Obviously, today isn’t Sunday, but I’ve been meaning to get this post written for a bit now. On Sundays, after church, my husband and I try to get ourselves set up for the week. My husband works a lot, and goes to school, and our little one keeps me busy, so spending some time together, as a family, in the kitchen, can really do so much to make things run more smoothly for us all week long.
First, we take fresh fruit (usually whatever is in season because it’s cheaper), chop it up, and dehydrate it. Dried fruit is great to snack on, and to use in granola bars. We happen to have an inexpensive food dehydrator, but if you don’t, you can dry it in the oven, on baking sheets, at 175 degrees for a few hours. We do this ourselves for a few reasons. First, it’s cheaper. (For example, you can get 20 oz. dried mangoes for $9.49, but we paid $8.00 for 5 lbs, which yielded way more). Second, the already dried ones have sugar, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and preservatives. Mine don’t.
The next thing we did, was to make some breakfast sausage for the week. Sometimes, we’ll cook up a bunch of bacon instead. It makes for easy breakfasts, and since I’m useless in the morning, easy breakfasts are good. To save money, and to ensure that we’re not getting any yucky ingredients, I grind my own pork. I don’t expect everyone to do this, but it works for us. I just chop up a pork roast into one inch cubes, put them in the food grinder, and it spits out the ground pork. Then I follow this recipe to make the sausages. These also freeze really well.
We also tend to buy our meat in bulk, and then separate it into individual portion sizes. Beef roasts tend to be less expensive than steaks, so we buy a roast to cut into steaks. Bulk packages of ground beef tend to be less expensive per pound than smaller packages. This also allows us to make portion sizes based on the amount of food we actually eat. For example, ground beef usually comes in packages that are close to 1lb, but that’s more than my husband and I will usually eat, so doing it this way also allows us to be less wasteful. Again, it’s more work, but it saves us money. Sometimes during this time, if I’ve got something requiring a dry rub on the menu, I’ll put the rub on before I get it packaged to freeze. That way, when I pull it out to defrost, it’s ready to go.
Sometimes during this time, we’ll also make some beef jerky to snack on for the week, granola bars, or hard boil a bunch of eggs to have ready. It is a lot of work, and very time consuming, but it helps us all week long, and it also allows to us to spend some time together, just talking and cooking. 🙂