Photo from The Pioneer Woman CooksBut we love children and hang out with lots of other adults who love children too, so compared to our friends who have five or six kids, we are small potatoes.
For the sake of this post, I'm going to just go with the fact that we are now a big family and big families eat a lot of food. As the chief cook at our house, I'm struggling to keep up.
Recipe Book Makeover - I'm tired of cooking meals that no one (me included) is excited about. I want my family to have good nutritious food so they'll be healthy. But I'm also going for the shared memories of yummy tastes and smells, that come from eating a really good meal together.
One thing I've realized is my family doesn't particularly care for all the down home southern recipes that I grew up with as a child. Sweet potato casserole with all the brown sugar and butter and pecans? No thank you.
But every one of my children loves Asian food. Jasmine rice has become a staple at my house. I tweaked a recipe for a Thai style soup that is full of roasted chicken, lime, red pepper flakes, coconut milk and stinky fish sauce. When I say that we're having Thai soup for dinner, all four kids start doing the happy dance. Pioneer Woman's Lettuce Wraps got rave reviews at my house as well.
Saving $$$ by couponing and stocking up - With four kids I understand the idiom "eating us out of house and home" in a new light. Our family can put away the food. If I just strolled through Publix and bought enough food for the week, the total at checkout would be scary!
For years I resisted using coupons. Mike would bring it up, and I would rant about how much time it would take to go through the Sunday paper and find coupons we'd actually use. Seemed like a lot of work to save 50 cents on a box of cereal.
But the big savings in couponing don't come from just using a random coupon now and then. Big savings come from holding onto your coupons until your grocery store puts an item on sale, then combining the coupons with the sales for rock bottom prices. And when you find a rock bottom price, you stock up.
Here's a real life example from last week. Wenxin loves Campbell's Chunky Grilled Sausage Gumbo Soup. He calls is "spicy rice." He could eat it every day. At Publix, it's $2. 39 a can. But this week, it was Buy One Get One Free. So, it was about $1.20 a can.
But . . . I had a stack of coupons for 50 cents off two cans. That got the price down to 95 cents a can.
So. . . drum roll please. . . I bought 20 cans. Seriously, 20 cans. Actually I bought 22 because I had an extra coupon for $1 off 2 cans and that brought the price down to 70 cents a can.