Cutting Costs When Inviting Family Round To Eat

It is no secret that many people are struggling right now, and that growing living costs are putting a strain on many families’ family budgets. Food prices and rising energy costs make cooking, particularly entertaining, a potentially costly hobby. The good news is that, despite escalating prices, hosting a family lunch on a budget is achievable; you just need to know how to arrange it. 

 

Photo by fauxels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-making-toast-3184183/

 

Here are some pointers to help you organize a family lunch on a budget while still eating well and having a wonderful time:

Get Rid Of The Takeout Menu

If ordering takeout is your typical method of entertaining friends, you are aware of how costly it can be. While ordering takeaway may appear to be an easy way to ensure that everyone gets to eat what they want, the cost can rapidly become overwhelming. You may have observed that the cost of ordering food has grown in recent months, so instead of ordering takeout, creating a menu and cooking dinner should be a more economical option. Of course, even a home-cooked lunch can be extremely expensive if you do not keep a tight watch on prices, but you will be able to spend significantly less if you carefully prepare your menu.

Keep Your Numbers Low

Inviting your entire family to dinner may seem like a fantastic idea and a great way to bring everyone together, but it may quickly spiral out of control. Creating a guest list and limiting your guests will help you keep your spending under control. When you have a large number of visitors to feed, it can be difficult to assess the amount of food you need and manage portion sizes. When catering to several guests, many people discover that they cook significantly more food than is required, resulting in food waste. Using a recipe such as macaroni salad recipe with egg can help you to learn how many guests can be fed while staying within budget. 

Set A Budget

Setting a food budget and sticking to it is a sure-fire strategy to keep your expenditures under control. Thinking about how much you can afford to spend and breaking it up to pay for each course is an excellent approach to keep your expenditures in check. Shopping around for deals and special offers is a great way to get more food for your money. Don’t forget to include any extras which may cost more, such as drinks and snacks, when estimating your spending.

Don’t Do It All Yourself

If you generally say no when your guests offer to bring anything to a meal, now is the moment to change your tune. Inviting your friends to bring drinks, appetizers, or dessert is a great way to make your meal more reasonable and less expensive. You will be able to enjoy your family gathering without stressing about how much you are spending if the prices are maintained at a realistic level.

 

These tips should help you to keep costs down when you are hosting family or friends. Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Three Ways To Feed Your Family Healthier Food

Are you trying to eat healthy but having trouble getting your entire family on board? If that’s the case, you’re not alone.

Many hurdles might stand in the way of better behaviours, ranging from stress and hectic work schedules to budget limits and limited food availability.

Furthermore, family members might not always agree on what to eat.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

 

Parents who adhere to a specific diet may eat differently from the rest of the family. Meltdown prone toddlers may refuse to eat while crossing their arms in disgust at mealtimes. Teenagers may avoid family supper by stopping at the drive-through on their ride home.

It is feasible to get the entire family on board with healthy behaviours with a combination of thoughtful planning and a willingness to be flexible.

Here are some easy ways to make the family eat healthier: 

You Don’t Need To Be Perfect 

Despite what social media may well have you believe, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating healthier. This means that your meals don’t have to be costly, complicated, time-consuming, or photogenic. Instead, be realistic and do your best to assist your family in making healthy choices. Furthermore, by removing the pressure to have a flawless diet, you are more likely to find a healthy style of eating that works for your family. For example, a nice vegan pizza is bound to go down well. 

Don’t Have Off Limit Foods

While some foods are undoubtedly more nutritious than others, it is critical to cultivating a good relationship with food by avoiding words like “bad” or “off-limits.”

Furthermore, being overly restrictive might lead to stress and tension during mealtimes.

Don’t consider any meal off-limits. All meals, in moderation, can fit into a healthy lifestyle. Consider using the terminology ‘always foods’ and sometimes foods.’ Fruits and vegetables are usually a good snack option, while birthday cake is only served on special occasions.

Make Sure Meal Planning Is Simple

Meal planning is an excellent time-saving method because you just have to go food shopping once or twice a week. Choosing which recipes to create, on the other hand, might be difficult. While there is a time and place for testing out a beautiful new Pinterest recipe, it’s best to stick to simple meal ideas during the week.

One approach to speed up the process is to plan meals around what you already have on hand. Using what you have on hand not only saves you time and money, but it also decreases food waste.

Another suggestion is to make meal preparation a collaborative activity by having a sheet of paper or a whiteboard board in the kitchen to keep a running list of food ideas to which the entire family can participate. Tired of preparing the same dishes week after week? Revisit old cookbooks that may be collecting dust in the basement or attic and save recipes that you’d like to make as a family.

These three tips should help feed your family healthy meals easier. Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below. 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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4 Ways to Work Positively With Stubborn Parents

 

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There may come a time when your parents or parents need to change their current situation to make it easier for you and other family members to get to them in an emergency. This could come after the passing of an elderly relative or an injury. It could also be due to having a new child or recent retirement. Whatever the reason, it can sometimes be challenging to convince your parents that the change is necessary, especially if they have a reputation for stubbornness. A stubborn parent can make things more challenging than they need to be, which is why it’s so important to work positively with them. 

