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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pleazzzzzze help!
I went from working very part time (20hrs a week would be a "busy" week) to being the breadwinner working 7 days a week with a full time 6:30am-5:30 pm job and a 9 hour a week part time job.
In the past I have tried to cook from scratch as much as possible but I need help! I'm overwhelmed, tired and need suggestions!
SO far here are some changes I've made:
Buy instead of make bread, doesn't work with muffins as the ones at the store have so much sugar and hydraganted oil in them I just can't bring my self to buy them. I do shop the day old bread bin and will buy my hubby "treats"
buy hummas instead of making
making up a big veggies tray on Sunday night
grilled double the meat Sunday night for lunches the rest of the week
making crockpot steel cut oats over night
buying soy milk instead of making my own almond milk (I'm lactose intolerant)

We have a little extra money in the budget because food stamps gives us almost $200 more then we buget for when we have the belt super tight. We do not eat empty carbs, crackers, chips (Well sometimes with salsa when we make burritos), pretzels. My kids are excelent eaters and will mostly eat anything healthy. Any short cuts you can think of would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good suggestion we do that already, those bags don't last as long as I wish they did
We eat broccoli like every day, lol.
 

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How about some homemade soup/stew that can be eaten for a couple days? Casseroles, make them up ahead of time and then pop in the oven when you get home?
Homemade pizza, and make some extra dough and freeze it for another time.
A big lasagna
Homemade pancakes/waffles, make a bunch and then freeze some to just pull out later.
 

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Especially this time of year, I buy frozen onions and peppers (Birdseye "fajita mix"). You can run your knife through them quickly, and use them just like fresh for anything cooked (they wouldn't be good on a salad, but they are fine in soups and stews).
 

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In addition to some of the other things mentioned, I cook 5-10 pounds of dried beans at a time and freeze them in 3 cup portions.

Instead of frozen veggies, we buy the big bags of baby or proper carrots and broccoli florets. Perfect for fresh eating or cooking with. The broccoli at our Costco is not organic.

I try to streamline the food I'm buying - mostly simple ingredients. I've got a shopping list on my computer that I can print. It's set up for only the things we buy (with space for write-ins) and the list is in the order of the aisles of the store. It makes staying on list and going fast easy to do.

I've had good luck making big batches of hummus and freezing it in usable portions.

Can you make a big batch of your favorite muffins and freeze them?

My children take lunch to childcare. I try to package things for their lunches in 4oz containers so lunches are easy to pack. Applesauce, hummus, and snacks have all worked well.

Good luck, you sound very busy!
 

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If you're the breadwinner, does that mean DH is home with the kids? Can he pick up some of the slack? How old are the kids, can they take on some cooking responsibility? Mom doesn't have to be the only one in the kitchen. Even if dad/kids can't "cook" - they can help with prep work like washing/prepping veggies, measuring ingredients, grating cheese, meal planning, etc.

Feed the freezer - make twice (or 3 times) what you need of something like a casserole and pop the extra in the freezer. After a few weeks of that, you'll have plenty in the freezer to rotate through and have one or two nights a week where you don't have to cook. It really doesn't take much more time to double or triple the recipe.

Make meals that you can repurpose the leftovers into something else - like roast chicken can become chicken enchiladas/tacos/burritos/salad, roast pork can become pulled pork sandwiches, etc.
 
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