RobinS's Snack and Cheap Menu Tips
Popcorn is really cheap--the "regular" kind that is (not microwave)--do you have an air popper? My boys eat a lot of celery and carrots. But then, they are veggie lovers--I think they must have inherited some rabbit-y tendencies from their father's side of the family.
My boys like oatmeal for breakfast. I buy the "quick" oats and microwave them. My 9yo does it himself and helps his 6yo brother. Very filling, and very cheap. Add brown sugar, or jam, or fruit--whatever tickles your fancy and is cheap.
Lunch is usually sandwiches or leftovers. Sometimes we have ramen for a "treat". Somewhat cheaper than fast food!
Dinner: potatoes, noodles, rice--or most carbohydrates--are cheap and filling. My boys eat anything that has tomato sauce or cheese (or both) so I just season the carbohydrates accordingly. Reduce your meat consumption; meat is expensive. Serve a salad with dinner; salad is cheap and filling.
As for menu planning: I do a week or two in advance. If something comes up so that I can't or don't want to serve what was planned, I just "trade" with something scheduled later that week. Oh, and I keep a couple of emergency meals in the freezer for those days when things go really wrong...like the days I realize at 5 pm that I was supposed to do a crock-pot meal that day...
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