Ready to see our November groceries and some of the meals we ate last month? Spoiler: We ate a turkey.
Early in the month, I had a huge stock-up day in Lincoln at Sam’s and Costco. Why not just one or the other? Here are reasons I love both. :)
I completely forgot to take a picture of my Sam’s groceries. :/ I got stocked up on grass-fed ground beef and a few other meat items, peanut butter, honey, chicken broth, tomato soup, mac and cheese, canned corn, cheese sticks, gogo squeeze applesauce, chips, brown sugar, ketchup, and cheese slices.
Later in the day at Costco, I loaded up on boneless chicken thighs, fresh fruits and veggies, frozen veggies, sour cream, shredded cheese, coffee, baked beans, beef hotdogs, ground turkey, granola bars, chocolate chips, frozen pizza, butter, half-and-half, and a variety of breads. And I remembered a picture this time!
When I got home to my dearest husband – who had held down the fort all day long without me (a huge feat with this many littles!!) – the babes were all in bed and the bigs were all out. So Matt took twenty-eleven trips back and forth from the van to bring in groceries while I worked to put everything away. Here’s just part of our haul:
I spent $957 on food that day. Oy!
$1,300 total for the month.
Meals We Ate in November
Here are some highlights from our kitchen last month!
I’d put in an Azure Standard order for a case of frozen hashbrowns. I didn’t realize I’d ordered the 30-pound box, and that all 30 pounds of hashbrowns would come in one enormous bag. Here’s what 30-pounds of frozen hashbrown potatoes looks like:
I spent time one morning dividing them all into gallon freezer bags. While I was at it, I put together several meals.
Hashbrown meal #1: Easy Breakfast Casserole. I made a great big one to put into the freezer and serve to company.
Hashbrown Meal #2: I made a big Ham and Cheesy Potato Casserole for the freezer. While I was at it, I made a tiny one to share with a friend who had surgery.
Hashbrown Meal #3: I made a big pot of Spicy Ham and Potato Soup to warm up and eat the next day after church. Then I put the rest of the potatoes into the freezer. :)
We celebrated Matt’s birthday early in the month, so of course, I made a Fruit Cobbler. This one had blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries in it because that’s what I had in the fridge and freezer. :)
For one of Matt’s special birthday meals, I made “Super Mama Waffles.” None of us can remember why our older boys started calling them that. :) Probably because they top them with fruit and whipped cream – so they are more than “just waffles??” Either way, I made sausage, bacon, fruit, and this waffle recipe x5 to have enough to feed our army. This is what we had left.
THEN, we had one more birthday meal for him with a few more of our kids joining. Apparently he likes breakfast for dinner! We had Biscuits and Gravy, cheesy eggs, sausage (for those who didn’t want sausage gravy), blackberries, blueberries, applesauce, and cuties. In case you’re curious, I think we went through 24 eggs for the 12 of us that night – I couldn’t keep up!
I had picked up several pounds of ground turkey at Costco in an effort to cut some costs since ground turkey is cheaper than ground beef. One morning, I cooked all of it and made it all into Sloppy Joe Meat. I froze the prepped meat in meal-sized portions for the freezer. Then for lunch that day, I made Sloppy Cornbread.
I’d never made this dish before for all of our littles, and I was glad that it went over so well!
One evening for company, I made a huge pan of pasta. I boiled two pounds of noodles, made a double batch of Alfredo Sauce, cut and cooked two pounds of chicken in olive oil with spices, then stirred it all together with a jar of spaghetti sauce. IT WAS SO GOOD.
I had bananas turning brown, so I made three loaves of Banana Bread one morning. It was all gone by that night. :)
A friend of mine reminded me of the joy of “Eggs in the Nest.” Somehow I’d forgotten about these! I started making them for my kids before they leave for school and they are loving it! (Side note: Our elementary kids have to leave the house for the bus stop at 7:01 so I let them sleep in as long as possible. This month I started waking them up just 5-minutes earlier than I had been so that they could get more good food in their bellies before they leave. This has been VERY good for them! And since we do the “get dressed the night before” trick, they still get enough rest.)
I had to be gone for three days when I went out of state for my Nana’s funeral. Before I left, I made a big pot of Chili for my family to eat while I was gone.
