Friday, October 3, 2014

On the Go without Breaking Budget?

School is back in the swing of things and while Ryder is not school age yet, I see all my friends with school-age kids running their wheels off. AND we have a little girl that is going to be arriving in just a few days, so we have had a little bit of a urgency added to our schedule as well.

We have been running a lot more errands lately and trying to pack in as much family fun as we can. This means we are not home as much as we are used to, so I have become a pro at having snacks on hand and making sure our family has dinner at odd hours or in a hurry.

We make a something we call "Ryder Trail Mix" (which is just a mixture of gold fish crackers, Cheerios and cherry flavored dried cranberries...his favorite snacks) and throw it in a container to have on hand while we are out and about. He knows that it is his special snack mix. So you can make up your own individualized snack mix for your kids favorites. Throw it in a baggie or small plastic container and always have something yummy to snack on...which means you can avoid the drive through or candy aisle at the gas station!

For meals, we have been preparing for Miss Iyla's arrival by making freezer packs. These are meals that we throw together now, put in a bag and freeze for use at a later time. This way when I am not up to making a meal after she arrives (or when life is just too hectic to have time to throw together something in the morning), I can open a bag, dump it in our crock pot and let the crock pot do the work while I get some snuggles in or run out the door!

One of my favorites is this Crock Pot Freezer Packs: BBQ Ranch Chicken Buns. They are so yummy and can also make a great impromptu picnic meal!

Another way I keep from busting our food budget when we are on the go is to have some SUPER quick recipes in my arsenal. These Easy Pan Fried Pork Chops are done in about 15 minutes and are juicy, flavorful...and just straight up awesome!

It is easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle and not take a moment to be grateful, but then that means I am not enjoying life as much as I should. So, I try to remember in the middle of all the chaos that I am very blessed to live in a country where we spend less on our food than ANY other country...and that we have so many nutritious options available that I don't have to be weighed down by Mommy Guilt (or break the bank) when I am buying our groceries! My little man and his little sister deserve the best...and that includes a Momma who realizes how blessed she is to live in this country where we have affordable food that provides them with the nutrition they need to grow up strong and healthy.

Now I am not expert by any means. I am still only three and a half years into this wife thing and two years into this Mommy gig, so I am sure you guys have a ton of tips you could share with me, and I would love to hear them. So leave me your tips in the comments!

Note: I'm an IFOF Ambassador for the Affordable Food Tips For Your Family, From Our Family Series. And you can rest assured that the thoughts and opinions are all my own!
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