As a mother of a lot of children, I often get asked this question a lot.  How do you feed all of them?  I have learned through the years to cook on a frugal budget and use what I have in the pantry.  I can get real creative.  The first step in cooking for a large family or just a lot of people, in general, is to have some bare bones plan. I cannot always have a menu planned for the week because life happens.  Our breakfast is easier now because I am not feeding babies.  When I did have babies and toddlers I would have 3 types of breakfast I rotated weekly.  Now each child gets their own breakfast, even the 6 year old.  I have the same concept of 3 things they can choose from. Lunches were either leftovers or a sandwich with chips and fruit. Lastly, when it comes to dinners I have a fixed menu.  All my dinners have a meat or type of protein, veggies, starch, drink, and sometimes dessert.  This could be a casserole or each individual item.  I have to add that there have been seasons where I had a fixed meal for each day of the week and I did that for one month at a time.  For example, I would have spaghetti every Monday and chicken enchiladas every Tuesday etc.  for the entire month.  This was out of necessity because of finances or just a very busy season in our life.

I have to say that I do not make all my meals from scratch.  I use instant potatoes often if I am pressed for time.  I also use cake and brownie mixes from the box:)  At one time when all 11 children were home all day I was feeding 33 people a day.  That is 11 children multiplied by 3 meals per day that is 33 people per day.  For the week I would have had made 21 meals.

These are the steps:

  1. Bare Bones plan, one that fits your family style.
  2. Make preparations the night before.   I know I am having a protein so I take the meat from the freezer or make sure I have enough in the fridge.
  3. Scan your veggies in freezer or fridge.
  4. If I am following a recipe I will have it printed if I do not have it on the top of my head.
  5. Start dinner first thing in the morning.  This is especially good if you work outside the home or if you will be away from home a large part of the day.  Using the crockpot is great for this!
  6. Finish the dinner.  I either steam veggies or put into a pan from the can and throw a salad together or cut fruit into pieces and put on a plate.  Serve a beverage in a pitcher.

Voila!  You have a dinner and the family is well fed.dan-gold-105699