Here’s a simple meal I made on a cold day in November: Smoked Beef Sausages, peas, fruit, and this homemade bread. The bread baked while we ate the rest of our meal. Then we enjoyed “dessert” of fresh hot bread with butter and honey!
I’ve been experimenting with thermoses that I got from Costco to send a hot lunch with my elementary kids to school. I made a pan of Beanie Weanies one evening, warmed it up the next morning while the kids ate breakfast, then sent them on their way. The thermoses kept their food hot and they loved their lunch!
Another evening, I made a double batch of this Warm Chocolate Soother while I was making that night’s dinner. I let the soother cool, then refrigerated it. The next morning, I re-warmed it for my kids to drink for breakfast. It was perfect! They were warm and filled with nourishment as they headed to the bus stop!
Our little pre-school pumpkin thought it was a huge privilege to drink his Warm Chocolate Soother out of a “glass cup.” :) :) :)
Fun fact: If you make Warm Chocolate Soother for your kids but serve it with something else that is sweet, they may not like this delicious drink. The first time I served it to them, I had simply made some sausage links to eat alongside it. The next time I made it, I got out the cereal. The kids ate their cereal first (Cinnamon Chex) and then didn’t like the Soother. The third time around, I went back to serving a hearty protein with it and they liked it again. Phew, parenting is so easy.
One Saturday before Thanksgiving, I made Pumpkin Breadx4 (this recipe but without the chocolate chips), and I attempted to make a Cheesecake Swirl on top. The swirl didn’t really work, but it did taste good!
Shall we pause a moment to take a look at what my kitchen looks like on a regular basis:
Most days, I run my very full dishwasher three times, ha! It’s kind of nuts. And I kind of love it. My two two-year-olds think it’s great fun to help me unload the dishwasher (whether the dishes or clean or dirty, mmmhmm). But just think, in a few years I will have worked myself out of that job!
See that glass of Green Goodness up there in the picture? That’s what I sip (or chug, depending on how much time I have) each morning.
I decided to embarrass myself by showing you how full I stuff my blender while making these smoothies for the kids. Never try this at home, friends. Shoot, I hadn’t even added the milk yet.
It all works out ok though because while there is a lot of spinach in there, it blends down very quickly and doesn’t blow the lid off the top while it’s blending (as long as I stand there and hold the lid on with all my might).
Our eight, seven, and four-year-olds are becoming good helpers and they took multiple trips out to our van with Malachi (17) to bring everything in. Every time I go to the store I think, “Well, this should take care of us for a while!” And it does. For about a week. Then suddenly I need to shop again. How great that they are all becoming such good eaters!
When the van gets unloaded, everyone just drops the bags on the floor. This time, I was very impressed by how well Brayden and Bonus Girl (7) did with putting away groceries where they go. They might have been motivated to get the job done because I’d told them that if everyone worked together we could put the Christmas tree up that night. :)
The day before Thanksgiving, Kelsey (Justus’ wife) and I made Pumpkin Pies and a Chocolate Fudge Pie. Eva (Asa’s wife) was still in their home and she made a Pecan Pie to bring when they came. Meanwhile, we had a bunch of hungry kids who needed regular meals. For breakfast that morning I served Instant Oatmeal, Pumpkin Bread, and pears. I also made a huge batch of Mudballs for snacks.
Thanksgiving day was amazing, with 20 of us here. Justus smoked our turkey, which turned out amazing.
When we were cleaning up leftovers, we made a couple of plates to deliver to some sick friends.
The day after Thanksgiving, I made a huge batch of turkey broth like this. It turned out delicious! I used some that night to make turkey and potato soup.
I used four cups of the broth to make Stick of Butter Rice. Then I stirred it together with some leftover turkey and burrito fixins’ to make 24 burritos for the freezer. Our older boys ate a bunch while watching the World Cup one afternoon!
Our final “leftover turkey” meal was an experiment. I baked some potatoes, then smashed them along with sour cream, cheese, ranch dressing mix, turkey, and bacon. It was delicious!
I still have some broth that should give us three more meals also!
How was your November? Did you eat anything fun you want to tell us about?