Here’s a look at our groceries and meals from the first part of May 2023 for our big family!
Everything feels a little bit EXTRA right now. We just finalized the adoption of our four girls. Elias and our daughter-in-law, Kelsey, just graduated from college. Malachi graduated from high school. And oh yeah, we’re moving.
I adore this recent photo of Malachi with our youngest babe. It is so significant that Malachi used to be the youngest and as of his graduation last weekend, we would have been empty nesters. But here he is now, the oldest of 8 at home (9 if you count our former foster son who is still very much a part of our lives). Malachi’s life has changed significantly during the past five years. We’re incredibly proud of how he has let God grow him through this.
Food has been abundant around here because we’ve hosted a lot of parties as we’ve celebrated such wonders! But then on non-party days, I’ve resorted to a lot of scrambled eggs in an effort to survive and put food into our bellies, ha. I’ll share more about our meals below, but first, let’s take a look at…
Groceries We Bought
Early in the month, I made a quick run to Walmart to get formula for Baby#11 and a few other WIC items for the little girls. The produce they allow is so very wonderful! While there, I checked for meat markdowns and found two packages of brats for just $1.92 each. How great it will be to feed our whole family meat for less than $4!
In preparation for our Adoption Party, I went to a local store to get hamburger meat that they had advertised to be on sale. BUT, I came home with much better deals!!! They didn’t have any of the advertised meat in the cooler, so I asked the manager if they had more in the back. He replied with, “I do have more, but if you want an even better deal I have a bunch of meat back there that we froze before it expired. I’ll give it all to you for half price.” YES PLEASE.
I ended up with 69 pounds of ground beef and four big packages of boneless chicken for $181!!
Now, I have to say that I wasn’t really planning to stock my freezer before our big move to Lincoln next month. But the prices were too good to pass up!
Costco and Sam’s
Two days before adoption and graduation, I took a day and went to Sam’s and Costco to get ready for two huge parties. For Malachi’s graduation, I splurged on several cases of a variety of individual drinks to serve. We packed them in ice and guests could choose what they wanted. It was a huge hit!
I picked up some of our normal groceries for our family’s needs, plus some convenience items to help us as we pack and get our house on the market. I got triple the produce I usually buy at one time as our menu for Malachi’s party included lots of fruit and veggie trays.
Not only was the back of our van packed on my way home, but the side was full too!
Now let’s look at what we did with all these groceries!
Meals We Ate
The last weekend in April we celebrated Elias and Justus’ wife, Kelsey’s college graduation. We came home and served a Sub Sandwich Station to 15 of us, but of course, I was too distracted with feeding everyone to take a picture!
That night, we hosted a huge reception that filled our living room, kitchen, and front yard.
I didn’t get many pictures, but here’s our “toppings table” as we had another table with a huge roaster full of baked potatoes plus a big bowl of tortilla chips. People could then fill a bowl with baked potato toppings or nacho toppings – however they wanted to enjoy their meal! We also had a lovely dessert made by Kelsey’s mom. :)
The day after graduation I used many of the leftover sub rolls to make 19 Breakfast Sandwiches for the freezer (and for breakfast that morning).
For lunch that day, I fried leftover baked potatoes with leftover nacho/taco meat and served it with steamed green beans.
The next day, Malachi had a soccer game an hour away. We knew it could be his very last high school game, so instead of lugging all the kids there and chasing them instead of watching, Matt and I invited three babysitters to come to our house and help us. We left all seven littles behind – what a gift to know they were well cared for – while Matt and I actually had time to visit on the road and then enjoy watching Malachi’s game! I made six pizzas before we left (some of them with more of the leftover taco meat from the graduation party). We took some to eat on the way to the game and left the rest for our kids and their sitters. :)
One morning I got a huge batch of Vanilla Extract started so we’d have some ready in time for the holidays.
I grilled Chicken Legs for dinner one night (there were a couple of extras joining us), following this Dump Sauce on Chicken method. <— This is such a great idea! Except for when you get the bright idea to finish off random sauce bottles from the door of your fridge and ONE OF THEM IS MANGO HABANERO. Meh, I figured the ranch dressing I added to the bag would cool the spice. I was wrong. Our chicken was super spicy and not kid friendly. We ate it all anyway, though, ha!
We ate our spicy chicken with fried potatoes (this finished off our graduation party potatoes), fresh pineapple, and roasted broccoli and carrots. Brayden’s head is featured in this photo – isn’t he cute?
