Monday, April 29, 2013

Let's talk food

 Oh I so wish a stocked fridge would last around here. I have no idea how some of these moms shop on such tight food budgets. I have read the pins from Pinterest, read blogs, made calendars, cut coupons and In the last few years have never saved tons and tons. Prices have gone up on everything and my kids eat all the time so I never can get ahead. I shop and three days later they have ate everything!!  Couponing used to be a lot easier for me but it just isn't anymore. I simply don't have enough hrs in the day to do it the right way. Just today I went to Target to get some things for the kids lunch, I wasn't even in the door and the boys had ripped into everything I bought. One had a bowl full of crackers, the other a bowl full of cereal. I feel like I live at the store and I don't even have teenagers yet. We eat healthy most of the time.  I try and cook most things from fresh ingredients, I don't do box meals or frozen. Occasionally we have a frozen pizza and chicken nuggets, gasp.. ha ha. I think if you eat rather healthy everything in moderation is fine. Recently I came across a blog about eating healthy the girl was so so tiny. She seemed obsessed with her organic, gluten free, no sugar, caffeine free, low meat, no dairy diet.  This was simply out of the reasons of staying fit and healthy, oh my. I do believe in a thing called moderation and I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with food. It is so hard to eat normal and enjoy food with snacks everywhere from every athletic event to school parties there is junk everywhere. I try my best to buy lots of fruit and vegetables. We eat lots of chicken, and not much fried foods at all. I shop mostly at Sam's club, Walmart/Target and recently Aldi for some things. I try and write down what sounds good for the week and buy all my ingredients. I try to stretch meals the best I can. For example I will buy a whole chicken and then use the leftovers for enchiladas or soup the next day. I don't know how some people get by eating so little food. I think my whole family must eat a lot. My kids are hungry all the time.  I really wish I could get them to eat more at dinner but many times they do eat, but they get full quick. They love snacks that must be our downfall.  Lauren will eat 4 oranges in one day along with a banana and apple. Drew loves breakfast and will eat 3 bowls of cereal in the morning.. I am kind of the same way. I probably eat 5 smaller meals a day but I feel better this way.  Speaking of good junk food (fruit and anything with chocolate) I bought this chocolate at Sam's Club. Best stuff ever. It is like having fondue without the mess. You just put the chocolate in the microwave and dip your fruit.

  It's strawberry season at the store, we love them!! I even make kid friendly smoothies out of them.  I didn't have any Orange juice so I used fruit punch Gatorade. I only put a tiny bit in, ice, yogurt and a few strawberries.  It makes a great shake.

 I adore fancy salads.  I consider fancy any salad that has lots of ingredients.. I love balsamic dressing with feta and strawberries.  I could probably eat this everyday.
 I really do try to get my kids to be healthy eaters.  This is as close as I think I'm going to get.  Lauren loves hot dogs, seriously loves hot dogs!!  Not my favorite but I buy her turkey dogs. So now she always asks "Can I have my turkey hot dogs, they are healthy"  I don't think they are that healthy but better then regular at least.
 My kids are some of the pickiest eaters ever! I blame my husband for that, apparently as a kid he was the same way, ha ha. They are getting better as time goes on. They will eat any kid foods no problem it is things like sweet potatoes and vegetables. They do like fruit and spinach, so that is good. If I make fish it better be the best non fishy seasoned thing you can make or they won't touch it.  It has driven me nuts for years.... but I don't make different food for my family anymore that catering is long gone. We make them try everything at dinner. If they hate it then we don't force it. They like chicken, rice,beans and we eat a lot of Mexican. We all love fresh Mexican,think Chipotle.  That is the best place on earth as far as I'm concerned. 
I have a Aldi right down the road from my house.  It is always busy, clean and has fast service. I go usually 2x a month and get some things we like.  First of all their produce is so much cheaper then anywhere else.  Most of the time it is excellent and they even have some organic selections. I also love these Popsicle's.  They have them in strawberry, lime, and some other fruit flavor.  I love the Pina Colada ones. They have a creamy texture and have pieces of pineapple in them.  They are low calorie and actually satisfy as a late night snack. Oh my downfall, I love a good TV snack.  Go try them, and check out Aldi's.  I would not say it is a glamorous grocery store by any means.  IF you go in you need to get Giant Eagle Market District out of your mind..It is nothing like that but with the amount of money I spend at the store it helps my family eat more produce. If you have any tips, family friendly receipts, or money saving tips that don't involve a million coupons I would love to hear them. I just love blogging and all the wonderful tips, tricks and friendly people I have met.  Nothing is better then moms helping each other!!


  1. Aldi is one of my faves! You can't beat their produce prices!!! :-) A lot of their Fit & Active brand line is good, too.

  2. Katie, I was just getting ready to post a post and I saw your title in my blogger list. I was just telling Gary about grocery store prices last night. I spent $185 today at Trader Joe's. I am not even sure what I got. We always have kids here. Kaishon has friends over all the time. I love that there are people here, but sometimes I am astounded by the amount that teenagers can eat. Today, for example. there were 4 children here. They ate 8 oranges and 1 entire bag of potato chips. Crazy, right? : ) Gary likes a case of snapple a week. He says he can't live without it. I do think the prices go up every single week. Seriously. Every week. Those pina colada popsicles sound so great.

  3. Katie, we've talked about this a million times! I don't understand it either. I use the same divided plates for the kids. We have a salad, veggie, fruit, a starch and protein for dinner. I also plan out my meals. And food never lasts in my house either. Oh Bryce informed me he is a big strong man and I am not packing enough food in his lunch box. I pack a sandwich, two fruits And a yogurt. I won't put chips or cookies or juice in the kids lunch boxes. We spend about 1000-1500 at the grocery store a month. A lb of meat is 6 dollars! And as you know 1 lb doesn't feed a family of five!

  4. You may hate these suggestions, but here they are...i think i read a Sally Clarkson book where she had her family eat oatmeal one night per week for dinner. It was a lesson and good discussion in how under privileged children/families often have to eat every day.
    Another thought is meatless Monday...though i personally think we should go meatless a little more often. Quinoa is a good starch that is high in protein....a good option for meatless Monday. And there are tons of recipes on Pinterest for quinoa. We do eggs for dinner at last once a week...which you've probably noticed is very well priced at aldi. Going meatless occasionally can definitely save money.
    Personally I'm a big believer in gluten/dairy and other food sensitivities. I've had to do a lot of research in the last year. So i also know the challenges of filling my kids up...and i feel like i have limited options with our diet. And mine are so young...i can't imagine when my boys are older! My sister always tells her kids they don't have to be full all the time. true hunger and being full are different things. So it's a good thought, i think. Though i haven't used it yet. :)
    My thoughts, take them or leave them. :)

  5. Thank you Melodie I love your thoughts and ideas..

  6. As a large family. We love Aldi. We have a few favorites I buy there. They have fabulous marinated frozen chicken breasts. Did you know Trader Joe's and Aldi are owned by the same company?

    I have a super easy and fuss free recipe to share. 9X13 glass baking dish. In the center place frozen chicken breast tenders. Quarter red potatoes and place them on one side of the frozen chicken. On the other put frozen green beans. Melt a stick of butter pour over meat and veggies. Sprinkle dry Italian dressing over all. Cover and bake at 350 for a couple of hours.

    **Love the black shutters


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