Meal Planning Done for You
My kids start school in two days. As much as I enjoy the less structured days of summer, I’m ready to get into a routine again. My son will be in 8th grade and will be playing football so I know when he comes home from practice in the evening, he will be hungry! Therefore, I want to be sure to have a plan for what we will have for supper. I do meal planning regularly but sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to think about what to have. Does anyone else feel the same way? On our Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, we have sample meal-planning calendars that do the thinking for you! The week-long meal plans include 3 meals and 2 snacks per day and recipes are linked. If you eat vegetarian or are just interested in more plant-based recipes, there is a whole calendar of vegetarian meals and snacks.
All in One Pot
As I thought about our theme of comfort food favorites, I struggled to pick just one thing. I even asked my mom what she thought I should write about. She would know, right? She suggested anything that involves mashed potatoes and she’s probably right on target there 🙂 . However, as I thought about it more, my go to foods when I’m feeling run down and just need a good meal are one-pot meals.
Soup…What’s Saving My Life Right Now
A co-worker asked on a recent meeting as an icebreaker question ‘what’s saving your life right now?’ My response was a good book. The more I thought about it though, soup should have been my answer. I’m in a real rut of meal planning right now. The thought of having to think about what to cook my family for supper makes my head hurt. Soup to the rescue! My family loves soup and I’m grateful for that. Here’s what I love about soup.
4 tips for healthy eating on a budget
Eat breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day and the most common one to skip. It’s also typically the fastest and the cheapest to make. Think oatmeal, toast, eggs, pancakes, fruit, low-fat milk. Just eating breakfast helps charge your brain and body. Buy staples. Beans, pasta, and oats are really inexpensive and filling. Canned fish or frozen vegetables don’t go bad before you can use them. Eggs are a very inexpensive protein as are beans and peanut butter. Plan ahead. When you are hungry and rushed, it is hard to think of budget foods. Make a slow-cooker recipe that will last several meals. Divide the food into several containers to make it easier to reheat. Or, keep the ingredients for an inexpensive meal on a shelf so you don’t have to think what to make when you are tired. A nutritious meal includes something from each food group: grain, meat, fruit, vegetable, and milk. Watch what you drink. Coffee, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol can be dehydrating and costly. Water and milk are healthy and inexpensive. Refillable water bottles pay for themselves within days. -pointers from Peggy
Slow-Cooker Meal for a Crowd
Last night I had my siblings, their spouses, and my parents for supper (11 in all). It was one of those times that I invited everyone and then started thinking about what I could make. The menu was a little trickier since my oven stopped working last week and I don’t have a replacement. I didn’t want to spend all day preparing the meal or spend lots of money—plus I wasn’t sure what time we would actually sit down to eat.
Kitchen gifts that will help save money
I am not much for lining my countertops with one-use gadgets such as bun warmers, ice cream cone makers, rotisseries, hot dog cookers, rice cookers, single serving coffee makers, etc. But, I do think that some small appliances can help make cooking at home faster, easier, or cheaper. Here are a few ideas for your gift list:
Slow Cooker Black Eyed Pea Soup
My family has never had any New Year food traditions. I have been reading up on some New Year food traditions from around the world and everything I read sounded so good that I am thinking I need to start one of these traditions with my family.
Keeping Food Safe in a Slow Cooker
We often get request for recipes that can be made in a slow cooker. It’s not surprising since you can add the ingredients to the slow cooker, turn it on, and then go about your day while the food cooks. No need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when you have other things you need to do! Here are some tips to keep food safe when using a slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Recipe Roundup
We love our slow cookers at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. It is such a delight to come home from a busy day to a home-cooked meal that is ready to eat. At our holiday potluck, three of us made slow cooker dishes!
Slow Cooker – Converting Recipes
I love using my slow cooker for many reasons. Right now, the main reason I love my slow cooker is the timing. There are usually two or three nights each week when someone in our family needs to be somewhere by 6 or 6:30. It is really hard for me to make a meal, feed everyone, and then get three children out the door on time. These are the nights when I rely on my slow cooker. I can do the prep for a meal the night before, load the slow cooker in the morning, and then have a great meal ready in the evening.
Learn from our Mistakes
Most cooks have tried a recipe that did not turn out how they planned. Sometimes it’s a cake that collapses on the counter, other times it’s a roast that ended up raw in the middle. The best thing to do when this happens is to try to learn from the mistake, so it does not happen again. We have rounded up a few common mistakes people make with slow cookers to try to help you avoid them in your kitchen.
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup
Our November recipe of the month is Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup. It is perfect for a busy day. All the ingredients go into the slow cooker in the morning, cook on low for 8-10 hours, and you have a delicious soup ready to eat in the evening.