I never thought the day would come,,,
My super picky eater who mainly liked everything plain, no salt, maybe a little butter, no sauce and certainly not meat,
unless it was a hot dog or chicken nugget,
is now CRAVING MEAT. All of a sudden a feel like the mother of a caveman.
Me need meat ugh. Remember ugh is taking the place of please here.
There is not time for please. I can barely get the food cooked and shoved into him fast enough.
He has grown so much this year and with 7th grade and sports and school activities right around the corner there is no end in sight. So I am trying to prepare for a larger food budget and also thinking about all of those little tricks our mothers and grandmothers used to stretch their food budgets.
I say all of this and the whole time I am thinking...I only have one child to feed, think of all of the families with 3 or 4 or more! Man that is expensive!
Any way here are some simple tips to stretch the protein budget:
Make pasta, rice, couscous or some other starch dishes along with the meat to make it fill them up quicker and stretch the meat further.
Of course look for coupons and specials for meat sales, coming up right around Labor Day there should be some great sales going on for chicken, pork steaks, bratwurst and other BBQ meats. Stock up!
Remember to rewrap meat in heavier freezer paper if you will be freezing it for any longer length of time, rule of thumb if it will be frozen longer than 30 days, rewrap the meat in freezer paper first before freezing.
Purchase or get from freecycle or other donation sites a chest type freezer to store all of your stocked up meats.
Cook a whole chicken and then cut it up for individual servings. It is much cheaper than purchasing precut chicken breasts, etc. If there are parts of the chicken left on the bone, cook it down for chicken stock and to make chicken noodle soup. Soup is a great way to fill up kids, add veggies to their diet, and use every little bit of the chicken to its fullest.
Use lower cost sources of protein such as boiled eggs or other cooked eggs to give kids the extra protein they need. Peanut butter and other nut butters are great also.,
Make high fiber meals with bulgar, wheat germ, whole grain pastas, beans and other grains to fill up their tummys and keep their digestion moving.
Use complimentary proteins, like ancient cultures did. This is the combination of plant sources proteins to make a complete protein, the best example I can think of is beans and rice. When these two sources are combined it's like the equivalent of eating an animal source protein. Pretty cool, right!
We make bean, rice and corn tortillas as a meal. That is a very frugal but also healthy meal.
Other pairings are asian noodles with sesame seeds and the classic macaroni and cheese. If you have not made homemade macaroni and cheese lately it is truly overdue. That is a great easy frugal meal.
The last thing I'll say, is boy am I glad school starts tomorrow.
Don't get me wrong, I will miss my kiddo every single day. Miss watching him play with the dog, doing things together, and most of all his innocence that still remains true and sweet as he lives his preteen years. He is a great kid and I am very proud.
We did not even take vacation this summer, so it was a long cooking summer for this mama. I am going to enjoy the breaks during the week so I can get some of my stored up projects accomplished. Painting, cleaning, maybe a new kitchen floor, and some shopping without someone asking me to get done so we can go!
That will make for a happy mom and kid. Because kids don't like to shop but they do love to eat!
I will be posting this at the WOW linky party on Saavy Southern Style and also at Full Plate Thursdays.