Thankfully, E and I were prepared for this jump in our food budget (and know that this is only the beginning with three boys). There are lots of different things that we do to help our tight budget and keep the kids eating healthy food happily and we were asked to share as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network during the Cans Get You Cooking Campaign.
The biggest thing we do to keep our food spending under control is that I cook dinner every night. Yes, sometimes that does get old at times but E is really good at covering 1-2 nights a week so I do get a break.
The next awesome thing we try to do is buy what is in season. Yes, this includes the fresh fruits and veggies but did you know that other goods, including cans, have a best time to buy? Your low buying price, the best sale price, is most likely different then mine (unless you're my neighbor) but pay attention and it's not hard to figure out when something is a really good deal and you should buy.
The best part about finding canned goods' season is that when you stock up you can stock up enough to last you a full year, or until that product should go on sale for a good price again. Canned goods are very practical this way because you can keep them almost anywhere. I'm lucky to have a small space dedicated to my canned goods, it's my under the stairs room, and although I wish it was bigger it does do a good job. If you don't have a space dedicated to canned food you can still keep your supply available. In our old house I would keep my cans under the bed, on the top shelves in the closets (you know the ones I can't reach so I never put anything there), and on a bookshelf that wasn't needed for books and that worked well too.
I think the hardest part for most people is not finding a good price or find a place to store the cans tho, it's learning how to use them. I often hear people say that canned things just aren't as good as fresh that simply isn't true. Nutritionally, canned goods are largely comparable to their fresh counterparts but they often do have a different texture or flavor which is what throws people off. What I have learned is that I have a whole separate set of recipes for my canned goods then I do for my fresh foods. This means that although my family does enjoy fresh food, if I don't make it to the grocery store, we're going to be ok because I can feed my family for about six months on my food room supply (with the exception of milk that is).
So how do I do it?
1. Stock up on canned goods when they are on sale.
2. Store your cans until you need them.
3. Learn to make recipes using only foods from your food room.
4. Save time and money while feeding your family healthy food!
Here's a recipe to get you started!
from the Kitchen of A Kerr
4 cans Chicken
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Boxes Stuffing Mix (with ingredients to make)
Instructions: Drain the chicken and place in skillet. Add Cream of Chicken Soup and heat on medium stirring occasionally until warm. Meanwhile make stuffing mix according to microwave directions. Spread finished stuffing over chicken mixture. Cover and heat on low for 5-10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!
Note: best served with canned cranberry sauce and/or canned corn.
To learn more about healthy eating with canned foods check out the Cans get You Cooking Campaign on Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube today!