Know When to Pick Your Battles 

Picking your battles is important in any scenario. You don’t want to spend the mental energy arguing over something that, in the long run, won’t make a difference at all. Instead, you are better off considering which battles are more likely to push them towards the solution that’s best for them. If you know what arguments you can afford to lose, your stubborn parents may be more likely to accommodate other requests. When it comes to making significant changes, this could be a useful trump card to have in your pocket.  

Remain Calm 

More than anyone else, some parents just know how to push your buttons. They have seen what aggravates you for years, giving them the ammo they need to get under your skin and frustrate you to the point that you give up entirely. You mustn’t allow this to happen, and controlling your frustration (or at least not showing your frustration) can help you maintain a positive relationship with your elderly parents. If you stay calm during discussions, you can make your points more clearly, which can help you show parents what you mean. 

Ask for Their Opinion 

It’s always useful to ask your parents’ opinions on important issues, especially when it surrounds their health. Too many adult children will think they know what’s best, which can conjure the stubbornness that is so frustrating. If you can get your parents’ opinion on what they want to do or how they feel, it will be easier to find a conclusion that suits both of you. 

Get Backup 

However, even getting their opinion doesn’t always work. If you feel like you can’t handle the discussion yourself, backup is essential. This could be from a sibling, child, or other relatives, especially if your parents are more likely to listen to them. But, this may not be enough, either. In this case, professionals, such as doctors and nurses or an assisted living consultant, could be the solution as they bring a level of authority and respect that your parents may respond to when compared to you trying to make them change their lifestyle. 

Stubborn 

Even though your parents are stubborn, they may still understand where you are coming from as long as you take the right approach. They do not want you to force them to do anything, and it is better to make them feel they made this decision all by themselves. 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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How to Cook Nutritious Meals for Your Children During the Week

Cooking nutritious meals for your children during the week can be a daunting task. Between work and school, it can be hard to find the time to cook something that is both healthy and tasty. However, with a little bit of organization and planning, you can easily create nutritious meals that your whole family will enjoy! This blog post will discuss some tips and tricks for cooking delicious and nutritious meals during the week. 

Via Pexels

 

1) Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to ensure that you can cook nutritious meals during the week is to plan ahead. This means creating a grocery list and meal plan for the week and sticking to it! When you have a plan in place, you will be less likely to resort to unhealthy fast food options. 

Additionally, planning ahead can help save you money. By creating a grocery list and sticking to it, you will avoid buying unnecessary items at the store. Additionally, planning out your meals can help you use leftovers in creative ways, which will help reduce wastefulness. 

Finally, planning ahead can also make life easier on busy weeknights. By having a set menu for the week, you will know exactly what you need to cook and can avoid last-minute scrambling. 

2) Choose Healthy Ingredients

When creating nutritious meals for your children, it is essential to choose healthy ingredients. This means opting for whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats rather than processed foods. Additionally, you can add in lots of fruits and vegetables to boost the nutritional value of your child’s meal. 

Some good examples of healthy ingredients include:

– Whole grain pasta

– Lean protein such as grilled chicken or fish

– Fresh vegetables such as broccoli or kale

– Nutritious fats such as olive oil or avocado

By choosing healthy ingredients, you can be sure that your child is getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. 

An excellent example of a healthy and delicious meal is baked ziti with ricotta and meat sauce. This dish is packed with nutrients, and it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters! Click here to find the baked ziti recipe

3) Get the Kids Involved

One of the best ways to ensure that your child will enjoy their meal is to get them involved in the cooking process. This can be as simple as letting them help chop vegetables or stirring ingredients together. Not only will this make them feel important and included, but it will also give them a sense of ownership over their meal. 

In addition, getting the kids involved in the cooking process can teach them valuable skills and help instill a love of cooking at an early age. Who knows – they may even want to become a chef one day! 

A great way to get your kids involved in cooking is to let them help prepare their own lunch or dinner. Some easy recipes that kids can make themselves include:

– Grilled cheese sandwich

– Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

– Fruit salad

– Veggie sticks with hummus

By letting your kids help in the kitchen, you can ensure that they will enjoy their meal and get the nutrients they need. 

Cooking nutritious meals for your children during the week can be a daunting task, but it can be quickly done with a little bit of organization and planning! By choosing healthy ingredients and getting the kids involved in the cooking process, you can create delicious and nutritious meals that your whole family will love. 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Tips for a Successful Camping Trip with Your Family

 

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Going on a camping trip is a great way to explore the outdoors and spend more time with your family, not to mention the plethora of benefits your family can reap just by spending less time on screens and more time in nature. Camping can often feel like a chore, as you have to get yourself to the site, set up a tent, and make sure you pack everything you need. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated, or difficult, as long as you have sufficiently prepared in advance. If you can plan a trip and feel prepared, you will have an excellent time.

