Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stop The Madness

The kids were off school this week for Spring break. I thought it would be a good time to end the experiment. We had a quick family home evening about it and all went shopping. The amazing thing is we didn't go crazy and buy up the whole store. We focused on fresh fruit, bread, and dairy products (I missed my yogurt). I told the kids they could pick one box of cereal and one junk food treat each. I'm glad we tried the experiment though because it saved us a lot of money, helped us see our food storage flaws, and gave me a chance to empty out and defrost the chest freezer. Now I'm determined to make menus two weeks at a time, plan ahead, buy in bulk more and keep using the food storage I have on a regular base.
One of my favorite things was experimenting with different bread reciepes. I have to give the credit to Pioneer Women cooks - dinner rolls. What a great and easy (and egg free) reciepe. I even did it with powered milk and could not tell the difference.
I plan on going to the Sams club next week and restocking the chest freezer with practical things and not just eggo waffels.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Half Way Point

We are about half way through the experiment so I thought I'd do an update. Obviously we ran out of fresh fruit and veggies first. Most of the quick food is gone, pop tarts, fruit snacks, cookies and crackers.
Good things I've noticed thus far are that the kids don't seem to notice or care. When they ask where are the pop tarts I say they are gone and they find something different to eat. I've also been baking more, making little muffins and treats for the kids for after school snacks. They are excited to have something homemade and different to eat and I enjoy the cooking. I think we are actually eating healthier. There is no junk food in the house so if we are hungry we have to make something so we are usually to lazy and end up skipping the snack because we really weren't hungry in the first place just bored or passing through the kitchen.

Bad things - cooking takes time. I have the food and the recipes to make the dinner but after a busy day sometimes I just don't want to. For example yesterday I made a Taco pocket. Basically you make your own bread dough, roll it out, fill it with taco meat, beans and cheese, fold the dough over to make a seal and cook it. It is really good but I have to start at 3pm to have it done by 5:30. Packing lunches is getting harder too. The bags of chips and all the other individual snack things are all gone so I have to take more time to pack the lunches. I miss the variety of things in the house. Because I used to shop once a week we always had something new to eat. Now nothing changes, its the same snack food day after day.

Confessions - We spent the weekend at my husbands families house and I really liked having something else to eat. They had ice cream and different cereals, it was pretty exciting. The Sunday before that we had dinner at my moms house. Also yesterday I went shopping and bought milk, apples, bananas, and grapes. It made me a little sad to see how excited the kids got over apples. Ethan actually asked for an apple for breakfast. But on the good side I hope it helps them appreciate it.

I found out the you can exchange 1/4 cup applesauce and 1tsp baking soda for one egg in muffins, cakes and cookie. I haven't tried it get but I plan to. I also did a little research on fresh vs. frozen for veggies and the nutritional value. Frozen actually is better in some cases. Fresh loose the nutrition quickly over a week or more but frozen is frozen at the time of peak freshness to maintain the nutritional value. I need to do more research. Over all it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would. I'll keep you posted. I

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Experiment

The Aries family is trying an experiment this month. It is to live off only our food storage supply for one month. I got this idea from my mother-in-law a while back and had been wanting to try it but had always been to chicken. Well I plucked up my courage this month and on Monday, March the 2ND presented the idea to the family for our Family Home Evening that night. Here are the ground rules that we set for ourselves.

1. Starting today mommy would not going shopping anymore for the remaindered of the month. The one and only thing we will buy is milk but it is for drinking only (for the health of the children) and all baking or cooking will use powdered or canned milk.
2. We will only use the food that we currently have in the house including things in the cupboard, fridge, and chest freezer. No pizza delivery.
3. We will not waste food.
4. The same rules apply for the non food idea like shampoo, toothpaste etc.

When we presented the idea to the kids Joshua said with big eyes "You mean we can't eat anything for a whole month?" Once we explained the rules again the kids were actually excited about the idea. Everyday they come home and ask me, "Did you going shopping today mom because remember the experiment." Joshua said he was going to make a sign for the garage that said "Don't go anywhere!"
Sarah came up with the idea to print up a blank calendar so that when we do run out of something we can write it down on the day. This way we can keep track of what we ran out of first. I've always felt that we have a pretty good food storage so it will be interesting to see how it really holds up. We hope that this will help us see any big holes or mistake in our food storage and also be more grateful for what we have. Kids are notorious for wasting food such as making a huge bowl of cereal then dumping half in the bin when they are full. I explained to the kids that if they waste food then I won't buy a new box cereal. One of the urges I had to resist was running to the Sams Club and stocking up right before we started the experiment. But I thought that would be cheating. I shop about once a week anyway so I had a normal supply of groceries in the house. This week has not been bad because of the fresh thing that I did have on hand but I think next week it will be tougher.
Every Monday night we thought we'd sit down as a family and talk about what we ran out of, did we miss not having it or was it "no big deal". I'm also planning on doing more baking this month. I rely heavy on the quick prepacked foods which are disappearing quickly. I'll have to dust off my old recipe books and really get creative.
So if anyone has any great recipes or ideas I'm all ears. Specifically egg ideas. Has any one tried powdered eggs or is there anything you can substitute in the place of eggs when making cakes, breads, etc.????