Many of you might relate to the life of trying to feed a house with kids and yet the budget is like itty, bitty tiny. Am I right? The worst thing is also trying to keep our family lifestyle as healthy as we possibly can.
Now, before I go into what I’m about to share – let me say that I’m all for healthy eating, BUT I’m also for kids having the opportunity to enjoy yummy things when they can in moderation. I bet 8 out of 10 of you remember at least one home, growing up that had something yummy, always on offer. Like home made biscuits in a biscuit tin, nice fruit in a basket that just never emptied, chips in the chips cupboard or whatever you thought was yummy.
Anyway, I really want that for my kids as well, and I want my home to be that home. I’m slowly getting there – but with the kind of schedule that we have and also the budget, I can’t be an idiot and go and buy weekly supplies of stuff to make these little treats. So, here’s how I get around that dilemma and at the same time – I don’t feel guilty having so many items in my house.
So, with my small but adequate budget (considering the less fortunate than we are), I like to bulk buy as many things as I can so that I do not have to think about them for at least another month but also be able to make a lot of what we like without breaking the bank.
There are things that consistently run out in our home – apples are one of them. I also have found that buying cans of Braai relish continues to waste my money and time running up and down to the store, when I can just make a massive batch and freeze it to have on hand whenever.
So, with all of this in mind – I have discovered the wonderful world of the Epping Market. (In Cape Town) now I’m not hard core, in that I don’t go there at 4am to grab the freshest and best. I’m happy with what I get from the vendors outside on any given day. Many may disagree with me and say “I prefer my Woolies fruit because it stays fresh for longer”.
Yes that’s all well and good – but when food gets consumed as fast as it does in our home, the ‘fresh’ argument doesn’t fly for me.
So, here’s a pic of what I was able to get with R340. Some may say that’s a lot, some may say it’s nothing. But it works for us. Each small box is 10kg each and the box on the right is full of Bananas.
So, like I said – I don’t get the cream of the crop so that means there’s going to be some of the fruit or veg that’s going to be unappetizing to my kiddy crew. What do I do? I bake and simmer up a storm.
Before reading on, please note that I’m not doing this every week – ain’t nobody got time for that! I’m not superhuman!
I do this every 1 and a half months.
I set aside one day or two evenings where I just bulk bake and cook.
So with the ripe bananas that I got this time – I hammered out about 140 banana muffins (banana bread in muffin trays) and wrapped them individually and sorted and froze them. Yum. (The kids can pull one out a day and microwave them for 30secs and voila! Banana bread muffin treat.)
I only use half the box for this – the other half, my lovely daughter slices and put into containers to be frozen for smoothies (when frozen then blended up – shoo! Guys the best ice cream ever. I’ve even added some cocoa to it – no sugar at all and it’s AMAZING!!!!)
That’s my bananas, done.
Then my box of tomatoes and onions get blanched, and blended with some onions and I simmer them on the stove in by pots (while I’m baking) and my relish is formed. I add herbs and tasty things as well which forms the base for so many of my meals.
I let it cool, and then ladle it into freezer bags that I line up in my freezer (lying flat to save space) and every time I need one – I pull it out in the morning and then make my food as needed.
Now, this time I thought my troops would plough through the fruit but they didn’t do it fast enough so my peaches and nectarines started to brown and bruise. That’s when I decided, for the very first time to google jam.
I peeled, chopped and placed on the stove and guys!!! I now have two jars of amazing jam that isn’t slammed with buckets of sugar – but is according to the at I like it and it’s MINE!! My kids turned their noses up to it – but my morning toast will never be the same again! Yum!
Anyway, I’ve pretty much dished about my little McGuyver move to make yummy things in my home on a tiny budget. There are other things that I make once in a while – but these have become my staple items.
I hope this has given you some ideas and made you want to make something yummy in your home. Christmas is coming up, so we might just dive into mince pies like a beast – I’ll see.
Please share any yummy things that you remember having as a kid – it might motivate me to make it and store it…… hmmmmmm.