So, I'm working on simplifying life in general around here, but I have to start with baby steps I suppose. One thing in particular that I have been working on is food. I have grand plans on where to go with that.
~Shop sales and begin couponing
~Make out two weeks worth of menus and grocery list based off of what is available from sales and couponing
~Pre-cooking as much as possible
~Making healthy, easy to prepare choices
So far I'm shopping sales, doing a tiny bit of pre-cooking and attempting to make healthier easy to prepare choices. The only pre-cooking I've done so fare is ground beef. When I buy it I'm going ahead and cooking all of it, seperating it into ziploc bags and placing it in the freezer. I plan to cook up some chicken, shred it and freeze it as well. Those or some of the simple pre-cooking plans, but the girls and I have bigger plans along those lines as well. So thankful they are interested in helping in the kitchen. It takes a lot of the load off of me and helps them learn to do these things for their own families.
I got some fabulous deals this weekend at the grocery stores in a nearby town. I spent about $100 and bought a BUNCH of breakfast foods, meats and veggies. Speaking of veggies.....One of the stores that I went to had Birds Eye Steamfresh veggies for less than 90 cents. I am in love. They are so YUMMY and EASY! I'm definitely sold and will be buying lots of these everytime I see them on sale.
On the simple healthy meal front I have realized that for me it's easier to provide a meat and veggies. Last night I cooked pork chops (I got lean sirloin pork chops for 99 cents per lb.), broccoli w/cheese (This was the Birds Eye, it took 5 min. in the microwave then I sprinkled just a bit of cheddar over it and stuck it in the oven for a min. or two to melt the cheese) and mashed potatoes (I found country crock potatoes on clearance at the local store for 99 cents). Supper was finished in less than 20 minutes and I only spent about $4 on the entire meal. Tonight we had sirloin beef roast (got it on sale for $1.99 per lb.) potatoes ($1.88 for 8 lbs.) and green beans (These were the Birds Eye as well, they took 6 min. in the microwave). I cooked the roast and potatoes in the crock pot all day. The skin of the potatoes is said to house many of the nutrients an no one here minds eating it, so I just laid the potatoes on the cutting board and quickly quartered, then diced them. I probably had 10 minutes of prep in this entire meal. It was very yummy and super cheap. I think I spent about $7, but we have enough leftovers for a full meal. So that makes that meal come to about $3.50 per night.
I'm sure I'm not gonna find those veggies on sale like that all the time, so I think I'm gonna invest in Pampered Chefs micro-steamer, it's actually pretty inexpensive and I could just put frozen veggies in there and have the same result.
One other goal is to eat more green veggies. Honestly this is hardest for me, but I'm getting much better. So far we are all eating salad, broccoli, green beans, brussel sprouts, turnip greens (I tolerate those), everyone but me will eat green peas and I hope to try to feed them all asparagus really soon.
What do all of you do that makes meal time easy?