With the addition of extra people in our house I have been gaining experience in how to feed lots of people for as little as possible. We are able to feed 13 people for around $500-$700 a month, this includes miscellaneous stuff like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc.
Honestly it has not been all that different than the way I prepped and cooked before, the only difference has been adjusting to the quantity and cooking times. One huge difference is we have not been eating pork while our friends are here because it hurts their tummies and we wanted to stop eating it with them and see if Mark’s gut would respond better with not eating it too.
I’ll start with breakfast, thankfully Erez is a morning person, because the other three adults are still trying to wake up and get coffee into our systems. Waffles are fabulous because we have a waffle iron that makes four waffles at a time and this means we can get hot food out that much quicker. Pancakes take a while longer because we have been using our cast iron skillet, but if we had a cast iron griddle or a big electric griddle it would go a little quicker, but honestly it’s been working out just fine. I have been making the pancakes and waffle dry ingredients in the evenings so all we have to do in the morning is mix the wet ingredients together. This makes the breakfast process so much easier and quicker. I have been playing with how many batches to make at one time, I started with three and am now at six batches, but I am pretty sure four batches feeds us just fine with enough leftovers to warm up on another morning. Oatmeal is another wonder I have come to love, I also found a crock pot recipe that can be made over night, so when we wake up the oatmeal is hot and ready to eat! The recipe I linked calls for steel cut oats, but I’ve found old fashioned rolled oats work just as well and I have also found we like the combination of rolled oats and steel cut oats, it gives a good texture that we liked. We also tried mixed berries instead of apples and it was yummy! Eggs are also a fabulous breakfast food, they are a great protein, fairly easy, and can be used in so many different ways. We really like what I called egg pizza, I scramble a bunch of eggs in a bowl, preheat my cast iron skillet, once my skillet is hot I pour the scrambled eggs into it, sprinkle cheese or a meat on top and then cover it with a lid. It’s done when the bottom is golden brown. I cut it into triangles and serve. To use up bread ends or bread you need to use asap, French toast casserole is a great make a head and bake the next morning dish.
Lunch is usually leftovers, pb&J, mac n cheese, anything that is easy to throw together for a quick bite. We have also really
tried to be diligent in our leftovers, because we don’t want to spend needless money for food because we were careless with what we already had. That is not a good use of our resources.
My big crock pot broke the day after our friends arrived and I was so bummed because I planned to use it as much as possible to make life a little easier. It ended up being a blessing, because I learned that I could use our roaster oven just the same as a crock pot and good thing because I have ended up needing the extra room the roaster oven gives me. I have made huge batches of refried beans in it, I have made meat and potatoes in them, we have made large batches of soups in them, I have baked potatoes in it, anything you can do in a crock pot apparently you can do a roaster oven! Awesome!
With the refriend beans we have made enchilada’s, bean/cheese burritos, we have made loaded burritos with rice, steak, refried beans, and grilled onions and peppers. Refried beans are a great protein and a cheap protein! We have had chicken soup and froze the leftovers for easy meals later. We had loaded baked potatoes one night and were able to make the left over potatoes into quick and easy meals. Taco’s were easily made into taco salad. They have also taught us how to make a yummy Israeli salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and a yummy dressing. It’s fairly inexpensive and yummy! We have definitely given each other new recipes to put in our belts for easy, cheap meals!
We have also been keeping out eyes out for good deals on the food items we eat the most and we try and stock up on them when we see them at an amazing price. Paying more upfront, but being more over all budget friendly in the long run.
We continue to pray God stretches every dollar as far as he can and God be the glory he has fed us well. I want to thank many of you, because you have prayed for us and prayed over us. Some of you have supported us by blessing us with grocery store gift cards and a blessing they have been for sure! Thank you to you our family friends for loving us and supporting us. God has been gracious and has allowed our friends the Talshahar’s and us the Russell’s to be of the same mind in saving as much money as we can while feeding a multitude of people and still eating well. We are thankful that each night we go to bed with food in our tummies and our hearts full.
I also have to say, that if God ever crosses our path with another family who needs sheltering, and we have the ability to do so, I speak for Mark and myself that we would do it in a heart beat! We are most like Christ when we shelter those who need sheltering, feed those who need feeding, when we love when it’s the hardest to love, when we walk beside those who need a hand to hold until they can fly on their own. To God be the glory when the one who was broken has been healed, well loved, well fed physically and spiritually, and is then able to go out and give others a chance to heal. Yes, may it be that we the body of Christ take in the hurt and lost. To God be the glory we have forever friendships with the Talshahar’s! I praise him continually for our friend’s!