Here’s a look at our groceries and meals we ate in January!
The first part of January is a bit of a blur and I didn’t cook much because our church family brought meals to us for over a week. Why? Because this happened:
We were blessed to welcome home a baby sibling to some of our current foster/adopted kids. This little guy is so sweet and gets at least 4,000 kisses every day.
January 2023 Groceries and Meals We Ate
With a newborn in the house, it didn’t work for me to make my normal monthly trip to Lincoln for a big grocery haul from Costco and Sam’s. So instead, I opted for two big pick-ups from Walmart. The first one was the largest I’ve ever ordered!
This order cost $750.
I got chicken, hamburger meat, ham, lunch meat, frozen hashbrowns, $150+ worth of fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, shredded cheese, cheese slices, sausage patties, salad kits for Elias and Malachi, cream, butter, sour cream, bread, buns, bagels, and chips.
I also splurged on some convenience items since Matt and I aren’t getting quite enough sleep at night right now. This has been well worth it so that when our hands are full we can have Malachi bake some pizzas or throw nuggets into the air fryer.
When I got home from the store that day, none of our big kids were available and Daddy was holding Baby, but all six of our other littles pitched in to bring in groceries and put food away. It was so cool to see them all so eager to help! Even our 1-year-old got in on the action. (I couldn’t get a good picture of all of them helping because they were all moving around and trying not to trip over bags!)
It took over an hour to put all the food away, but we sure were stocked up again!
Instead of putting away all the meat I had bought, I decided to make a few meals to try and get ahead for the next couple of weeks.
I put an entire package of chicken thighs into a big casserole dish and made Pizza Chicken (forgetting the cheese before placing the pepperoni, oops!). I put this into the fridge to bake that week. That made dinner so easy that night!
My 7-year-old helped me crack about 2 dozen eggs into baking dishes. I whipped them, then baked them in the oven for half an hour. I put cheese on top right away, which melted. Then I built 23 egg, cheese, and sausage breakfast sandwiches for our freezer. This has been awesome for early before-school breakfasts for five of our kids!
Meanwhile, instead of freezing the 5-pounds of ground beef I had brought home, I cooked it in a big pot. I packaged it up in separate containers, one for tacos later in the week, one for whatever I needed in the future (which I froze), then I added chili ingredients to the rest of the meat in the pot. We ate the Chili with grapes and strawberries for lunch after church the next day. SO EASY and nice to come home to a hot meal ready to eat.
A few nights later we baked our Pizza Chicken, which I served with broccoli, corn, strawberries, and oranges. While waiting for their plates to be fixed, six of our littles stood at the counter and finished off an entire 5-pound bag of oranges! I couldn’t keep up with slicing them! :)
One morning for breakfast, I toasted some bagels and served them with Warm Chocolate Soother. I forgot to take a picture until the kids had almost finished eating everything.
I spent a few minutes one morning slicing 3 pounds of cheese for easy snacks.
All month long our family passed around a lovely variety of illnesses. One night when Malachi finally had an appetite again, I made him a plate with warmed pumpkin muffins with melted butter, a sliced apple, and a peach cup. Best thing he ever tasted, so he said. :)
I invested in a handy gadget to make our own healthier and much less-expensive Uncrustables. My daughter-in-law, Eva, spent some time helping me make a bunch for the freezer so I can pull them out for kids’ lunchboxes.
She threw all the scraps into a pyrex dish and I used them to make Easy Bread Pudding. This was so great because nothing went to waste and then I had breakfast ready to bake the next morning!
Mid-month, our kids had two snow days home from school. We took advantage by making some extra fun foods. I had some pre-made pizza crusts in the freezer, so one day I let all the kids make their own mini-pizzas.
The next day we made these Snowflake Quesadillas.
When the four littlest were napping, I trudged outside and got a big bowl full of clean snow. We made Snow Ice Cream, which was sooooo much fun because Grandma was there to join us for a few days! The littles had never tried Snow Ice Cream, and they loved it. I made a bowl for Elias and Malachi also, which was extra fun because it reminded them of their childhood days. :)
Matt and I were blessed to have a night away at a church retreat (we took Baby with us) while Grandma and big brothers/sisters-in-law and a few others came to help hold down the fort. It took a lot of effort to prepare for our get-away so I was thankful for the bag of Chili in the freezer which I thawed and warmed for a meal the night before we left.
I also put in a second Walmart pickup order for the month so everyone would have easy food to eat while we were gone.
The retreat was wonderful and everyone back home had a great time with their caretakers. We brought home a huge bag of miniature candy bars (leftover from the snack table at the retreat), so I used them up one Sunday when we served a meal to young adults at church. Candy Bar Cheesecake anyone?
Prepping for the meal was made easier because one of our daughters-in-law has been coming once a week to help me. She helped me prep three huge cheesecakes on the Friday before the Sunday meal. So thankful!
Sunday meal and fellowship, a fantastic time!
I’ve been using my crock pot more since Baby came, and Spicy Ham and Potato Soup is one of my favorite easy meals to make in the morning. It cooks itself all day and is ready to eat at night.
I had picked up a 7.5-pound pork roast that had been marked down to $1.69/pound. So I put it in the crock pot to cook one day and then shredded it to pull out and use for these meals. Have you tried this yet: Make 5 Meals with 1 Pork Roast?? I love this inexpensive meal deal!
I had also found a great mark down on ground beef so I cooked it all and made a big batch of Sloppy Joes.
Maybe I’ll never pay full price for meat again?? It’s pretty great to find these deals!
Another markdown I found was these 1/2 pound burger patties. Even with the markdown, it still felt like a splurge to buy these. So I used them to make Hamburger Steak one night with mashed potatoes and veggies. It was a higher maintenance meal (with toddlers tugging on my legs) so by the time I had the meal completed, I didn’t remember to take pictures and I was reminded why I stick to Simple Meals right now. :) :) :)
On the last Saturday of the month, I made a huge pile of pancakes and scrambled a dozen and a half eggs. I don’t make pancakes much anymore so the kids (and the hubby) were thrilled!
The Uncrustables Eva had earlier in the month made were such a hit (and so nice to have in the freezer!) that I made twenty more at the end of the month.
Therefore I had a lot of crusts again and made another Easy Bread Pudding to bake on a Sunday morning for everyone to eat before church.
It was a great month with great eats!