We want to prepare healthy meals to set before our families, but in today's economy, many, if not most households are on a tight budget. The truth is, meals will get sacrificed because our finances get stretched to the point of no return but we do our best. I know you chefs out there are creative in tough times. No shame here, folks. Most of us know what I'm talking about. Reality, not sadness or embarrassment, because our needs are provided by our Heavenly Father and He has promised to always provide for our needs. And, well, sometimes we have to be creative with the manna that falls from heaven, right?
What do you do when you can't fill the portions on the plate according to how the doctor recommends or the nutrition plate teaches us to do? We improvise! Mom and dads of the world, we don't go crazy saying, "Oh, what will I do with this little bit I have?" No. First, if you're a person of faith, you pray over your ingredients for them to be a blessing for your family and for the Lord to multiply so that there is abundance.
What are some of the meals you plan for those days when, well honestly, you struggle a little? Key word here is "plan". So, let's think of what are the main parts of your dinner and how you should try to buy in bulk or large amounts so that it can last longer. Some people don't like store name brand. It's like pride gets in the way and they think supermarket crackers are for poor, homeless people and we should only buy name brand crackers. Well, it's all crackers to me. I look at the ounces and pounds and compare weights with price. Are you really getting the best deal with the specials or are they just trying to get rid of all the extra stuff that was delivered. I also look at the labels for idea on carbohydrates (total sugar) and sodium (salt).
Make a list of things that will not waste quickly but you can use daily. Don't be embarrassed to use store coupons. They help. Find them in the Sunday paper, flyers, with your receipt after a purchase, or online.
rice -beans -potatoes -oatmeal-crackers-peanut butter
-cornmeal -dry pasta -tomato sauce -bread -cheese
-applesauce -dry nuts etc.
What can you buy in large quantities? I like the store brand family size meat pack. The meat comes with enough to get two meals from it, depending on your family. Buy veggies and fruit as needed because many times they spoil if you don't eat them right away. Rice comes in large bags as well.
The important thing is to put together something your family will enjoy. My kids ask for IHOP breakfast every one in a while. It just means to make breakfast for lunch or dinner. They love it! Sometimes you don't need the rice and beans together. Just rice, corn on cob, or potatoes with meat and vegetables if you can is enough.
There are so many sites and blog with healthy, budget friendly cooking that I decided to let you do your own search and find what you need based on your taste preference. I hope you don't get frustrated when your finances get tight and you don't know what to buy or cook. Enjoy your time preparing meals for your loved one and they will be blessed.
|photo from http://pihtoday.blogspot.com/2013/11/friday-november-8-2013-who-cares-for.html|