Monday, July 19, 2010

Best way to save

It's summer, and for us summer equals a tighter budget. With Bella being in summer camp all day the daycare bills rises until school is back. That along with the more food we have to purchase to keep those lunch boxes full. It's also apparent they are eating more as they grow. Hello?! I realize that of course. But these two can be like little hoover vacuums just sucking up all the grub! Sometimes they clean me out before the weekend is over.

Seems to me that food prices are growing right along with the kids. There are some things they eat often that I just don't have the time to make myself. So I get the most unprocessed version I can find. They love Cheerios, breakfast fruit bars, yogurt, cheese, etc. I don't have the time or the resources to make those by hand. I am working on a fruit bar recipe though, that I may be able to finagle.

There are other things we can make ourselves to save money. That's other foods and art for the house. We decided for Kris's room to provide the art to decorate ourselves. Much cheaper than buying store pictures or paintings and they mean much more.
Kris practicing on his painting skills. I can't believe I didn't put apron on him!
Bella has been painting dinosaurs for her brother's room. She also has a really cool stitched dinosaur she made for him. I'll have to get that on here for you to see. It truly is very beautiful.

In my absence from my blog, I have still been cooking. Maybe not as inventively. A lot of repeat recipes or just sandwiches in an attempt to get dinner down before every one's bedtime. I found because of my busy schedule that I didn't have the energy to even make my grocery list or keep track of coupons. Going to the store with no plan for battle or help from coupons results in a higher bill, products picked up that we already had or missing important items and having to go back later to spend more.

I realize that I must make the time and effort to work on the groceries and making as much as I can from scratch and as simple as it can be. I've been straying farther and farther from those complicating recipes as I realize quality of ingredient is more important than tons of semi good ingredients that take forever to complete a meal. It's also a matter of training the pallet to taste and recognize all the flavors that those simple ingredients have and appreciate them for what they are. Like broccoli without the cheez whiz.

It's better on the budget when you make it yourself. Make extra and take it to work for lunch. Pizza is easy. With a little flour, patience and your imagination, you can make your own pie for a fraction of what you pay from a pizza shop. It also helps when the pizza shops around you don't really make very good pies.
The kid's cheese pizza. Bella rolled it and topped it herself.
You've seen this one before. Chris requests the goat cheese, caramelized onion, mushroom and garlic pizza every time.
My pie had no cheese. Just asparagus, peppers, onions, kalamata olives, little ham and some sliced boiled eggs.


Best Wishes, Marie said...

sounds busy !! and very "summer."

Best Wishes, Marie said...

fyi - i modified the scalloped potato recipe. i think i used more like 1/2 teas of fresh nutmeg. and i think you could fit 2 more potatoes in the pan and stack it up to the top.

Best Wishes, Marie said...

i am a guest blogger on cuisine nie.

not sure if you know "nie"

she is a blogger who got in a plane crash ..... while she takes care of herself, blogher is keeping her blog going with guest bloggers.