The first Saturday of the month, we took all the kids to a park in town that was hosting a special free “play in the sand” event. Matt and I decided at the last minute to take a picnic lunch so that we could stay longer on the playground so I threw together everything I could grab quickly and we loaded everyone up.
The kids played hard and were super hungry. So they devoured turkey lunch meat, cheese sticks, bran muffins, peanuts, applesauce, veggie straws, and clementines. I was so thankful I had enough to-go foods on hand to throw a lunch together like that!
Before my big meat markdown purchase, I was in a “clean out the freezer” mode. There were a few homemade frozen Meatballs, so I thawed and baked them one night and made spaghetti to go with them. I grabbed out some leftover fresh pineapple and fresh spinach to serve with it.
I had some Hawaiian rolls left over from Easter that I’d frozen, plus I found some small steak burgers in the back of the freezer that I’d gotten marked down a couple of months ago at Sam’s. We smoked them one night and had Mini-Burgers on rolls with cheese, pickled green beans, and baked beans.
I had a package of bacon in the freezer, so I cut it into bacon bits. Then I made scrambled bacon cheesy eggs and smoothies.
One morning, I took the girls’ snack outside to their little table. Here’s Acacia and Josie enjoying blueberries and peanuts. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to finally be able to share their beautiful faces with you!
The day I went to Costco and Sam’s I also brought back a Rotisserie Chicken for our dinner. Matt pulled all the meat off the bone for us to eat while the rest of us unloaded all the groceries. I put fresh berries I had bought that day on the picnic table to go with the chicken and that was our simple but perfect meal for that night! To think, our entire family ate that meal for less than $10 and I didn’t have to cook! Using those $5 rotisserie chickens as fast food is fantastic!
May 12, this happened! You can read more about our four girls here. :) :)
After court, we headed to a park for a big party. Around 100 people were there to celebrate with us. It was incredible!
That week, I had pre-made 40 hamburgers so on the morning of adoption, I warmed them up along with 80 hotdogs and put them into a roaster to stay warm. A friend of mine picked it up for us on her way to the park and by the time we got there, everyone had set up a lovely spread of food!
With the burgers and dogs, we served veggies, grapes, watermelon, potato salad, chips, drinks, and desserts.
But the most important part of the day was the people who have been such a beautiful part of this journey with us!
We went home and rested for a while during the girls’ naptime. That night for dinner Matt scrambled eggs and I used leftover buns to make scrambled egg sandwiches. We set out the leftover grapes, some strawberries, and Matt made hashbrowns and sausage. All of our big kids were there, plus Matt’s dad from California. Everyone was fine with a simple, thrown-together meal. :)
The next day was Malachi’s graduation. This post explains how we have a homeschool graduation at our house. This was our fourth time to do this and we have come to love this tradition in which we gather ’round in our living room and each speak a blessing over our graduate. Justus had to miss this so here is a picture of the rest of us (during the girls’ naptime) while Malachi was FaceTiming Justus so that he could still be a part of the day.
For lunch that day, Malachi chose Lasagna, salad, corn, and fruit, plus cookies baked specially by a dear friend of ours. I had made the lasagna two weeks prior and put it into the freezer to make it easier to serve a big lunch during such a hectic weekend.
That evening we threw a huge graduation party along with some friends. Over 300 people came, shocking us all. It was incredible!!! What a gift to see so many people come in support of our children!
We served Chicken Strips with a variety of sauces, chips, veggies, fruit, and a variety of drinks. Elias was the rock star who kept baking the chicken and dumping it into the warm roaster to serve. Most of the food was gone by the end of the night. It was amazing!
The next day was Mother’s Day and I was pretty tired. :) I set out easy breakfast food for everyone, we had leftover lasagna for lunch, then Matt made dinner (which I forgot to get a picture of!). Best of all: that afternoon I took a nap! :)
I was able to capture this sweet moment between Grandpa Coppinger and Acacia during one of our meals during his visit. What a gift it is that he came to celebrate adoption and graduation days with us!
On to something new!
These “groceries I bought and food we ate” posts are super popular and fun to share! So instead of working on it all month long and posting one huge post, I’m going to try posting each week to share what our food looked like the week before. Sound good? We’ll see how it goes! Watch for our first Weekly Food Update coming up in a week or so. :)