My grandma M. told me about Angel Food Ministries awhile ago. She said you can order this food, it's pretty good, and it's cheap (and the milk comes from Gossener's in Logan, UT- a favorite of hers). There are no income limitations. It's a religious based organization, but it's not for any one religion. (On the back of one of their flyers in a faith based page. It has an article written by a pastor, some scripture on it, and a recipe for grilled Asian Chicken. It's not my religion, but that doesn't bother me a bit. If you don't like that type of thing, I guess you would either get over it or just not order.) Anyway, I looked it up on the Internet, and decided to try it out. They order once a month, and today was the pick-up day in my area. Here's what we got:
You need to bring your own box for the "Signature Box." The after school fruit and veggie snack pack came in it's own box. I took my laundry basket down with me.
This costs $16.00, and everything was fresh. I'm not sure if this is cost effective yet, as I haven't even begin to price out how much this would cost me at a regular store. I do know that it required little effort on my part, no driving around, no kids in the store with me... and no thought. It seems like enough for one or two kids for the week, depending on appetites. All the produce has been fresh- we tasted some oranges and apples with our lunch today.
This is the contents of the "Signature Box" for $30.00. I know this is a value because I didn't walk out of the store with tons of food I hadn't planned on. This is supposed to feed a family of four. We will test it out this week and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure we won't be able to stretch most of this for a family of 6, but maybe. Add some sides? Some filling bread? It included: 1 sweet potato pie (not pictured, already tasted and confirmed as yummy by a pie lover.), a microwave ready mac 'n beef dinner, four 6 ounce steaks, 3 pounds potatoes, 1 pound spaghetti noodles, 1 25 ounce can sauce, 1 pound ground beef, 1 pound fish sticks, 1 pound rice, 1 dozen eggs, 1 pound frozen green beans, chicken fajita meat, chicken fajita veggies, 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 18 ounces smoked sausage, and 1 quart shelf stable milk. All the frozen stuff was still frozen, and most everything was vacuum sealed.
I tried this out for a few reasons. One, I hate how much food we throw away. Wasted due to the kids not liking it, or because I had good intentions but the food went bad before I got to prepare it. I'm hoping the slightly smaller portions and pre-made menu will help stop that. Two, I didn't have to drive and hour and a half to the cheap grocery store. Three, it seemed like a good deal. And after picking the stuff up today, it is! It was so fast. We went to the grocery store afterwards for some bread and bananas and dairy, but I walked out with a lot less than I usually do.
I will prepare some of the food and report later on the taste. I'm curious about the prepared stuff.
Here is the website; it's a national program, and you can check to see if it's in your area.
I'm not alone in my struggles with the "What's for dinner? Ugh." thing. I hate thinking of menus that will please everyone, and I hate when so much goes to waste after the effort of making something. We are adopting a light snack in the afternoon policy. I have no oven, but I was thinking of going to my mom's huge kitchen for a baking day. I want to bake a bunch of unfrosted cupcakes to keep in the freezer, maybe some cookies (I haven't made cookies in a long time!), and some muffins. Muffins would be great for a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack. I'd like to make some biscuits or rolls, bake them and then freeze them, to help supplement our dinners. Has anyone ever frozen already baked rolls? Did they turn out okay after they were thawed? I have read differing views on the Internet. I need to be able to bake them before I freeze them. If you know, share with me what worked and what didn't! I'd really appreciate it.