Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu ideas to please the kids and protect the wallet

¶Jinny travels quite a bit and cooking for the children often falls to me. Sometimes they don't like my cooking, but more often they don't like my menu choices.
¶I like to serve spaghetti with meat sauce and hamburgers with French fries. A family of three or four can enjoy either for under $5, which is music to my ears and wallet. Unfortunately, the children are of the opinion that I serve these entirely too often.
¶Few things are more dangerous to the family food budget than not having any idea what to prepare for supper. That's when the restaurants start beconimg, with their no-work meals that cost five to 20 times as much as a meal prepared at home.
¶We decided to have a family meeting to make a list of things the family can have for supper without too much work. Perhaps not understanding the purpose of the meeting, Ash suggested that one of our meals should be dinner at Proud Larry's.
¶Ah, what a teaching moment! I explained that a family of four couldn't eat at Proud Larry's for less than $60, and the tab could easily top $80. A meal cooked at home, on the other hand, costs from $5 to $20.
¶Here are some of the supper items we came up with. I am often at a loss as to what to cook, so now I have a list to refer to. I almost always buy my meat off the discount rack and usually stock up on staples when they are on sale. So cooking at home can be really cheap!

Here's our list:
Baked Ziti
Shepard's Pie
Pot Roast with potatoes
Steak and potatoes
Beef Stroganof (Hamburger Helper okay!)
Coc au Vin
Fried Shrimp and fries (from the freezer section)
Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni
Poppyseed Chicken (just as good without the poppyseed)
Lasagna (homemade or frozen)
Breakfast for supper
Burgers and fries
Cube Steak (I have no idea how to cook this or exactly what it is)
Chicken Spaghetti or Ro-tel Chicken
Grill cheese and tomato soup (children's idea)
Chicken Cordon Blue (bought frozen in packs of one or two)
Hot dogs and fries or chips
Shrimp or mushroom risotto
Spaghetti (the children say I cook this way too much)
Grilled/BBQ chicken
Chicken or Turkey with dressing
Chicken Marsala
Chicken Tetrazzini
Fried Chicken
Friend pork chop
Fish sticks and fries
Fried or grilled fish

I'll likely update this list and post a few of our favorite recipes in the near future. Not that they're anything special; just recipes we've found in various cookbooks or online.

For tonight we're having a pot roast I bought off the discount rack a couple of months ago for less than $4. Tomorrow night we're going to grill some large boneless pork chops that I bought this weekend off the discount rack for $5.05. Hopefully we can limit our dining this week to ColRebSez's kitchen.


Anonymous said...

Okay Frank, cube steak is like country fried steak or minute steaks just buy, bread, and fry. Btw I like the sound of "friend chicken!" we also like cheesy chicken over rice: can of cream of chicken soup, sm sour cream, couple of tablespoons of butter, small bag of shredded cheese, and shredded or chopped cooked chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Cook At 350 degrees for 30 minutes and serve that cheesy goodness over rice! Yummy!

Col. Reb Sez said...

Cube steak sounds awful, but "friend chicken," Yum!

Ignatius said...

Try Morning Star Farms products. The chicken patties are great on Hawaiian rolls. It may really be a vegetable patty, but you can't tell the difference.