Gearing Up For a MONTH of Cooking

Pray for me, folks.

Sometimes, when I’m in a season of depression “Uncle Joe” (as my friend Ron calls it), one sure fire way of occupying my mind is to cook.  I love to cook and I love to have healthy choices for my family.  I have a large family with 7 children and Big Daddy….but we have added a couple of bonus daughters and some hairy legged boys who are “dating” said daughters…so I’m feeding a slew of people.

I’m blessed that my kids are not picky.  I’ve worked hard at always trying to make new things and having them try new things (ie Fried Radishes).  When they were younger, I would load up their food with hidden fruits and veggies.  Chocolate chip cookies with white beans….also, chocolate brownies with spinach and blueberries.  We also did carrot bread, banana bread, zucchini bread….you can throw in so much food in spaghetti sauce…I became a master.

This time around, I’m going to focus how I can get the most bang for my buck, in a healthy way.  Healthy food (fresh fruits and veggies) are expensive.  It can break the bank to eat well and be healthy.  That is really sad.  The fact of the matter is that, as Americans, we are large people.  Processed, boxed food is easy to make, filling, and cheap.  How pathetic is that.

I will tell you, that we have laying hens…we usually always have eggs.  We also buy our cow (a whole cow) once a year and we buy a pig to slaughter once a year.  So, when I go to the store, I do not have to buy meat and that makes my grocery bill look a bit different than yours.

Take stock of your pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Write everything down.  Work your menu AROUND what you already have…that means you buy less.  Do not buy fresh veggies (with the exception of a few things)…buy them frozen.  They are frozen at their peak and it seals in all the good nutrients. I generally cook Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  Thursdays, my husband makes me a pizza and the kids either has frozen pizza or leftovers.  Sunday, I do not cook.

Start out with freezer cooking for a week or two weeks at a time.  It prevents you from going to the store everyday.  Take cash and a detailed list of what you are fixing.  If you do not have freezer space, I freeze things in gallon baggies.  I lay submerge the baggie in warm water (after the food is placed in it and I’ve sealed it about 3/4 of the way).  Once it is in warm water…you can seal the rest of the bag because the baggie forms to the food.  You can either do that or lay it flat with a straw in the corner to get all that air out.

Get out your calendar and mark down the dates that you are going to cook for for 2 weeks.  Include breakfast items, lunch items, breads, supper and then mark off what you already have and the rest you need to buy.

Once I get my menu ready (later today), I will post what I will be cooking and my grocery list if you want to use it.  I’m excited…first time I’ve been excited in a while.

Happy Cooking, friends.


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