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Tight Food Budget/Whiney Family - Page 2

post #21 of 68
1. I think your menu sounds lovely. I would be frustrated, too.

2. Could you have your family look at "What the World Eats" or check out the new National Geographic, which has a big article on feeding a hungry world? This helps put things into perspective sometimes. That is to say, gratitude.

3. Not even neccesarily for money reasons, but I'd stop buying boca burgers and the like for your vegan teen. I'm a vegetarian (for 14 years), became one as a teen, and "forcing" me to learn to cook for myself was seriously the best, most supportive thing my mom could have done for me. (She was always very supportive, and she actually gave up meat a few years after I did- she's been veggie for 10 years now.) We talked about it a good bit, and I was fine with it at the time, as well as in retrospect. And I did not have the best, most stable relationship with my mom as teenager.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.

4. I would certainly try to involve your family more in the cooking and menu planning. That sounds like a great plan, especially for your "breatharian" DS 1. When DSS was in his picky stage, he was far, far more likely to eat if he had part in the making of the food.
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaske View Post
You've been way more patient than I would be: "If you guys aren't hungry enough to eat what I've cooked without complaining, then we must still be spending way too much on food....I'll cut the food budget in half again!!!"

Your DH skipped dinner three days in a row?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunAround View Post
I have been known to use the phrase "you'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit". It's kind of a joke, but my family gets that complaints can be put in the suggestion box for management review. Loosely translated, you don't like dinner? Kiss my grits! Given how many people go hungry on this planet each day, I can not, will not accept any complaints about the good, healthy, clean food that fills our plates. Seriously.

Honestly, it might be time to sit everyone down and explain how this is making you feel. You are working very hard to meet everyone's needs, and they aren't contributing to the workload or even feeling/demonstrating appreciation. Perhaps they need their horizons broadened a bit to help them understand how fortunate they are to have food, shelter, and a mother who works so hard to provide a comfortable home life for them. (This isn't about food, mama - it's about how much your family respects your contribution.) Time to skip all those extracurricular activities in order to spend time as a family doing volunteer work for a local hunger relief organization???

Good luck.
These both express my thoughts well. I wanted to recommend an excellent book called How to Get Your Kid to Eat by Ellyn Satter.

Good luck - please keep us updated.

Oh, one idea I got from the book that is working well for us is that saying yuck, ew, etc., are not permitted. A simple "no thank you" will suffice (and in our house there are no alternative meals permitted, whether or not you are willing to make it yourself).
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
3. Not even neccesarily for money reasons, but I'd stop buying boca burgers and the like for your vegan teen.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.


I haven't been here in awhile because I lost my password and also the password to my email but anyway I finally found them. And I just wanted to stop in to at least try to offer this suggestions for your daughter. Boca burgers are so hard to do on a tight budget, I can't do it myself! It's cheap and easy to make good vegan burgers at home. I just 2 different batches for myself today, basically just using black beans/chickpeas, herbs and spices, bread crumbs.


I think I am missing something really obvious, what is breatharian?
post #24 of 68
You are waaaay more patient than i am.. in our house its eat what i make or starve or you cook and clean up after what you have made.. i don't run a restaurant...

Sorry your family is making it hard on ya...
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Then everyone sits down and respects the dinner rules: 1) NO complaining about the food; 2) Pleasant conversation only (no talking about beheadings, how much your sister drives you crazy, what happened to you in the bathroom earlier today, etc.). And so far we have been happy. Also no one can leave the table till the last person is done eating.
I LOVE your dinner rules! Tell me, does everyone comply...dinner rules are a nagging issue in my house!

OP, I agree, let them do the shopping and meal planning. You can tell them you will even do the prep if they do that part, since the planning is the hardest part IMO. My bet is it will be an excellent learning experience for all!!
post #26 of 68
i geet this exact same thing rom my....................... mother, i am the cook fot the family. my DS is way easier to cook for.finally i told her told he i am cooking and ik wiling to do easy swaps like leaving noodles with out sauce but im not going to cook only for you we all eat here and the net meal you may like better but when yuo say yuckor eww you hurt my feelings.
post #27 of 68
I just wanted to throw my support your way, even though mine are only 3 and 2 and I don't have many of these issues yet.

I think your menu rocks, and I want to come and eat at your house. I'm sorry they're being ridiculous.
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
1. I think your menu sounds lovely. I would be frustrated, too.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.
I agree with Leta, Chiromama, your menu sounds so good! However, I feel your pain as I can totally see my picky kids not appreciating much of it at all.

Leta, my older dd is a vegetarian and I would love to have your recipe.
So far, she does not like things like boca burgers or other "fake meat", which I am fine with because I don't love the idea of a bunch of processed soy, especially since she is only 10. She loved the recipe I found for a bulgur wheat burger, but I have only made it once, last week. (She's been a vegetarian since last November and she's not a huge fan of many veggies ).
post #29 of 68
1. Going on strike
2. Telling DH and the kids they get to plan, shop for and prepare the 20 meals that our family needs this week.[/QUOTE]

This~both of them. Tell husband that he is in charge and you aren't lifting a finger for shopping or cooking and that they can't go over your necessary budget. That you will eat whatever they make (you can't complain).

