One of the challenging things I find as a Mom of this many minions is meal planning. Finding meals that appeal to everyone, that are easy to make (that danged one armed thing again) and economical.
Even considering that I almost aways have to double every recipe known to man, because most recipes don’t take into consideration feeding of the Clan. They’re usually for ‘normal’ sized families. ‘Feeds four to six’ is a pretty normal thing to see on a recipe.(As an aside, can someone explain to me how folks figure out serving sizes? I’ve followed recipes, and ended up with enough food for, oh, Wolf and a Minion. Others could feed all of us, with leftovers. I just don’t get it. It’s like the children clothing manufacturers got together with recipe creators and said, “Hey! How about we join forces to mess with Moms everywhere?”)
I first found Budget Bytes when a friend posted the recipe for Easy Oven Fajitas. Oh. My. Stinkin. Word. OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!
Soooooo good. Everyone, even the two youngest, LOVED it. (Princess has now gone on strike from eating peppers. There’s always got to be ONE, right?)
Of course, I doubled everything, tossed it in my big white roaster, and left out the cilantro. (Apparently, some folks have a gene that makes cilantro taste like dish soap. I’m one of those, LOL!)
Tip for further budget savings? You can make your own tortillas. We do.
So, when it came time to do some meal planning, I headed to Budget Bytes.
And, oh my goodness. What a wonderful thing that’s been!
So far, I’ve stuck to chicken and beef recipes. Our favourites, so far are Salsa Chicken Casserole, Easy Sesame Chicken, and Baked Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Thighs. Wolf’s favourite has to be *anything* that uses Beth’s (Beth is the phenomenal mind of creation at Budget Bytes) Italian Meatballs. I did the Meatball Stroganoff, but honestly, I could probably just put a dish of meatballs on the table and let them figure out the rest, and they’d be *grateful* for the opportunity, rather than whining, “Where’s the rest of supper?”
Which isn’t a bad idea…hmmm…
(A tip: here, ‘boneless, skinless’ anything is automatically noticeably more expensive than not, but holy old cheezits, it’s worth it. Diva has announced she is never, EVER, deboning chicken thighs again.)
We’ve had a couple of meals that didn’t work for us, but that’s not due to the recipes, but personal tastes. We’d never had basil pesto, for example. And, turns out, that none of us are particularly keen on it.
Beth gives a price breakdown per ingredient, serving, and dish. Unfortunately for me, it’s little more than a ‘oh, lookit the little prices where she lives! They’re sooooooo cuuuuuteeee!’ rather than a true reflection of what a recipe costs me. Or even a close approximation, to be honest. Other than water. The $0.00 for water is about bang on, LOL
Still, I like it, because it’s obvious that there has been some serious effort put in to creating low cost, but tasty meals. One of the problems I’ve ever had about budget cooking was ‘beans and rice’. Everyone always talked about beans and rice.
Other than in chili, I’ve never worked with beans. Seriously. And just didn’t really see the appeal of eating them several times a week.
Beth has created some incredible recipes, that are easy on the budget, and tasty. Now, if she’d come over and do all the shopping and cooking, that would make it perfect.
OM NOM NOM NOM!!
Disclaimer: I did not receive anything from Beth, or her site, Budget Bytes in exchange for this review. I simply am thrilled to death to have found a fantastic site, with yummy recipes that are easy on my budget.
Please remember Zac’s Heart. Friends of the family are trying to help raise money to help out with the costs of this beloved 17 year old’s funeral