cookbooks Save your money and do not purchase these wallet drainers. Most cookbooks are beautiful, colorful and filled with delectable recipes. Except for our family, we don’t make even half of the recipes in the book. It is much … Continue reading

My Frugal Turkey Meals

Last Friday, I roasted a whole 19-pound turkey for my family of five. No, we didn’t eat the whole thing at once, of course, but I wanted to share all of the meals that were and will be made from the turkey. It really is very cost effective. The whole turkey cost us about $19. I can add to that another $12 or so for additional meal ingredients, including carrots, potatoes, celery, butter, milk, spices, chicken stock, flour, broccoli, onions, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce and corn (all bought on sale or as cheaply as possible of course). The milk and … Continue reading

Tenderizing Cheap Beef

Beef may be what’s for dinner, but it is also what takes a big bite out of your grocery budget. With the price of gas going up, and the recent beef contamination scares, buying beef today is almost like buying caviar. Okay, it is not that bad, but it isn’t that good, either. Eating more meatless meals can help with the cost of your grocery budget, but let’s face it, sometimes you just want to cook a meat and potatoes kind of meal. You can go the route of using less beef in your meals, but that just might not … Continue reading