Now that Valentine’s Day has passed (and I’ve thrown away my girls’ stash of classroom candy exchanges, minus the few lollipops they enjoyed) we are coming upon St. Patrick’s Day and right around the corner is…EASTER.
As one might assume, Easter is not an edible celebration in our house. My husband and I have always treated this holiday as a welcoming of Spring. I always say our backyard is the reason we bought our house, where a previous owner erected an above ground pool, we have a great big circle of sand/dirt, which makes for hours of dirty play and fire pits. Two things we enjoy together as a family. Keeping that in mind, on Easter morning, our daughters awaken to a reload of shiny new outdoor toys including buckets, shovels, pinwheels, seeds, nets and we’ll probably include bike helmets this year since their big heads keep getting bigger.
The first year we celebrated, my husband and I were sitting around our sand pit while the girls took naps. We discussed the impending holiday and decided to take turns running down to the local Dollar Store, spend $6 each, pick out 3 things for each kid, than surprise each other with the items once we were done shopping. It was fun for us, and them, and has become a tradition for all of us!
Holiday doesn’t mean sugar rush or wheat feast for me. It means family, celebration, special memories. It means tradition. You have the power to create any type of tradition you choose. Memories will mean more than a chocolate bunny to your children when they become adults. Sure, I look forward to nibbling around the food table at my sister’s house on holidays, but you can guarantee it’s loaded with fruits and veggies and some kind of delicious meat, deviled eggs, olives, and whatever treat we add to the spread. There are usually a few things that spark my non-paleo interest, but with all the yummy(ier) options, it’s become no big deal.
The past few weeks have been hectic as I am knee-deep in a new career. After being in school all day for 12 months my routine of leftover lunches has now become leftover dinners because I typically work in the evenings. My family is left to fend for themselves (with the help of my menu planning and preparation, mind you) while I work 3-5 evenings each week. My house hasn’t been this organized in a year and we’ve been checking off the Pinterest ‘to do‘ list at lightning speed. Life is good. My weekly shopping trip, however, has been chopped into spurts.
I don’t mind shopping in spurts, but I received a lot of positive feedback on the weekly menu & receipt posts so my intention has been to continue doing a weekly $100 grocery trip and meal plan (you know, to keep myself busy) so, HERE I AM.
I put a few things back this week, like a 2nd box of k-cups ($5.99), in order to afford a few treats. I also decided against the organic butter (4.29) because we have some butter in the house and my sister recently picked us up 2 jars of Trader Joes Coconut Oil, which I have been using more of recently.
- Budget: $100
- Meal Plan: 1 week
- Final purchase: $92.61
Eating As A Family on a Tight Budget
During my hiatus, I will note, we were not living it up, it was quite the contrary as a matter of fact. My girlfriend, Jodi, recently asked “Without pasta or a starchy filler is it difficult to stretch (a dollar)?” and my immediate answer was “no”. We maintain our eating habits, as much as possible because we are committed to health. It’s almost better for us to spend our money elsewhere 😉 We (/I) are nowhere near perfect. Paleo is the goal and we live as close to it as we can. Sometimes, we don’t want to. 🙂
1. Snack less; It is a privilege, not a right
2. Pack meals with protein – no counting calories or controlling portions (within reason). EAT.
3. Cook with coconut oil instead of butter – it adds more fat to our lessened amount of food. Fat = energy and we all need energy to keep our brains and bodies working well.
4. Use more eggs – added protein and fat for a good price
5. Drink (even more) water.
6. GET BUSY and/or NAP – our bodies work best in these conditions
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To view more $100/week budget Menu & Receipt posts click below.
I’m a mom so it’s imperative I have a decent cookie recipe in my repertoire. I’m not certain baked goods are actually Paleo, but there are recipes to try, and enjoy. Everything in moderation!
The following recipe was originally for a primal chocolate chip cookie but I took the base of this recipe and have used it for all the cookies and muffins I’ve made, until recently. The result is always delicious and I don’t feel guilty about indulging my sweet tooth or allowing the girls to have more than one.
Cookie / Muffin Recipe
- 3 cups Almond Flour (local grocery “giant” carries it in their healthy foods section)
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
- ORIGINAL recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups ENJOY Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use a whole bag); BANANA NUT I like to add 3 ripe bananas and a generous handful or two of chopped walnuts, you can add chocolate chips, too. You can also use dark chocolate chips instead of ENJOY.
- Pre-heat oven to 375
- Combine dry ingredients in one bowl
- In a smaller bowl beat eggs, maple syrup and vanilla (this is when you’d add your mashed bananas)
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix
- Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, mix
- Add chocolate chips, walnuts or other additions – get creative!
- Grease pan or use cupcake liners – your preference
- Original cookie bakes for about 15 mins or until the cookie is golden and cake like. When banana is added, cook time goes up, I check every 5 minutes. Banana muffins become nice and brown when finished.
I’ve made this recipe a number of times as chocolate chip cookies, mini chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip – banana nut (or no nut) muffins. Try heating them up for 10 seconds in the microwave and you’ll find heaven.
That recipe had me fully satisfied for over 9 months until I saw a link to PaleoParents’ Dark Chocolate Banana Bites this week. I just happen to have a few soft bananas in the house in hopes of making “something banana”. KISMET. They are moist, satisfying and delicious. It’s an amazing fix for a chocolate craving and you can eat them for breakfast.
I made a few changes to Paleo Parent’s recipe only because it’s what I had on hand and I love banana: 3 bananas, dark cocoa powder, ENJOY chocolate chips. It also took longer to cook, check every 5 minutes because I can’t remember but that’s what I did and they were perfect.