Monday, May 16, 2011

Schools Out (almost) a few hints

As a kid I couldn't wait until summer.
As an adult, I dread it!  They are home, invading my nap time, and the general Yin and Yang of things.  One of the main things- they eat you out of the house.  Kids, given ample meandering time, will ingest the weight of a small human in snacks and crap they would never usually eat.  
There are a few things you can do to help.  Lock them up, lock the food up, or shop wisely.
I tend to start least resistant first...ie:  shop wisely.
I start shopping for summer stuff about 3 weeks before school is out...STOCKPILE and hide...this is my best advice...unless you are made of money and don't care and if that was the case you would have stopped reading all ready.
I do clip coupons from the Sunday paper.  Remember, get the inserts from friends if they don't use them.  if you have 3 of the same inserts, that is fine, because you will have extra coups.  One of my mottos with coupons though, is when it becomes too much work, forget it.
One of the big no-nos is DON'T BUY STUFF YOU WOULDN'T NORMALLY BUY.
If you don't usually drink Minute Maid, don't just buy it because you have a coupon.  Whatever you usually drink is probably cheaper.  Save the coupon until it is really on sale, then use it.  The coupons posted in the sunday paper will never get you the best deal that week, gotta save them for about 2.5 weeks.  You will figure it out.

I start buying snacks 3 weeks out....because man, kids can eat some snacks, and when they bring friends over...they eat more snacks than cookie monster.
Here's an example:
Today at KingSoopers.   I was shopping, and when I got to the the bakery section where they put out the day olds and the scratch and dents I found:
Raspberry filled crumpets marked down to 1.48 from 3.50 (bought em)
Quaker oats Brown Sugar Cereal  1.89 from 4.29 (bought 3 boxes)
Rice Krispies and cocao Krispies marked down to 1.89 and I had a coupon -1.00 for 2...(bought 2)
Artesian breads .89 (bought 2)
***with the rice krispies, my kids don't really like the plain, so I mix the box of plain with the cocoa and they eat it, and it works perfect!  I take everything out of boxes so they don't know what the hell they are getting.  :)
*** the crumpets: I put them 2 at a time into bags or freezer containers and freeze them,the same with muffins.  Then when the kids want them I take them out (the night before), or add them to a lunch, frozen, when they are going some where.  Perfect for Sleepovers...I can take the whole bunch out the night before.
I also buy the day old specialty bread and freeze it for when we cook out we can make grilled bruschetta.
But the definite key with this is don't buy anything over the price you would normally spend!
Today I also bought a bunch of things that were buy 10 get 5$ off.  It was stuff like pasta...bought bags of shells for pasta salad this summer.
granola bars....bought about 6 boxes for when they go riding or we go in the car.
(AGAIN)...I take stuff out of the boxes and put it into the cabinet and regulate how much I put out, because if you put 20 bars out...they will eat 20 bars.  I put 10 out then put the rest in the hidden pantry in the garage where it is NOT really hidden but they are too lazy to go out there to get it.
I make sure I always have things they can make easily alone.
We make bean and cheese burritos 10 at a time and freeze them.  They can run the microwave all alone so I don't have to worry.  These Bean and Cheese burritos are easy and for the cost of tortillas, beans, and cheeze you can get 10-12 for the price of 3 pre-made frozens.  Plus the kids can help ya put them together.
I buy Ramen.  Not healthy, but my kids love it.
Fruit...and when the fruit starts to go south, throw it in the freezer, then the kids can use it to make smoothies in the summer.  They can run the blender alone too.
Yogurt.  I buy the cases of 12...I freeze some, the kids like it semi frozen and it lasts longer.
Cake Mix...you can get the boxed stuff for .89 when its on sale.  I always have 3-4 boxes so I can make cupcakes.  easy!
Cream cheese, for the cupcake frosting...when it's on sale for .99 i buy 4-5 of them and freeze it.  Lasts forever and its perfect for frosting.  Not so good for spreading but any baking its great for after frozen.
Otter Pops..when they go on sale for 40 for 1.99 I buy 3-4 of them and they are a staple for summer kids.
we always have fresh fruit and veggies...
I cut up radishes, carrots, melon, etc and have them in separate containers in the fridge and the kids will eat those.
Remember, if they have to cut or prepare, they are less likely to eat it....so have it ready.
Variety is the key.
So good luck...
enjoy the summer.  





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