Last weekend we ended up feeding 13 all weekend long. We did splurge a little on the meals as it was a celebration of Jess coming home.
Saturday morning they called and suggested I pick up some breakfast food and come out there. We ended up feeding the crew 2 packages of bacon, 1 lb of sausage, a big skillet full of fried potatoes, 3 cans of biscuits, 18 eggs scrambled and I made gravy. There was not a bite left on a plate. At that point, Ralph Lydia and I looked at each other and said... we need more groceries.
We made spaghetti (6 qts of sauce) that evening and there was enough for left overs for lunch the next day. We used 2 lbs of hamburger and did splurge on a bunch of mushrooms. Green peppers were on sale. We also found a big bag of pre-made salad for a dollar in the bargain bin and 2 loaves of french bread for 2.50
The next breakfast was 2 boxes of pancake mix (4.00) and 2 lbs of sausage (5.00) and feed the 13 again. (that was much more economical than the previous morning!)
Sunday supper was steak, baked potatoes, salad, my homemade dinner rolls, and two desserts (I made vinegar pie and Lydia made a lemon bundt cake) I have no idea how much we spent. The meat was from Ralph's horseshoeing, he has a customer who can order from cisco and that is what they get to pay him.
After the weekend... we decided:
1. we need to be buying about 3-4 dozen fresh eggs a week. Right now a friend is giving us about 1 dozen but if we could buy 4 we wouldn't have to spend money on store eggs. Luckily here we can get yard eggs from small farmers and they are averaging 1.00 per dozen but in the stores I am paying 1.85. Fresh eggs tend to have a more Orange color to them, but that is because the chickens were fed corn instead of hormones! lol... ill take the orange color. They also tend to not be as uniform in sizes, but we can live with that.
2. the cheapest place to buy meat in East Texas is actually across in Louisiana. The big star in Many has deals on 10 lbs of meat and they really are considerable. Hamburger for around 2.00 per lb (for 80/20) and were paying 2.85 here in San Augustine. The problem for us is having enough cash flow to buy 10 lbs at one time but I think Ralph is going to start on days he horseshoes over there.
3. We need someone who works for Tyson to start buying from the company store. Although most of whats for sale are the prepackaged already cooked and seasoned foods, the kids do like chicken patties and those things for lunch. If we spent 50.00 a month, we would have a couple suppers and all of the lunches taken care of for kids who are home at lunch time for a month. (now who knows what were are paying for that!)
Now the reason we are doing this research is we are about to add 3 more to the group. I am hoping to get my foster parent license after the holidays and once that happens we will be feeding more. We are working towards one big trip a month to get all the staples, dry goods, frozen foods and meats. Then one trip a week to the store for fresh veggies and dairy products.
We work hard to produce fresh meals, not from a box, we rarely feed prepackaged food although the kids love frozen pizza and we give into that a few times a month.
I will be including more recipes as we get going here... being frugal prior to the holidays here means alot of beans and cornbread unfortunately right now!