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Old 10-05-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
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How to save money while friends are in town?

We have friends coming to visit, they'll be here tomorrow and they're staying for a week. It's a family of 4 with a dog (I assume they'll bring their own dog food). But I'm worried about food while they're here. We just bought a car and are having repairs done on it which = us needing to really be careful with our spending. BUT dh and I both are the type to want to have more than enough when people are at our house. Also, neither of us really know how to cook. I mean I can make a good stir fry... salad.... and a good buffet breakfast... and some baked goods. But other than that I really don't know how to cook ):

I have a Sams membership so I might run out there for some pita chips/ hummus/ veggies/ bread/ etc. I can handle the "for the most part healthy" snacks, but on meals I'm completely lost.

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Old 10-05-2012, 07:15 AM   #2
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Tacos, spaghetti, and chili are great, cheap, and feed a crowd!

We use ground turkey because it's now cheaper here than ground beef and we add rinsed canned black beans to the taco meat to stretch it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

What do you normally feed your family for meals?
I would do something like cereal/milk/toast for breakfasts, sandwiches/salads/mac n cheese for lunches and then spaghetti, tacos, chili, egg bake, pizza, etc for suppers.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Well normally I'm trying to make everything as healthy as possible. So for bread, we've been buying the ezekiel bread which is $4 a loaf. For spaghetti I buy rice noodles. For tacos I get ezekiel tortillas. etc.

I think about ingredients a lot.. and for cooking I usually botch anything with meat and my family doesn't end up eating it I used to make chili and spaghetti a lot but my family got tired of it and most went bad.

I'm in a rut this morning, sorry if I'm seeming all detatched.

Tacos, pizza, spaghetti. Definitely planning on those. Not sure if the kids will eat chili. That's another thing too. If their boys don't like the food they won't make them eat it. So I'm worried I'll make things they don't like and a bunch will get wasted.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Do you normally eat out at restaurants and do take-out? If so and I was visiting, I'd not expect you to pay my way for restaurant and take-out meals. If I was visiting and my hosts ate out most meals and I didn't want to, I'd probably ask if I could cook in their kitchen.

We stay with relatives every summer for 8 days. She does most of the meal planning and I help with the cooking and pick up a grocery trip. But, they don't often eat out normally and either do we, so it works for all of us.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Are they going to contribute to groceries? I am the type who like to have tons for everyone when anyone is in my house. Can you make some batches of things like muffins to snack on and so forth?
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

We almost never eat out. I'm hoping they won't want to because we can't afford it. I HOPE they will contribute to groceries. FIL comes and almost never contributes. (And he eats a lot. Makes it a very stressful week for me.) Which may be the reason I'm so worried about food cost.
I thought we had eggs and was going to make some banana bread and cookies today but turns out we only had 4 cracked eggs divided into 2 cartoons. sigh.

But I was hoping to have ready; a platter of veggies and cheese in the fridge, salad, hummus, fruit salad, banana bread, cookies, chips and whatnot to snack on. Was going to have lunch meat and bread for sandwiches but they are eating that on the way here so they probably won't want that. DH and the dh friend talked about food and they decide to "play it by ear". So, not sure exactly what that means but it takes the pressure off a little. Unlike the other guests we've had I don't think they're expecting us to just figure every meal out and prepare with no help.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:20 AM   #8
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Dinners;

Tacos/ grilled cheese for the kids, veggies or salad
Spaghetti, cheese bread, veggies or salad
Pizza (papa murphys $5 ones yuum)

Lunch;,

IDK yet

Breakfast;

toast
pancakes
eggs
fruit
bagels
banana bread
oatmeal

Snacks;

pretzels
popcorn
veggies
cheese/crackers
hummus
pita chips
fruit
cookies
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #9
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

BBQ Chicken and veggies and a side (mashed potatoes? rice or a wild rice blend?) is fairly easy and cheap if you use thighs/leg quarters. Soup is an easy one too - there are SO MANY kinds of soup out there that I bet you could find one all the kids would eat. Baked potatoes can be a cheap dinner too, and you could do a fun toppings bar with that for the kids and adults.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #10
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

Great ideas! I have been wanting to make lentil soup for a while, I know the kids would all like that, but idk hwo to make it! BBQ chicken would be great I think everyone would like that.... wonder if I can do that in a crockpot? DH is not the best with the grill!
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