Meat shopping and my favourite food blogs

So after my pantry sort out and looking through my freezer (which by the way is jam packed!) I realised we were running low on meat but had lots of other bits and pieces.  Usually we shop for meat at Tasman Meats which is a chain butcher, but lately I have found that their prices have been similar to the supermarket and as I needed to do a couple of other things I deceided just to head to my local shopping centre for a small shop.

Now I know the price of meats and that they aren’t essential to eat every day but they are a main part of my dinner planning and I must say I’m not confident or overly fond of alot of vegetarian meals.  So I spent a long time going back and forth in the meat department with my husband.  It was actually for me quite a hard experience.  Hubby has barely been working lately so our finances are so low I worry about how we will get by.  I know how important it is to keep us all healthy and I refuse to believe all the hype that it is cheaper to buy take out every night than cook a home cooked meal.

So I knew before I walked in some meal ideas but I also wanted to try some new things that would be cost effective and look at adding some other options to what we normally eat.  I read lots and lots of receipes, if you dont know already I look at taste alot and have alot of cookbooks.  I’ve also in the last few months been reading alot of blogs on food and have found both mamabake.com and littlebentoblog.com both great inspiration and great resources.

Mamabake is a wonderful concept, of bulk cooking with other local mums and diving up the dishes.  Now although I haven’t actually tried this yet (but I am planning to soon, we are just starting to form a group, so stay tuned) there is great lot of receipes on the website that are perfect for me to cook for hubbys dinners and freeze.  The girls who run it also give me inspiration to try new things, which is how my soup came about last week.

Little bento blog is just the best concept for kids.  Although my boys probably don’t actually eat bento meals at this point (simply because I can’t afford to buy all the little cutters and things I would like) it has inspired me to change the way I feed the boys.  I will admit that meals times with the boys in the past made me cry.  I would go to pain staking efforts to make them special meals, puree endless food and try to be supermum.  Hey I was supermum!  But the boys had other ideas.  They wouldn’t eat what I made and I would end up frustrated, angry and upset.  All that hard work seemed to just go down the drain.  But in the few months since I found bento blog I have changed.  Meal time is no longer a stress and I find that the boys and I are much happier people because of it.  Phew!  If the boys don’t want to eat something I no longer try to force it down their throats, and I no longer listen to all those people who tell me that I should.  I offer the boys three meals a day, plus snacks, some days they eat it and ask (squeal) for more, some days they push it aside or try to feed it to each other.  But I offer them a few options at each meal time, so they may have my dinner leftovers from the previous night, some cooked veggies and something else, or it may be part of a roll, fruit and cheese.  If they eat at least one thing I am happy.  They eat more, I stress less and everyone is happy.

But I digress.  Meat at the supermarket.  I went back and forth down the aisle, comparing prices of different cuts of meats, heading to the aisle where all the meal in a packet stuff is and pouring over them for different ideas.  This was all with grumpy children and sick husband in tow.  Geez I’m a brave woman!  So I finally made my selections, grabbed some resealable bags and went to the check out, $50 later I was done.  Can I just say ouch!!!  That is my food budget for the week, hopefully I can make it all stretch for more than a week.  I’ll share my meal plan once I get it sorted in my own mind.

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