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Old 10-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

First talk to the wife about the meal plans, 'playing it by ear' doesn't work--except to end up out to dinner every night. I would suggest a routine of taking turns cooking the meals.

For the bbq chicken the oven would be the easiest and fastest. Put the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper or some seasoning that you like. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Take out of over and drain some of liquid it there is a lot. Next pour the bbq sauce over and turn to coat. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so, uncovered, and it will glaze the sauce.

For the lentil soup saute in a large pan 2-3 large carrots, a large onion, and 4-5 stalks of celery all chopped, for about 10 minutes. You want to soften, not brown them. Add 2 bags of rinsed lentils and the amount of water it says on the the bag. Put in pepper and about 2 t salt and a bay leaf. You can also add some chicken better than bullion or broth for some of the water. The lentils will take about 1 hour to cook. You can add some spinach at the end if you want. Also it is nice to mash a bit of the cooked lentils as it will give the soup a nice texture.

Somethings you can add for more flavor to the soup are: garlic powder, a little ginger, a couple T of tomato paste.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:24 AM   #12
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

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Originally Posted by RainandRedemption View Post
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.
I found that my boys preferred taco chili better than regular chili (they now will eat both). I serve it with sour cream and shredded cheddar. I usually make cheese quesadillas as well and my boys love to use "big dipper" fritos to eat the chili. It works great in the crock pot for when you have company and don't want to excuse yourself for an hour to prepare dinner.
I also make my spaghetti sauce in the crock pot- I add frozen uncooked homemade meatballs. Then all I have to do is boil noodles, prepare a salad, and make garlic bread.

Another idea for lunch is tomato soup and grilled cheese.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Re: How to save money while friends are in town?

If their kids won't eat what you make for dinner, I would keep some pbj stuff on hand. While I make my kids eat whatever I make for dinner, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to make other people's kids do the same. But I also don't think you should have to plan a whole other meal for them. So they can choose to eat whatever you have planned, or a pbj.
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