Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love in My Tummy, Introduction

I like food.  As in, cooking it.  Or baking it.  Whichever.  I like to think of cooking as two things: 1) Art.  Color, texture, taste.  Make it pretty!  2) One of the best ways I can show love to my family.  They have to eat.  I like to cook.  It just makes sense.

You know that song that goes, "Yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy..."

I have sang that song to each of my kids as babies while I fed them their strained peas or Banana-Apple-Pears.  I like to think of preparing meals for my family as putting love in their tummies :)

It came recently to my attention that some women just don't like to go grocery shopping.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's that they don't like cooking, or its a hassle with all the kids, most likely it's something to do with spending large amounts of money all at once in a tough economic time.  

But me, personally?  I love grocery shopping.  I love cooking.  I don't mind having my kids with me at all.  I do stress sometimes over the cost of it all but when it comes down to it, your family has to eat, right?  Everything else will just have to fit in the budget around the groceries.

Now, that's not to say that I spend exorbitantly at the grocery store.  I try to get us a decent variety of good food without breaking the bank.  So I thought I'd share with you guys a typical grocery shopping trip.

I shop for two weeks at a time, and I try very hard to get everything at once and not have to make extra trips back to the store.  I have six people to feed, five eating normal food and one baby who needs formula and baby food and diapers.  I am not one of those people who clips coupons or shops five different stores just to get the best sales of the week. I don't have that much time.  Or the desire to do it.  With that said, I shop at Wal-Mart for food.  Usually at the Neighborhood Market.  I have no problem buying generic on most things (some things you just gotta have name brand, though).  You'll see lots of Great Value products in my kitchen.  It is my hope to get a good vegetable garden going this year so I can grow most of our own produce, and to hit up the farmer's market for the rest, but for now?  It's January, so to Wal-Mart we go.

I meant to take the camera with me shopping today and get some great pics of me being grocery shopper extraordinaire (heehee) but I forgot and didn't want to turn around and go back for it.  So, instead, I give you pictures of my kitchen cabinets and fridge/freezer full of all the stuff I just bought:

Baby food, lots of it.  The ones sitting in front are the ones I bought today.  The cereals and few tubs just in front of them are overstock from before.  Yes, he eats a lot.

My fridge.  In comparison to some fridges I have seen, this one looks practically empty.  But...I don't like to fill it so full I can't see what all is in it.  I like to see everything at once.  Plus, when its crammed overfull, stuff tends to get forgotten until it's expired and yucky!  Anyway, cheeses, lunch meats, eggs, ground beef, milk, Kool-Aid, bacon, hot dogs, pepperoni, carrots, onions, lettuce, apples, etc.

The door of my fridge.  Nope, not much there.  Good supply of condiments, juice for the baby, a gazillion water bottles (we drink a lot of water!)

Main part of the freezer.  That's 8 lbs of chicken breasts and 2 bags of frozen fries :)

Door of the freezer.  Hello, frozen veggies.  I think they taste better than canned, and they're cheaper, too.  It always amazes me when the cheaper stuff tastes better.  That's mixed veggies, corn, stir-fry veggies, green beans, and lots of broccoli!

Cabinet #1: Dry goods.  Lots of different kinds of pastas, rice, some cake and brownie mixes, etc.  And chicken broth.  :)

Cabinet #2: Breads and baking supplies.  You can't see it, but the cabinet goes way back to the left side.  Sugar, spices, herbs, oils, etc.  Plus 3 1/2 loaves of bread, 1 pkg burger buns, 2 pkg hot dog buns, and 2 pkg tortillas!

Cabinet #3: Canned goods and misc.
Lots of different soups (as in, cream of onion, cream of chicken, be used in cooking).  Chili, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, PB, chips, 15 lbs of potatoes on the bottom.  Hey, I'm Irish!

Of course, formula.  Yep, the WalMart brand (it's the same as the name brand, only cheaper - gasp!).  It takes just over one of the big cans to last 2 weeks (now that he eats lots of other food).  One of these cans is about 1/3 full from last time, and the other is new.

And of course, diapers!  One of the big boxes lasts right around 2 weeks, sometimes a little longer - depending on how many just-changed-now-I'm-gonna-poop instances we have!

So, that's it.  Doesn't look like a whole lot, does it?  All together, about $250 worth of groceries (that's just for food and diapers, doesn't count toiletries and such).  For six people for two weeks, I think that's decent.  

So, now....on with the show.  To show you how I make this amount of food feed us for two weeks, each day I will tell you what we've had for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner.  Well, I won't post what Andrew eats.  Just assume: 5 or 6 bottles plus 3 tubs of food plus one bowl of oatmeal or whole wheat cereal :)....

Day One
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Toast
Lunch: Sandwiches and Chips
Dinner: Pizza

Day Two
Breakfast: Biscuits and Bacon
Lunch: Pasta, Salad, and Carrots
Snack: Brownies
Dinner: Cheeseburgers and Fries

Day Three
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast
Lunch: Hot dogs with Mac and Cheese
Snack: Brownies
Dinner: Tacos with Rice

Day Four
Breakfast: Muffins
Lunch: Chicken Sandwich and Fries
Snack: Brownies
Dinner: Pancakes and Bacon

Day Five
Breakfast: Homemade Doughnuts
Lunch: Baked Potato with Fixings
Snack: Cake
Dinner: Chicken/Bacon Cheesey Pasta with Roasted Potatoes, Corn, Hot Rolls

Day Six
Breakfast: Biscuits and Bacon
Lunch: Sandwiches, Chips, and Carrots
Snack: Brownies
Dinner: Potato Soup and Hot Rolls

Day Seven
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast and Apples
Lunch: Pan Seared Chicken Tenders, French Fries, and Rice
Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dinner: Coneys, French Fries, and Mac and Cheese

Day Eight
Breakfast: Muffins
Lunch: Pizza
Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dinner: Sandwiches and Chips

Day Nine
Breakfast: Homemade Doughnuts
Lunch: Pasta with Butter Herb Sauce
Snack: Peanut Butter Cookies
Dinner: Chicken-Broccoli-Cheese Pasta, Fried Potatoes, Corn, Biscuits

Day Ten
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast
Lunch: Chicken with Mac and Cheese
Snack: Peanut Butter Cookies
Dinner: Pizzas

Day Eleven
Breakfast: Muffins
Lunch: Pasta with Butter Herb Sauce
Snack: Peanut Butter Cookies
Dinner: Chicken, Rice, Broccoli, Dinner Rolls

Day Twelve
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast
Lunch: Tacos
Snack: Cake
Dinner: Spaghetti, Broccoli, Roasted Potatoes

Day Thirteen
Breakfast: Muffins
Lunch: Pasta
Snack: Cake
Dinner: BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, Mac and Cheese, French Fries

Day Fourteen
Breakfast: Doughnuts
Lunch: Pasta
Snack: Cake
Dinner: Chicken and Noodles, Stir Fry Veggies, Roasted Potatoes, Biscuits

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