It isn’t that hard to plan ahead to make meals your children will actually enjoy. I remember when I was a child, eating eggs and spaghetti so much that to this day, I can’t eat those foods! Sure some say catering to each child’s tastes is not the way to go but you do want your children to actually eat and get those nutrients into their growing bodies! Try these cheap meal ideas for great menus that children will request each week. Maybe start a menu plan and list what foods will be eaten that day…such as have an Italian food plan Monday, a Mexican food plan Tuesday, Chinese on Wednesday, and more.
- Breakfast is always the cheapest meal of the day. Try having breakfast for supper one night a week. Pancakes can be made plain or add in blueberries to the mixture for a different flavor. Pancakes and waffles can also be spiced up by topping with jam. Eggs and omelets are also a cheap alternative to supper. Make extra biscuits for breakfast and serve during supper as well. Muffins are cheap to make too and there are dozens of varieties to choose from. Home made is always more frugal than prepackaged mixes.
- Learn to make your most favorite restaurant menu item. If you love egg rolls, learn to make them at home. Not only will it save you money but it also stretches your food budget for the week. Egg rolls are easy and quick to make! The various sauces to go with the egg rolls are also simple to make at home. Create a variety of egg rolls using chicken, pork, vegetables, or whatever you have leftover from other meals during the week.
- Use tortillas and pita shells instead of bread and they will go further. Bread tends to go quickly in most families but a big pack of corn tortillas lasts quite a while. Saving you money and trips to the store! Put just about anything in a warm tortilla and you have a quick dinner or snack.
- Have sandwich night one evening a week and the kids will enjoy picking out sandwich toppings for their individual sandwich. Pick up a mixed selection of sandwich meats, slice tomatoes, chop lettuce and olives, have sandwich spreads on the table, and go at it!
- Give the kids an assignment to figure out how one whole chicken can last through three meals. Pick the idea that is most original each time. Lots of ways to stretch a roast or whole chicken; soups, stews, sloppy joes, chili, sandwiches, tacos, and more!
- Have the children help make soup one day. Like most families, you may not usually make home made soup so this will really go over well with the kids! Making soup from scratch will amaze them!
- Give each child a day to help cook supper. Maybe each child will pick a specialty that they prefer. Chad may enjoy chili making with Dad while Josh loves making tacos with Mom.
- Have a no cook day for supper. Fresh ingredients can make salads. Cauliflower and broccoli for dipping in home made ranch dressing.
- Leftover day can fall on a busy day on your schedule when the kids have many activities like sports to attend. Break out the Tupperware and save leftover tacos, then make taco salad! A roast can turn into a quick sandwich. Leftover corn on the cob can be the veggie on the side.
- Noodles are always cheap and kids love them. Spice it up by doing something different with pasta each time. Look up different pasta dishes online to try new things.
- Hot dogs cut up in beans is a hit with most children.
- Have a themed day for something different on the weekend. Think ocean day and have tuna fish salad on a blue plate.
- Once a month or so plan on having a try something new day. The entire family can try a new food such as clams or pickled eggs. Since the whole family is having the same experience, you won’t find as much resistance from your children!
- In the summer months, have a picnic with easy to transport meals. Think small and choose items such as cherry tomatoes, pickles, cubed meats and cheeses, apple chunks, and a large container of tea or ice water with lemon. Bring skewers or toothpicks and forego the paper plates! The selection of the online websites for food should depend on the best vegan meal delivery. The prices of the food should be under the pocket of the person.
I hope these ideas for cheap menu plans and meals will give you a start on choosing items your children will love! Remember if you are excited about it, so will they be! Be adventurous in your food choices and expand your children’s horizons. You will find that home made cooking and thinking outside the box will save you money while keeping the kids happy!