Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Questions Answered--Food Edition

A few more of your questions:
Blurry phone picture, sorry
I remember you saying Evie isn't a fan of hugging/kissing? That must be hard...does she ever feel like cuddling? Ever?
Not really.  If I get a 30-second hug when she gets out of bed in the morning, I consider myself very lucky indeed. She is a strong-willed, independent little lady.  Don't know where she gets it (unless you ask my mom, she'll tell you!)

How much is your weekly grocery bill? Also, do you have any advice on how you budget or save.
Hmmmm.  This question is harder to answer than you'd think.  Admittedly, I'm not the budgeter.  We started out our marriage with me doing the finances, and I was pretty pathetic at it.  Plus, Brad really likes to know where everything is going and when, so he took it over.  I have a set amount of cash I withdraw every few weeks, and when it's gone, it's gone.  I make a mammoth trip to Sam's Club or Costco every few weeks, and that isn't included in the budget.  I try to keep it under $300--the picture above is from my trip yesterday and the total was $366, but I bought dog food and diapers, so that set me over.  We also use our Southwest Visa for the miles--gotta go see those big kids, you know.
Lame answer.  Sorry.

My question is about your grocery shopping routine! We're just a family of 3...and I feel like I am always needing to run to the store b/c I am out of something. I'm so curious how you feed your big family and what dinner time is like. Do you ever run out of food? Do you plan all your meals ahead of time? Do you have an ongoing list? Ok, I'll stop there!
Dinner time at our house is almost religious--5:30 pm is dinner time, and we try to abide by that.  I'm also a mediocre cook at best, so anything I have to say needs to be tempered by my "cooking-is-a-chore" attitude.
I set a menu Monday morning, taking into consideration what our schedule will be like for the week--fast meals like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and salad on busy evenings. Then, I try to have all the ingredients in the house to make all seven meals--Sam's Club and the grocery store on Monday or Tuesday.
I have two freezers where I keep staples on hand--hamburger, chicken, bread, shredded cheese, roast, Otter Pops.  Rarely do I run out of something (other than milk or bread), since I stick to my menu plan pretty strictly.  I have a clip board that hangs in my pantry with a computerized list of my staples.  When I take a can of corn out, for example, I just make a mark next to corn on the list, and I know what I need next time I shop.  Maybe someday I'll take a picture of my pantry.  Not today.  Ew.

One child's chore for the day is to help me make dinner.  They'll chop vegies, assemble a salad, brown meat, whatever I need done and according to their age. Another child sets the table, and we all eat together.  Our dinner time revolves around two questions:  What was your best today?  Your worst?  Each child gets a turn to share--usually Hyrum is really funny.  Last night he said his worst was, "I asked Matthew not to tell on me, but he did." What did you do?  "Uh-oh."  When dinner's over, Micah has to clear and wipe the table and chairs, Hyrum has to push them all in, and Lily and Ben alternate between sweeping and the kitchen counters.

What are the rules at your house about snacking? Do you choose the snacks? Allow them only at certain times?
This is a list I came up with last summer that still hangs on my pantry.  Although not complete, this does give the kids an idea of what they can have to eat.  Most importantly, it tells them WHEN they can eat.  This saves my life in the summer.  During school, it's not so necessary to have assigned times, since Hyrum is usually busy in the morning, and then they all get a snack after school.  I'm not a big believer in snacks. My mom didn't give us snacks, and I grew up just fine.  I'm a believer in eating your meals, so limiting snacks encourages that.

Good questions.  Hope I answered them.  Any more wisdom from the audience?



  1. Sage is loving Eve's style in this picture! Good answers, love this idea. Question-what's on your nightstand to read right now, and what's on the list to read next?

  2. Ok I ask this question in regards to my own life. Ive always wanted 7-8 kids but my husband wanted 3-4. We've decided on 5 [for the time being]but his patience is so much thinner than mine and I sometimes wonder how he can handle any more kids.[does that sound mean?]
    The question:
    Have you and Brad always known you'd have a big family? Was Brad always excited about having so many kids or has he grown to have more patience since each of them have arrived?

    [sorry, weird question.]

  3. ugh

    this is something I know I need to do (plan my weekly meals) but I fight it. I know it will save me time in the long run, but I am too lazy in the moment.

    I like that "pushing in chairs" is a chore for the little ones. I need to try that one on my 4yo.

  4. No question - just a big hug of encouragement and admiration. Your kids are lucky!

  5. i lack in the making kids do chores area. make my hubs a bit irritated with me b/c he knows i need help and i have these 3 big kids w/capable hands! i guess i stopped forcing b/c i was met w/ constant whine and then they did half booty jobs and i ended up doing it behind them. after having reid i put my foot down a bit more, but need a constant tone with them. i need to come up with something...and fast. last night since it was my bday i told oldest child to load the dishes. he did, but there were 2 pots that needed hand washing. you would have thought i struck him across the face when i told him he wasn't finished. then he was about to walk away after washing them and i pointed out the counters needed to be wiped off b/c of the water. again....pain. shesh! i am raising spoiled kids and it makes me sad!!!

  6. I could never make myself plan meals, but I sure tried a few times. Somehow, it never clicked, and I wish it had.

    I'm an indifferent cook, as well. If I were to say one area where I didn't quite hit the standard as a wife/mother, it has been cooking. Fortunately, my family has always been pretty gracious about this.

    I love the snack list! GREAT idea.


  7. Thanks Jenny! It seems you are definately organized in the grocery shopping/meal planning routine! I like that you get your kids involved involved with meal prep and clean up. I need to do better in this area, for sure! I asked my son on Sunday if he'd like to set the table for dinner and he said, "no thanks".

  8. I love the snack list- it'd be good for me when I wander the kitchen at 2:30.

  9. the word SNACKS makes me crazy. "whose bringing the snacks"..."is it my turn to bring snacks"...uugh. I'd like to meet the mom who invented snacks. Since when can't kids go a couple of hours at CCD or a baseball game without snacks?

  10. Wow - I wish I'd been that organized back in the day. Or even today! I love all of your ideas.

  11. I love the idea of a snack list -- we have a snack time, but this is a great addition to it!