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Sunday, June 23, 2019

BULK BARGAINS: Feeding My Family for $50!



It' been a while since I did a "Feed My Family for $50" post. But, I recently got some terrific bulk buys. So, let's talk about turning those ultra-low priced items into a menu plan (without your family feeling like they are eating the same thing every night.)

By the way, in this post I have a family of "6" instead of "5". Nope! I did not have a baby! My oldest son came home from college for the summer, giving us 6 in the family instead of 5 for the next 3 months. Whew hoo! Mama's happy to have all the boys home for a few, short weeks!

Bulk Bargains


Sometimes you get bulk food at a price that you just can't turn down. This often happens during the growing season when friends and neighbors share excess garden produce with us. But, not always. Earlier this month, I stopped by my favorite ethnic store and scored some amazing deals on organic produce. There are some things you have to take into consideration.

Here's a post where I break down some thoughts on what you should do after you have shouted "Buy!" and your countertops and fridge are now bulging and overflowing with your amazing buys.


What did I get?  


9 bunches of organic broccoli - Cost:  $9.00. 


24 broccoli stems -  from the 9 bunches of broccoli.
Yep! I use the stems.

In my post entitled, "Hey! Don't Waste That!", I give you step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the stems for use. 


Over 10 pounds of organic red potatoes - 40¢ a pound - Cost: $3.40


Cabbage - 19¢ a pound - I used my HyVee rain check!  - Cost: $1.79
1 bought 3 heads of cabbage.

My General Plan 

My first line of defense when I score fantastic bargains is to assess: 


1.    How long the item will last before degrading in quality. I.E. - Cabbage will last two weeks, but fresh tomatoes, just a few days.

2.  How much I will cook and how much will I freeze for long term use.

3.  How many ways I can prepare it - so my family doesn't feel like they are eating the same thing  every day for an entire week.


Let's talk specifics. What did I do with all this food?


My Menu Plan


Breakfast: Hot Cereal and Fruit

 

Breakfast rarely changes for us. We rotate between oatmeal and cream of wheat, adding fresh fruit to the top every morning. May seem boring, but it's really healthy and, more importantly, it sticks with kids, so they are not shouting, "I'm hungry" just 45 minutes after they finish their bowl of cereal. 



7 Day Breakfast Cost: $7.50


Lunch: Soup, Salad, and Fruit


Soup!


Creamy potato-broccoli soup! - Cost: $2.50 for 6 quarts!





Vegetable Soup - Cost: $2.50 for a HUGE pot!

Sandwiches 


Tuno Salad - cost for 10 sandwiches: $3.00

I've mentioned this staple vegan sandwich filling before. It's a chickpea salad spread, much like tuna salad (without the tuna). It's a family favorite and can often be found as an option to go along with your bowl of soup. 


Side Dishes!

(These were used for both lunch and supper.) 


Vegan Mustard-based Potato Salad - Cost: $1.50



Cole Slaw with Oil Free Lemon Ginger Dressing - Cost: 50¢!


Broccoli Black Bean Fiesta Salad  - Cost: $3.00



A variety of in-season fruit - bought weekly at the lowest prices in town!
Cost for 7 days of lunches - $4.00

Total cost of 7 days of lunch: $17.00



Supper: Main dish, more salad, raw veggies, and fruit 




Buffalo Broccoli "wings" in the air fryer - Cost: $2.00

This is one the 14 year old sous chef's favorite recipes. I just hand him the recipe and tell him to make a double batch. We serve it with extra hot sauce and add some sides for a complete supper plan. We use the batter from Fat Man Rants' recipe for buffalo cauliflower wings and simply sub broccoli for the cauliflower. We actually like the broccoli better than cauliflower. I had plenty of broccoli to make two huge pans of broccoli wings. 


Dairy Free Roasted Potato and Broccoli Lasagna - Cost: $5.00

This is one of my Cheap Eats recipes. The 14 year old sous chef and I created it especially for Mother's Day and featured it in my Feeding A Crowd for Pennies:  Father's Day brunch post.

 I will admit that contains more fat than most of my other recipes. This is because of the addition of vegan ricotta cheese. Nearly all of my recipes are based on real, whole food products. This is an exception, but the dairy free ricotta adds a lot of creaminess and it even melts a little like real cheese. I just want you to be aware that it has a lot more fat and oil than you want to eat on a regular basis. So, please DO give it a try and please DO share this recipe with your friends and loved ones who need to know that vegan, dairy-free meals can be amazingly flavorful and delicious. 






Scalloped Riced Broccoli Casserole  - $2.50

This casserole is an exclusive Under the Median Cheap Eats recipe. We use it as a main dish, adding a salad, homemade muffins, and fruit to make it a balanced meal.  The 14 year old sous chef and I created it specifically because we didn't want to waste the broccoli stems from that glorious haul of organic broccoli. It tastes amazing and is perfect for taking to a picnic or potluck! 

Total Cost of 7 Days of Supper: $13.25


TOTAL COST OF 7 DAYS OF MEALS: $51.00



Freezer 


Blanched broccoli florets for the freezer 

I had plenty of broccoli left over to blanch and put in the freezer for later use. For a step-by-step tutorial on blanching and freezing fresh vegetables, read:

"Putting Food By for Winter: Blanching". 

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Do all to the glory of God, 

Hope


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