I’ve grown lazier in my later years, due to a combination of waaaaaay too much work to do, hormone levels dropping with age, capability levels of children rising with (their) age, and a penchant for staying up late to have me time.
No worries; this is my food tip for today:
Buy stuff the kids can make and eat themselves.
Last week I recommended you purchase ingredients that can be used in many meals. While you’re picking those up, make sure you buy some pieces of simple lunches and breakfasts for the kids.
All my boys can make most of the meals I listed in my “Cheapest, Bestest” series of recipes; plus cereal, toast, sandwiches, Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and …chips when they’re snacking like squirrels and I have to remind them to make an actual meal.
Heck; I’ll even pick up Costco muffins, Gogurt, applesauce, bagels, Lunchables, and re-heatable frozen meals like burritos.
They feel proud for ‘making’ something and you feel relieved they’re eating ‘healthy.’ Besides that, you’re teaching them important life skills. Good job, parents.
I used to be really creative about making dinner. That was before The Great Birthing of Baby #4 and The Time of Two Boys Taking (Separate) Martial Arts Classes and That Decade I Was (Am) Depressed.
Even still, I have yet to resort to cold cereal for dinner. Why?
Cold cereal is not very filling.
It’s, like, 80% sugar.
The kids are probably getting hyped up on MSG and preservatives alongside the sugar.
We’re often out of milk, too.
And so, this Super Mom has adopted a time-saving and money-saving and stress-saving technique: buying ahead.
In short, I keep a lot of ingredients handy that can be used to make my simple meals. A few of the items I keep on hand are: shredded cheese (extras in freezer), frozen chopped onion, frozen sliced bell pepper, flour tortillas (extras in freezer), refried beans, minced garlic, spices, tortilla chips, olives, lettuce, various meats (freezer), sandwich bread, chili, canned tuna, potatoes, rice, milk, butter, salsa, ham slices, frozen vegetables, and most dry ingredients.
I’ve recommended having a go-to list of meals before. Well -what good is that list if you haven’t the ingredients to make anything from it?
So; after you list the cheap and easy dinners you can make, make a habit of keeping what you need for them around. You and your grumbling tummies will be happy you did.
I live in a house of boys. My mini men do not have large appetites (yet), but we do run through a lot of bread.
As such, my first tip is to buy ahead and freeze your loaves.
Buy extra loaves of bread and freeze them.
My second tip is to keep bread loaves in the refrigerator.
Keep a loaf of bread in the fridge.
If you purchase the loaves and freeze them, they are often past the expiration date once you need to use them and will require refrigeration. Even if they are not, keeping them in the fridge extends their life and delays molding.
Bonus tip: I also keep all the bread ends and use them for French Toast.
Keep the bread loaf ends, or heels, for use in French Toast.
If you’re a better homemaker baker than I; heels may also be used for breadcrumbs, croutons, bread pudding, trails out of the woods, and stuffings.