About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Eat good meals during hard times

October 9, 2011
First off here, let me be clear.  You are in control of what your child eats. These little people have no money and no ability to go out and buy their food. What goes in their tummy is dependant on you.
Parents should be feeding their family nourishing food, the same food an adult eats. There is no excuse for junk food.  If you can afford the price of junk you can afford the price of nourshing food.  If you have limited funds for food then every bit should be spent on real food cooked in your home.  Not fast or processed food with empty calories and you can stretch the food dollar easier by cooking at home.
I am a Grandmother and one of the most shocking things recently is when I saw that parents are actually letting the children dictate to them what they want to eat and what they will eat. Parents are actually preparing different foods for each of the children. Now that is absolutely ridiculous. With the price of food why would anyone do this. Even if you have plenty of money, this very bad parenting.  People should have respect for the gifts we are given and not waste.  A parent should decide what they can afford, what is nourshing and what they are going to prepare for a meal.  They should prepare that meal, set it on the table and the family gather together, give thanks for that meal and eat together. A good parent knows what is best for their children.


Sadly, people think this would be good food. Where are the vegetables?  Where is portion control?  This is NOT healthy!
Advertising has targeted parents to buy "Kids Food".  Kids food can be the worse food you can feed your children and that should end right now. Most of the kids food is processed junk and can run up a grocery bill to the max. We have a couple of generations now that are literally living off of prepared and processed food. No wonder the food budget is hurting. I see the things people are buying loaded up in the Grocery buggies. 

