We have been on vacation this past week and we ate breakfast and lunch in our condo, then enjoyed eating our main meal out each day. I love trying new food options – things I don’t normally make at home. New food and flavor combinations stretch my taste buds and my culinary skills, so I’m always looking out for something a little different on the menu.
Because we were on the coast, we had seafood every day! We also had some other fare that was just delicious! I”ll share a few of the new flavor combinations I loved.
We’ve all seen that grocery prices are climbing. Is it possible to stay within a budget, but also cook delicious and filling meals at home? Yes! Here are my top five suggestions for doing just that!
Take note of what’s on sale at the grocery store each week. Going to Southern Savers or Money Saving Mom sites can make it so easy! Also be sure to visit the marked down areas in each section of the store – produce, bread and meats. Then…
Make a weekly menu from the items on sale. A menu will keep you from running to the store last minute and buying whatever it takes to make supper. You’ll also be buying when the items are lower.
Stock up if you can. When items are on sale, buy more than one, if possible. When butter is on sale, I buy two or three and freeze the extras until I need them.
Bake your own bread, baked goods and snacks. This French Bread is so easy and makes two large loaves. I buy my bread flour in bulk at Sam’s Club and this recipe costs very little to mix together. After calculating the flour and the yeast (also bought in bulk at Sam’s), it costs me about 35 cents per loaf! This bread is so good toasted, so aside from a great side for breakfast or spaghetti supper, the possibilities are endless – grilled cheese, French toast, or BLT’s to name a few. These Muffins and this sweet bread can be made so cheaply by buying bananas that are over-ripe. They are cheaper than ripe ones and they freeze beautifully. When berries are on sale, freeze them for berry muffins. Make up a batch of cookies that don’t call for extra items like nuts or chocolate chips (did I just say that?!). Reserve those for special times. Make simple recipes like Snickerdoodles or Sugar Cookies. Rather than buying microwave popcorn, make this easy recipe – it’s much cheaper (and so much better!). These Granola Bars are also a Yummy snack!
Just typing up this post made me really want to cook and bake! Each of these recipes are truly cost-effective – especially when you follow the five steps I shared. I hope this will help you to eat well AND stay in your budget!
I have a love for anything to do with the kitchen. I love to cook and bake. I love to try new recipes. I love to set a pretty table. I love to work around a time schedule. I love to feed hungry people. I love to fill my table with people and good food where God is thanked and lives are encouraged just because they shared a meal at our table.
However, I know not everyone feels the same and for varied reasons:
It’s a struggle to cook a meal that everyone will eat.
It’s hard to find the time to prepare.
It’s overwhelming to clean up the mess afterwards.
It’s intimidating to invite people over.
I Cor. 10:31 reminds us that our eating and whatever we do should glorify God. That would include meal preparation.
What that doesn’t mean:
Everything has to be made from scratch.
Everything has to look it was prepared by a Food Network chef.
That you can’t take help from quick foods.
That you can’t ever go out to eat.
That you have to fix a different meal for everyone in the family.
What it does mean:
God should be honored in your heart attitude about meal prep. Remember Martha begrudging her work?
It’s more about the people we’re serving than trying to impress them. We;re filling a need.
Because we’re the managers, we must plan ahead so we’ll be able to prepare in advance.
Remember our mantra – We must plan our work and work our plan! This applies maybe even greater when dealing with meals and with food preparation!
Prioritize eating together at the table. If you’re not doing this much at all, why not plan on having supper as a family at least three nights a week? Or bump up what you’re doing to five nights a week.
Elevate the ordinary to something sacred. This simply means to make it highly valued and important. Here are a few simple ways to do that:
Quiet hearts by turning on soft music. Make the table inviting. Add placemats or a tablecloth, napkins and all three pieces of silverware. Put something pretty in the middle of the table.A pitcher with flowers. A candle. Add conversation starter cards to the centerpiece. Make it fun. Laugh at the table. Teach manners. Talk. Listen. Slow down. Sit back. Read a chapter book together at the end of the meal. Sing a hymn. Pray.
Memories are made around the table. Some of my favorite memories of my girls’ childhood revolve around events and conversations around a meal we shared together. We all remember the evening there was “blue milk” on the table (let’s just say there might have been a little too much laughter!).
This one habit can strengthen your home in so many ways.
But how do we get it done? Next Wednesday we’ll talk about the management part and how to simplify the process. But for now, will you just ask the Lord to help you make family mealtime (one meal a day) a priority? Apply one or more of the ways I shared to elevate the ordinary to something sacred.
Refresh mealtime at your house this week! If you’ve missed any of this series, you can find the other posts here.
I love to cook, however, that doesn’t mean I like to slave in the kitchen every single day! I love to eat good meals that are fresh and delicious, too, so that means when I AM in the kitchen, I like to make good use of that time in ways that will help me for future meals!
I thought I”d show you how I have recently cooked foods that allowed me to have DIFFERENT meals using things I cooked earlier. Say no to Leftovers! These are fresh, different meals each time they’re served!
We all have to eat. But what we fix and how we serve it can make a huge difference in how much enjoyment we give ourselves and those with whom we share the meal. I can remember growing up that my mom always made the table and the food a special part of each day. I don’t go overboard on a regular day, but I try to make the food and the table inviting. Today’s post is just a little glimpse into how I set the table and what meals we’ve been enjoying recently.
Al Fresco Dining – Once the weather turns warm, we eat outside as often as possible! One morning recently I took breakfast outside to the front porch where the sun was shining and ate sitting in a rocking chair. That’s even better than Cracker Barrel! Continue reading “My Kitchen Table – Settings & Sustenance”→