School has started and routines are starting to fall back in place. But as the mother of 5 kids, 4 of whom live in our home full time and are boys ranging in age from 12 to 20, I have a couple of challenging math equations to figure out.
Family meals + My meal prep = ?? hours of planning/shopping/cooking
And the even more challenging equation: how to make our food budget cover the addition of my expensive dietary requirements like salmon, bison, asparagus, macadamia nut oil, specific supplements and high quality protein shakes.
I’ll tell you right now I don’t do it perfectly. At times I’m accused of buying groceries only for myself, and forgetting about the rest of the family. I assure you that is not true; there’s always at least some milk or bread or bananas in my cart. It’s hard to shop for teenagers. They want to eat crap and it hurts me to buy it. I’ll post more on that another day.
Here are a few ways I include the family in my meal prep:
- LEAN BEEF (bought wherever it’s on sale, or Walmart):
I cook up about 3lbs of ground beef at a time. I take my 3-4oz servings out and pack them in containers for the week. Then I take the remaining meat and make tacos or spaghetti sauce to use or freeze for the family. I try to make enough for leftovers they can heat & eat on the nights I don’t have energy or time to cook.
- GROUND TURKEY (bought at Sams 5lbs at a time)
Same as beef but for the family I mix the leftover turkey with ground beef because my kids bust me for subbing turkey in their meals. Ha!
- EGGS (bought anywhere, preferably a 5 dozen box if we have refrigerator space)
When eggs are on the menu for me it’s easy to cook some for the kids as well. Usually only one of our boys (the youngest) is up early enough to sit down for breakfast so I like to make an “egg in the hole,” which is a family tradition he’s always loved. Different shaped cookie cutters make it fun to surprise him with new shapes.
- CHICKEN (bought at Sams):
Crock pot!! I throw 3 or 4 lbs of chicken breast in the crock pot with a jar of salsa (checking label to ensure there’s no sugar) or just a little water & spices. Let that cook all day and then shred it with a fork. I remove all the 3oz servings I’ll need for the week and then use 2-3 cups to make a cheesy chicken casserole the boys love. That leaves enough leftover to save for quesadillas or buffalo chicken pizza… things the boys can make for themselves throughout the week.
- SALMON (bought at Sams or on sale)
My favorite way is for my hubby to add seasonings, wrap in foil & grill. Then I pack my 3oz servings for the week and pack the remaining into 6-8oz servings for him to take for lunch.
- BISON (COSTCO – I don’t have a membership so I give my friend cash to pick it up for me)
I don’t share bison. It’s too pricey and the kids don’t want it anyway.
As for protein & supplements… occasionally I have to buy specific things like Karbolyn at NutriShop, but for protein shakes and PRE and POST workout I use IDLife. Since my husband and I are IDLife associates we get a 30% discount on all products, so that makes it both cost effective and good for our business. Plus it is the only protein shake I have found that uses Stevia as sweetener rather than sucralose or aspartame. And it has chia seeds which are super good for you and add bulk to make it more filling. I’ll post more on SHAKES another day, but if you want to check out the ingredients or flavors for yourself just click HERE. And on these links for the PRE workout & POST workout.
Eating healthy costs more than eating crap. That’s just the reality. Living longer costs more than being dead. Some things are more important than money.
- If you are new to my blog and want to start from the beginning of this journey, start with Go All In.