Ahhhh, summer……school is out and the weather is warm. There are new books to read and relaxation is on the horizon!
“MOOOOMMMM! There’s nothing to eat!!!”
What? But I just spent a fortune at the grocery store!
Does this sound familiar to anyone? My kids eat A LOT. And in the summer they seem to eat CONSTANTLY.
I love the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I am working hard to teach my kids to cook healthy meals for themselves. I am also a fan of feeding three teenagers on the cheap. So what’s a mom – who just wants to read her new book and relax a bit – to do? Keep the pantry and fridge stocked with cheap and healthy foods!
15 Frugal Foods to Feed Hungry Teens:
In-season fruit/veggies: Each week I buy whatever fruit and veggies are on sale – I try to stay around $1 per pound. I’m not going to please everyone every time, but there is at least one thing that everyone likes. Does anyone not like watermelon? I think my kids could eat an entire watermelon each day! I will also freeze fruit for smoothies.
Peanut butter: We eat plenty of good ol’ fashioned PB&J’s around here! Peanut butter is yummy with bananas or by the spoonful for a quick snack on the go!
Eggs: Scrambled or fried, in breakfast burritos or on toast.
Old fashioned oats: I am slowly switching my family over to this for breakfast, but it’s a slow process. My daughter can make some awesome oatmeal cookies though! I am currently on an anti-cereal kick. This is just a default no-brainer snack for my kids and I want them to learn to make healthier choices. Plus, it’s expensive!
Tortillas: These are a staple in our house. We make lots of burritos and quesadillas.
Refried beans: Cheap and healthy and even my pickiest eater loves them!
Cheese: We love cheese of all kinds, and probably eat too much, but it makes everything taste better! And used sparingly it doesn’t cost too much.
Chicken: I stock up on whatever chicken is on sale each week. We try to cook/grill extra for salads, quesadillas, and such. As a bonus, if I buy bone-in chicken I throw the bones in the slow cooker with water and seasoning and have easy peasy (and cheap!) chicken broth.
Noodles and spaghetti sauce: My kids eat this a lot in their school lunches. These are pantry staples and I freeze homemade sauce as well.
Idaho Colorado grown (buy local!), Russet, sweet, or whatever I can find on sale! I bake and mash these or make fries. They are good in breakfast burritos too.
Greek yogurt: Just add some fresh fruit or make smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to use frozen fruit!
Tortilla chips & salsa: Always a treat, and a tad healthier than regular chips.
Ramen/noodle cups: This is such a mom fail and my kids don’t eat it a lot, but I figured they’ll be prepared for college! 🙂
Baking supplies/staples: I try to keep flour, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and eggs on hand to make homemade treats. This is also a great way to use up bananas that are a bit past their prime and nobody wants to eat them!
Popcorn: We make homemade popcorn on the stove. My kids are learning through trial and error the best way to cook this as well as how much butter and salt to use. We also learned about kitchen grease fires – this was a minor one and the only casualty was the pan!
Do you stock any of these on a regular basis? Am I missing anything? I’d love to know!
photo credit: Paul Saad <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/114138418@N08/33609862372″>Healthy Food</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>