I use Mondays to clean out my mailbox. I noticed a theme in the messages that have stacked up this week: All of them were about economic ways to feed your family: taking advantage of Kids Eat Free deals at local restaurants, saving money through meal planning, and super-quick recipes for freezer cooking, easy enough for beginners like me.
Policy Changes at Local Restaurants
I’ve received several messages recently letting me know of policy changes at a few of the restaurants on our Kids Eat Free page, so I’ve updated that list to reflect the new information. Click on the image below for a complete listing:
My thanks to all those readers who’ve written to let me know both when new Kids-Eat-Free restaurants should be added and when old (no longer participating) restaurants need to be removed.
I appreciate your helping me to keep that information current.
Saving Money through Meal Planning
Our family has saved a lot of money over the years by eating at restaurants that feed our kids for free, but of course, we save even more money when we eat at home, instead.
In an effort to ensure we eat at home more than we eat out, I designed this free printable meal planning template. I print a copy and fill it out at the beginning of the week, and post it on my refrigerator as a reminder of what to prepare when.
Freezer Cooking for Beginners
A written game plan helps home cooking happen with greater consistency, but freezer cooking in bulk is what really keeps us on course.
A couple of weeks ago, I stocked my freezer using recipes from the book No-Cook Freezer Meals. I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to have two weeks’ worth of meals prepped and ready to go after less than an hour’s worth of work.
What I love most about these recipes is that no advanced cooking is required during the prep stage. That makes the dishes super-fast to assemble and helps the ingredients stay fresh.
Want to give freezer cooking a try? My kids and I took a class at our county extension office on how to do it. We brought our groceries along with us, and the instructor coached us through assembling the meals. It was a lot of fun to work together.
I realize not everybody has access to that kind of community educational offerings. But, thanks to the Internet, you can sign up for a FREE Freezer Cooking Class just like the one my family attended in person. The instructor provides a nice variety of delicious recipes (10 in total), a detailed shopping list, ready-to-print freezer labels, and step-by-step instruction on how to assemble everything in less than an hour.
I encourage you to give it a try and sign up today. Once you taste these flavorful dishes and experience the convenience of having two weeks’ worth of dinners ready to go, you’ll be sold on this meal prep method, just like I am!