Well, tomorrow is the FIRST DAY of SCHOOL! Eep!
It also starts the beginning of my new meal plan scheme, and Sunday is meal prep day. We had the Kid and I offered her TV or helping me cook, and she was very excited to cook.
We did lunch first. I made a pasta salad. I boiled water and tossed in a whole box (16oz) of shell pasta. Then, I drained a can of corn and a can of black beans and put them in a bowl with most of the cherry tomatoes (I had a BIG container, the last from the garden, that needed to be eaten). I added some lime juice and let Kid stir everything up until the pasta was done. Then we tossed in the pasta.
I got a pint of peach salsa out of the canning closet and put it in the food processor for a minute and used that for the sauce. It looks a little dry though, so I may add another jar. Ta dah! Lunch for the week!
For dinners, I needed to make ten, five for me and five for mister. I took out two packs, about two pounds, of deer burger and added some Italian breadcrumbs. I made ten patties out and put them in a baking dish, then covered them with a cash of cream of mushroom soup. Baked in the oven for about 45 minutes at 375.
For the sides, I did different things so we weren’t eating the exact same thing for the whole week. We made some deviled eggs (The Kid had never seen them before), corn pudding, broccoli from the garden, cherry tomato crisp, and some of the mac and cheese that Kid didn’t finish (no need to waste anything)
None of these things were difficult to make. The corn pudding I mixed up right in the baking dish, but I didn’t use the sour cream. Still good. The cherry tomato crisp only took a minute to put together. The broccoli I just boiled for about ten minutes, drained and then added some butter and pepper. And deviled eggs I have been making since I was about three years old. I used mustard, light mayo, and instead of pickle juice I used the juice from my pickled jalapeno rings. Turned out great. I took out all of my dollar store sectioned containers and started filling the plates. Ta Dah! Dinner for two for a week. I went ahead and did ten even though I may eat at mom’s at least one or twice this week, so the meals may go into the weekend.
The meal plan says trail mix for breakfast this week, but they will keep, and I have some eggs that need to be used, so instead, I did an egg bake. I sprayed an 8×8 pan, and let The Kid crack a dozen eggs (she only ruined one). I cut up the last of the tomatoes and added those, along with a handful of dried kale I did last year. I added a smidge of salt and plenty of pepper, and baked it at 375 until the eggs had set, about twenty five minutes. I cut it into six pieces and bagged up each one. Six breakfasts done!
All together, this took about two and a half hours. That includes cooking time AND clean up. After we were done, we went ahead and fixed a pitcher of strawberry lemonade from the homemade concentrate I had canned. Everything is ready for the week, neither of us will have to cook and I won’t have to run the dishes til I run a load of our containers on Friday. I am loving this.
The lunch box has my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow already packed. This has sooo many benefits, including making sure we make the most of the food we have put up, saving a ton on groceries, and cutting down on waste.
Plus, it is very economical. I do not pay for the deer. Dad does pay for his hunting license, and to process each deer; these are costs I do not incur. This year we want to get a grinder and do this ourselves. The vegetables I did contribute to the purchasing of slips and seeds, but as we probably spent less than 40 between the two families and got literally HUNDREDS of pounds of food, and are still harvesting, I do not feel like doing the math of how much one serving cost. I stock up on cans of corn and beans when Food lion has them on sale and I can do a coupon deal. I use canned corn for corn pudding. I hate to use delicious garden corn in anything but plain so I can really enjoy the taste of it. Our Dollar Store started carrying Nature’s Own bread. Here is the breakdown, hopefully I did not forget anything:
- Deer burger: Free
- 3 cans of corn for pudding and salad: 25 cents each for .75
- Jiffy corn mix: .50
- Can of black beans: .25
- Box of pasta: 1.00
- Eggs: From the farm
- Cherry tomatoes: farm
- 2 slices of bread: .10 (estimate? Loaf was a dollar)
- Spices: from garden
- Broccoli: garden
- Leftover Mac and Cheese: .50 (box was a dollar)
- Salsa: made last year with ingredients from the garden
- Mayo and mustard for deviled eggs: …50 cents worth? Less?
- Can of cream of mushroom soup: 1.50
Total: $5.10 for five breakfasts, five lunches, and ten dinners, which brings each meal to 26 cents each.
Yes, there were a lot of work and time put into the food, but it was so worth it!