Camping can benefit the entire family. Being out in nature has been shown to boost your mental and physical wellbeing, and can significantly reduce boredom and screen time. It is a great way to take the family out of their usual environment and do something new and exciting. Camping can be done on any size budget, and there are endless possibilities. You can choose to go hiking, swimming and exploring the local area, or you can chill in your tents, cook food on the bbq and play games. It is an excellent way to bond with your family and spend quality time together, and that time will be much more personal and special as you are somewhere new, away from home. Camping is a great way to let kids run free, be themselves and worry less, especially if the school has been tough for them. Children need time to expend pent up energy, and camping is an ideal way to do that. 

To get the most out of your camping trip and reap the benefits, you should prepare as much as possible. Here are some tips to help you get started and have the best time away from your family.

Make a plan

Making a plan is especially important if you like to leave things to the last minute or if you are going away with children. While spontaneous trips can be fun, they also come with a lot of risks. By making a solid plan that you can stick to, you will minimize those risks and make the trip much more enjoyable for everyone, and give you much less to worry about. You should start by planning where you are going to go, how long for, how you are going to get there, the food and all the essential items you need to bring for the journey, as well as the trip itself. Depending on the type of trip you have planned, you may also wish to create an itinerary of activities that you have planned. This step takes a little time and effort, but when the time arrives to go away, you will be pleased you have it.

The next step on the plan is to acquire all of the essential items you may need (a tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, food, etc) and write down the dates you are going to purchase them. Put these in your diary and make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare. Your camping trip is a time for you to enjoy, so if you can prepare in advance when the day comes, you can head off with less stress and more excitement. You can then plan the day of leaving, and include what time you are going to leave, what route you are going to take, what you need in the car with you and what can go in the boot, and the instructions to access the campsite.

Choose the right campsite

You must consider all the activities you want to do on the trip before you choose a campsite. Each campsite will have different rules, and some will allow parties, games and loud playing, whereas some are more reserved and impose curfews. Make sure you choose the right one to suit your needs. Some campsites also have a range of activities onsite for children to get involved in, such as rounders, tennis, swimming pools, farm animal visits, and much more. 

You should also consider the amenities that are available on the campsite. Do you want to go wild camping, with no amenities, or would you prefer camping where you can shower, use a clean toilet, wash up your plates and utensils, etc?

Lastly, you want to make sure that if you are venturing out of the campsite to enjoy additional activities, they are accessible to you from your location. If they are too far away and you have to drive far to get there, it can completely take away from the experience and immersion of the trip. Try to find a campsite that is located close to your chosen activities, whether it is in the mountains ready to hike, or on the coastline so you can spend the day at the beach.

Unless it states otherwise, make sure you reserve a spot at your chosen campsite as early as possible, to avoid disappointment. This will mean that you can go ahead and make plans around the location. The last thing you want to do is make a plan, schedule appointments and get excited about a campsite, and leave the booking to last and not be able to get a spot. They will fill up extremely quickly, especially in the spring and summer.

Make sure you have all the essentials 

The essentials are important to a successful, safe and enjoyable camping trip. If you go camping unprepared, it can quickly become stressful and ruined. REI is a great place to get all your camping needs. Here is a list of some of the basic equipment any family needs when going on holiday to a campsite:

– a tent big enough for everyone to sleep in and store your items

– sleeping bags with the appropriate rating to match the season and weather 

– a camping bed, cot, mattress or something similar (the ground is uncomfortable)

– first aid kit (and one for pets too if you plan to bring them along with you)

– flashlights 

– spare batteries 

– cooking equipment (stove and fuel)

– places and utensils 

– food 

– water 

– sunscreen

– waterproof and warm gear 

– insect repellent

– cool box 

– medication 

– offline maps 

 

You should make sure you are familiar with the campsite and local area, to ensure you bring everything they recommend, and equipment that will enable you to access freshwater (such as a water carrier). You should also consider the seasons. If you are going in summer, you may consider a fly net to cover your tent and a portable AC. If you are going in Winter, you may consider bringing more waterproof clothing, spare clothes, and a tarp to put under your tent to protect it. 

Make sure you know how to use the equipment

If you have never put up a tent or cooked food on a bbq, or there has been a long period since you last went camping, it is a good idea to brush up on some basic camping skills before you head out. You can watch YouTube tutorials, speak to friends who have good camping knowledge, conduct a trial run in your garden or with your friends, or anything that will help you feel more prepared, both mentally and physically. It may seem easy, but you should not underestimate the time and effort it takes to put up a take, cook food on a small bbq or camping stove, and navigate the campsite, especially if the weather is not as you predicted. This will help you to worry less, and make the experience much more enjoyable for everyone on the trip. It will also ensure you can stay safe, sleep comfortably and eat well. 

Camping can be great fun for the whole family. Make sure you fully prepare yourself, so you can make the most of the trip.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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