In my house there are literally two options. Take it or leave it. Husband hates to cook and is bad at it. Kids too young to take charge. I shop, I cook, they eat or wait for the next meal. I am NOT a short order cook. I also wouldn't be humoring the vegan. Any of mine want to go vegan, they can do so after they move out and pay their own food bills.
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntNi View Post
If all the kung fu and little league cost $x per month, that's $x fewer that can be spent on groceries. So maybe the kids need to choose. They get the special privilege of their extras, so they need to help you figure out some low-cost meals they will eat. Or if they'll only eat expensive Boca burgers, maybe they need to cut back on extra activities. Maybe by being upfront about the budget, they'll see what you're struggling with, rather than thinking you're just arbitrarily being crabby about mealtimes.
This is an excellent idea. Dollars added to one budget category mean that those dollars have got to come from somewhere else. It's simple addition and subtraction.

You may also want to cancel activities one night a month and have a family activity serving dinner at a shelter or mission. Nothing like a little real life perspective to silence the "poor me" whine.
post #31 of 68
I don't think it is fair for children to have to choose between activities and eating. I think kids deserve both. Hopefully, they will adjust to your budgeting eventually. I think with families, someone is always complaining! Just part of life......
post #32 of 68
Thread Starter 
Well, they are doing it. Dh jumped in with the kids. I may do the shopping with DD and DS2 because of baseball practice but that's OK. Other than that, they are responsible for all kitchen details. I am happy to be assigned a chore but that's it. I am looking forward to this week! I'll keep everyone updated.
Re: canceling sports: I won't cancel sports for my kids. For our family it's an important line item in the budget and my kids receive valuable life lessons and health benefits by participating in them.
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by primjillie View Post
I don't think it is fair for children to have to choose between activities and eating. I think kids deserve both.
Well, of course they deserve both. But, kids also deserve to know that mangoes cost more than apples, and money only goes so far. If you spend all your money in one place (the grocery store), there isn't enough to spend it other stuff that you want (the activities). Budgeting 101, which is a valuable skill in many parts of life.
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by primjillie View Post
I don't think it is fair for children to have to choose between activities and eating. I think kids deserve both.
Well maybe the kids only need one activity. For me I think that there are too many activities placed on children and having a family sit down dinner is just as important(if not more) than having activities. Also having a budget that isn't making stress on mom and dad is helpful in the whole scheme of things. I feel that if the whole family feels overextended from activities something has got to give. Only recently has all this extracurricular stuff taken up so much of the family time(and money).
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs joe bubby View Post
I think I am missing something really obvious, what is breatharian?
Someone whose main diet staple seems to be air.
post #36 of 68
I never had that problem, but I remember when I was a kid, my mom would make a meal and if you didn't like it, you wouldn't eat, end of story. Not one of us 6 kids ended up being picky eaters. She believed if she gave in to demands, it would cause way more work for her and would encourage us to be whiney, ungrateful and picky eaters.
post #37 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
Well maybe the kids only need one activity. For me I think that there are too many activities placed on children and having a family sit down dinner is just as important(if not more) than having activities. Also having a budget that isn't making stress on mom and dad is helpful in the whole scheme of things. I feel that if the whole family feels overextended from activities something has got to give. Only recently has all this extracurricular stuff taken up so much of the family time(and money).
Just to clarify our situation...Each kid has one sport.
DD's dojo membership is 300/year and she works some of that off by teaching lower belt classes. DS1 is in Little League and we pay $85 for the entire season. Same for soccer with DS2 and those games & practices don't conflict with dinner. None of the sports are a financial burden. The schedules are challenging. Fortunately, Little League's about to end and the boys are doing rock climbing during the day as trade for chiropractic care.
post #38 of 68
Quote:
I support DD's vegan diet because she's become so concientious about what she puts into her body and honestly, vegetarian is a cheaper way to feed a family.
It's fine to support her, but you can't leave out the rest of the family either. Most of what you posted I wouldn't eat & I'm not a picky eater.

It sounds like the picky one felt left out as 4/5 of the meals were vegetarian meals.

there are 5 of you, give everyone a night where it's their turn to cook/help cook the meal that they come up with. Write it on a calender what the meals for the week are so everyone can see them.

Cleaning up after(or lack of) seems to be just as big of a deal to you as the food. If it's their chore to clean up, stop doing it for them.
post #39 of 68
"Given how many people go hungry on this planet each day, I can not, will not accept any complaints about the good, healthy, clean food that fills our plates. Seriously."

:

In our household, this is a moral issue. Complaining about the food in front of you is ungrateful to Mom (who cooks), Dad (who earns) and IMO also ungrateful to God (who plunked you down in the midst of this loving family and plunked the family down in the most prosperous nation on earth).

As long as you breatharian isn't a very young child, OP, I'd let him eat what's put in front of him, make a sandwich out of ingredients you have predesignated as snack items rather than planned-meal items, or simply go without. You vegan seems able to make a meal for herself, so that's good.

I tend to allow alternative meals that are zero-prep and zero-cleanup for me, but not anything that inconveniences. So for my young kids, that's an apple and cheese stick, and for my dh, anything he feels like preparing or heating up from the freezer. I try not to have too much emotion invested in food on either side - the cook should be courteous, the eaters should be courteous, and nobody's feelings should be deeply hurt if a dish served is not adored by all. My goal is 1) to teach good manners and 2) to raise children who are neither entranced nor repulsed by any particular foods.
post #40 of 68
Quote:
I think I am missing something really obvious, what is breatharian?
I didn't know either. I googled it -- it seems like they think they can live with no food or water, only air??
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