Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frugal Friday: Another Cheap Meal on the Farm

I'm not a huge fan of public school. I guess that's why I home schooled for thirteen years until we moved here to Mexico. There are some benefits to public school, however. It's really kind of nice to know that for a few hours after the kids are ushered out the door the house will stay clean. Well, as clean as it can get with someone like THIS around...


(Yes, he's trying to look useful with the measuring tape, but you have nooooo idea the havoc he can reak with OTHER construction tools!)

That being said...our town is so tiny that there is no school cafeteria. We pick up our children for school every day at lunch time, bring them home to a meal we have prepared and then take them back. Why this seems to be such a burden to me, I don't know. After all, I fed my kids lunch at home each and every day during our thirteen home school years, but somehow, this is different. Maybe it's because I have to have the meal ready at EXACTLY the same time every day and the kids only have 24 minutes to eat it. Perhaps it's because I now have THIS teenage boy...


...who really likes meat and gets sad if it doesn't come with every meal. Not that he gets it at every meal, but he really, REALLY likes it! Or...perhaps it's because I have THESE 7-month-old twins...


...who are beautiful and wonderful and one of the hugest blessings I've even been given and they take up every last second of my day...I don't know, but cooking two hot meals a day is a challenge for me!

So...I have changed. I've decided that I will have the large meal prepared at noon time and we will eat leftovers or a light meal at dinner time each day. This new way of cooking has changed my life. It's so much easier to get the big meal ready if I begin at 8:00 in the morning rather than starting at 4:00, right when the kids get home from school and need lots of attention when it comes to homework and chores. Plus, the babies are happier and it's really wonderful to have a smaller clean-up at night, when things, on occasion, tend to spiral downhill quickly.

In case you have wondered what the point of this post is, your wait is now over. I would like to share with you a simple, cheap, and hot meal I prepared for the kids this week. I know there are a lot of homeschool moms out there and other moms in my town who prepare lunch at home every day for their kids and I would LOVE to read some of your suggestions for easy, cheap, nutritious lunches. Let me know what ideas you have whether you've posted them on your blog or would like to leave them as a comment on mine! Here's mine...

-Homemade 100% whole wheat bread machine bread. Click HERE for a fool-proof recipe
-Baked russet potatoes
-Grated cheddar cheese (potato topping)
-Chopped chives from the garden (potato topping)
-Frozen corn from last year's harvest, heated with butter, salt and pepper
-A pitcher of blueberry smoothies (made with frozen blueberries, milk and a little sugar)


Cheap, hot, easy and nutritious! I didn't have any meat for the teenage boy, but that came later at dinner time. Thanks for tuning in and have a GREAT Frugal Friday!

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18 comments:

Angie said...

I love doing baked potatoes for dinner. It's so cheap and easy.

Kathy C. said...

That sounds like a great lunch! Poor teenager, LOL, Im sure he'll survive. :)
What a lovely family you have.

rachelle said...

i love that you make a HUGE pitcher of blueberry smoothie. i find myself wondering just how many blenderfuls you must make!
looks yummy to me~ potato stacks we call em! (must be a 8 kid plus thing. i learned the meal idea from cj's mom.)

those twins are heart-stealing cute, nakie in the tub! ohhh, two!

Salsa Mama said...

Hey, I just read that you want to have a potbelly big inside as a pet. We used to have one! In my opinion, it was NOT a good idea. They aren't much fun at all, and messier than a dog. But--good luck to ya if you ever do get one. :) (btw, ours was named Clyde)

Amanda Leigh said...

aww that sink picture is a classic!

CanCan (MomMostTraveled) said...

Cooking dinner stresses me out too. I like the "big lunch" idea...

Mel said...

My husband are abviously younger than you and your husband and are still trying to get this whole family living thing down pat. However since my husband has been on second shift we have done the meals the way you are now... bigger at noon smaller at night when its just me and the kids. But I'm thrilled he will be going on days so we can have the bigger meal at night. And I can see how picking the kids up to feed them in the afternoon would be a pain... loading everyone up to go and pick up the school kids... hurrying up to eat and clean up the little ones so they can be loaded back up.... I guess I like the fact that I don't have to do that... Good luck with the changing routine... I wouldn't be good at that so you have big props here.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Try my sister's great site for healthy recipes...http://unprocessedrecipes.blogspot.com/

She adds new ones all the time. She has a lot of GF recipes too as she has one child that's allergic to gluten. Hope that's helpful.

RhondaLue said...

Hey Jen, I just did a post recently about our bars. We do potato bar night, fruit bar night, and more recently veggie bar night too. Take a simple, cheap, and healthy meal and stick the word BAR after it and it sounds like a party! The kids love it and so do I. Another way to add protein (it's not MEAT so your son may not dig it but...) is to add black beans as a topping for the potatoes. We like it anyway.

Here's another plus for eating light at dinnertime: promotes better weight loss, and you don't have that pesky indigestion keepin' you up all night from a big dinner meal!

Barbiemat said...

Try pizza toppings on a baked potatoe...its a hit. I hate the planning that goes into meal prep.

Cambria, Greg, Alan and Molly said...

Try this:
1 corn muffin mix
1 chopped onion sauteed in 4 Tbs. butter
1/4 C. cornmeal
2 beaten eggs
1 can cream style corn
1 can regular corn

Mix together and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Add grated cheese on top the last few minutes. We top it with sour cream, avacodos, olives, tomatoes. Whatever. Super easy.

It was so good to see you last week! Those boys are edible!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Ah, first of all the kids are so cute. I love that picture of the twins in the sink!
Second, you are so smart to figure that out! I wish I had you years ago to tell me that!
Thirdly, what happened to the top commenter list! I can't check my status anymore!
I LOVE potatoes too as a meal...it's wonderful and easy!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Wow! For me that would be just about the most complicated meal I would attempt to make. The twins are adorable! I'm an identical twin and my mom gave us baths in the sink, too!

Melinda said...

I did a post on stew recently and that is the cheap meal our family eats a few times a month. Your yummy fresh bread would go with that too. The Hawaiian Haystacks are another cheap meal and the prep is mostly cutting up the toppings.

I have our dinner ready by 2:30-3 when kids get home then Ron can eat a filling meal before work and I can do dinner prep while kids are gone. Good idea doing mail meal at lunch time.

Laurice. said...

Looks delicious to me! I am going to have to try that bread recipe!

Bethany Cox said...

landons face doesn't look very excited about that lunch.

Bethany Cox said...

why don't you just start packing lunches for the kids?

Liberty said...

I was just wondering what type of bread machine you have, because that looks like a nice big loaf. Which it would need to be, to feed a large family. I actually bought two, but do you have one that will feed all of you?