Generations before us did not have junk food.  For snacks we ate cold biscuits. Homemade cookies for special occasions.  People came to the table hungry so there was not the grumbling that we have today.  People snack too much these days and our children do not need to develop these bad habits.
You can afford more food if you cook from scratch and eliminate all junk food.  Only eat nourshing food. What do I mean when I say nourishing food?  Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, meat. Foods should not come prepared.
Oatmeal only takes five minutes to cook. 
Cut up an apple, add a tablespoon of butter or small amount of lite olive oil and a tablespoon brown sugar, simmer this while the oatmeal is cooking and you have a delicious topping for the oatmeal. You can leave out the brown sugar and it is still good. If you need to stretch this apple further, cut it into smaller pieces.
Everyone has different food likes and dislikes.  Our tastebuds are different. You can adjust the food by knowing your childs sensitivities. Some foods may taste bitter to them but not to you, a pinch of sugar will take out a bitter taste from cooked greens.  If your child does not like spicy food then cook it mild and let those that like spice add hot sauce or whatever to the food after it is on their plate. My Grandson does not like mashed potatoes but he will eat cut up boiled potatoes. You have to boil them before mashing them so just take out some and mash the rest or just eat boiled potatoes.
Teach children how to cook when they are young.
Children need real chores, they need to stay busy instead of laying around. They feel better about themselves when they learn new skills.
There are many meals you can make if you keep basic food staples in the house.
You have to use your judgement if you have food allergies. 
These items I try and always keep on hand. All purpose flour, Bread flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, salt, pepper, season salt, coffee, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, oil ( I use olive oil but I know that is getting very expensive), yeast, vinegar, garlic, onions, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, pasta, dried beans, canned tomatoes, canned green beans, dried fruit such as raisins, applesauce cups, pineapple slices,canned pumpkin, honey, mayonnaise, chicken or vegetable broth, mustard, strawberry or blackberry jam, canned or fresh mushrooms and canned olives.  I keep certain spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, onion powder, garlic powder, vanilla and others that we use.
Other fresh and frozen foods to keep on hand for quick meals.  Carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, frozen brussels sprouts, beans and squash. We buy lettuce when you know we will have salad so it is fresh.
Bacon is the one meat that we splurge on and buy the expensive nitrate free because bacon can add so much flavor to so many meals. We do not eat it every day and no more than two pieces. We keep small amounts of frozen chicken, pork and fish in the freezer and eat meat only a few times a week.
These are the foods we can make with these staple items not including the frozen meat. Homemade white bread, raisin bread, pasta dishes, pizza, stir fry, soup, beans and rice, oatmeal, french toast, scrambled eggs.  Sandwiches, such as cucumber sandwich, pineapple sandwich, bacon lettuce and tomato, cheese sandwiches. Applesauce cake, egg custard pie, yellow cake, toaster pastries, pumpkin pie, fries, mashed potatoes, slaw, biscuits, corn bread and more.
If you keep these foods on hand you never need to buy prepared food. 
I also freeze and can vegetables that we grow.
Squash soup.  This is delicious even if you don't like squash and it is nourshing. When my husband and I ate this soup for the first time we felt we were dining in a five star restaurant.
If you work a busy job you can still make your own bread at night or on your day off because making bread is not hard, does not take as long as you may think and you can be doing many other chores while the bread is rising. I have step by step directions how to make bread.  Making bread truly is not difficult to do.  You can teach your children to make bread.  If you can afford a bread machine you can make it even easier and even program it to be ready when you come home.  I prefer to make it by hand. There is nothing better to make your home smell good and feel good.
On this website I have many recipes how to make meals from scratch. Making it from scratch not only tastes better, it costs less to make it yourself.  You can find recipes in my cooking from scratch section.
Our generations before us went through very tough times and we may do the same so we need to know what they did to survive those difficult times.
If you are reading this because you are having a very difficult time feeding your family due to money there are things you can do. There are many ways to stretch the food budget. 
There are immediate things you can do if you are struggling to feed yourself or your family. 
When you are trying to feed your family on limited money you have to take a realistic look at what you are buying.  You can still feed your family healthy meals and teach them the proper way to eat. Every meal and every snack should be eaten at the table.  If you are eating by  yourself you should set the table and eat at the table. Set a pretty table and use portion control for "Health”, not because you have limited funds.
A basket I keep our everyday cloth napkins
Let us go back to looking at what you are buying.  Never buy soda’s, chip’s, candy and sweet cereals, they are unhealthy and what you are trying to do is keep yourself and/or family fed "Healthy”.  The money you would spend to buy a bag of chips and soda can go towards a bag of potatoes or a head of lettuce or it can buy a whole 5 pound bag of flour, possibly two five pound bags of flour depending on which potato chips you buy. 
Paper towels are handy but not necessary.  You can use old rags and wash them.  What you spend on paper towels can go toward food. Choose food over other items such as toothpaste.  You can brush your teeth with baking soda and salt dissolved in water until you have money for toothpaste.
A long time ago I would make fried chicken but that takes oil, flour and makes a mess.  I realized that it is much healthier to boil chicken and there are many benefits other than healthy. It can help the budget.  I boil our chicken with water until it is tender and falling off the bone.  This leaves you with a whole pot of broth and you have used all of the chicken but the bones.  If you fry your chicken you have no broth. The broth can make anything taste good.  You can make chicken broth gravy, noodles with chicken broth, rice with chicken broth.
The photo above is soup made from leftover boiled chicken and some leftover carrots. I made homemade noodles which cost only a few cents to make.
Give up that two liter bottle of soda for a whole pan of homemade biscuits.  That is what you can do with the money you would have spent on that soda. Skip that soda and get a few sweet potatoes or a head of lettuce.  It is about choice.  If you buy chips and sodas you are teaching your children bad habits and it just goes on.
You can really stretch the food budget by slicing your food very thin.  I will show you how to make an entire meal with this method.  This is a Full meal for two so you can double this for 4 and so on.
1/2 medium turnip root
One medium sweet potato
1/4 off a head of cabbage
Two Pork fingers
I had some leftover rice I added but it was a full meal without the rice.
Food cooks fast when sliced thin.
One half a turnip was used in this meal, the remaining portion was put in the refrigerator.  Slice the turnip root in small wedges and saute it in oil.
Does not look like much food but ...
One medium size sweet potatoe washed peeled and sliced thin.
We sliced it thin and sauted it in the same skillet as the half turnip. We added a clove of chopped garlic during the last part of cooking the sweet potatoes.
This is placed in a corning ware casserole dish. Turnips and Sweet potatoes, still does not look like much food?
Slice up about 1/4 head of cabbage thin, this leaves you more meals off that one cabbage.
Saute the cabbage, dash oil and very small amount of water.  You are basically steaming the cabbage.
Adding cooked cabbage to the bowl with sweet potatoes and turnips.
Here is the rest of this very big meal.  A package of country style pork fingers.
I am cooking this meal for two people.  I use only two pork fingers, yes only two.
Slice each pork finger into small pieces.  It will help if you put them in the freezer for about a half hour first, this makes it easier to slice it thinly. I wrapped the other remaining pork fingers in two packages and it made two more meals. We leave off the meat entirely most days.
Season the meat and add fresh herbs if you like.
Saute the meat in a small amount of oil.  The meat will cook faster since it has been sliced thinly.
Now the two cooked pork fingers added to the bowl.
I had some leftover rice and added the rice to this meal because my husband had a long day at work and was very hungry. This meal was only 1/4 head of cabbage, one half turnip root, one sweet potato, two pork fingers and leftover rice. This picture is one plate, the other plate looked the same. This fed my husband and myself a hearty meal. When you slice food thin it really stretches the meal.  If you are feeding 4 people just double what I did here to get an idea.
Other Ideas
Chicken and rice can go a long way.  Cut up some fresh carrots and boil them as a side dish with the chicken and rice. 
We only eat meat about three times a week. We save money this way and there are other things we can buy with the money that we would have spent on meat.  Such as yogurt, dry beans etc.
I have a recipe for an easy way to cook dry beans.
French toast always makes a good quick breakfast. One of my Grandson's favorite meals. 
Just because money is short, a special touch can help to brighten a childs perspective. Cheese sandwich (cut with cookie cutter), one carrot stick and sliced apples. Mom can eat the outer part of the sandwich.
I hope this page has helped to give you some ideas how to stretch the family food budget.  I also highly suggest you check out Clara's youtube great depressing cooking. She has many video's of great depression cooking.  Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OPQqH3YlHA
More to come...............

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