Saturday, July 4, 2015

Making Holiday Meal special but Affordable

We all have our favorite holiday meals.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving are universal musts.
But what about other holidays? Birthdays? Special days?
Some meals we aren't willing to compromise cost over not having our special meals. Most of that has to do with our memories. Creating memories can be just as important and it doesn't have to be expensive memories.
What made me start thinking about this is the 4th of July. Today in fact. It has been my tradition to make homemade ice cream. This year when we started being serious about keeping to a budget and I realized I had agreed to keep to $80 grocery budget for the month and that had to include my homemade ice cream supplies and grilling for the 4th. It was hard to accept. We already had some hot dogs and Turkey patties in the freezer. I reserved those for grilling on the 4th. (With the cost of low-fat beef burger patties, turkey patties are a great alternative for saving money). I made sure I bought buns and cheese for the burgers. But there was the matter of the ice cream. How was I going to make homemade ice cream on a budget.
Then I saw this video from Buzzfeed. Around the time the video came out I had 2 friends say they tried it that night and their ice cream turned out awesome. So I thought this 2 ingredient ice cream was the answer to still keeping tradition. Not my normal recipes but sometimes you have to change it up to still keep what is important to you.
1 pint of Heavy Cream and 1 can of Sweet Condensed Milk
So I added about $1.50 for a pint of Heavy Cream to keep a tradition.*
What about other special days?
ideas- consider breakfast as a special meal.
Breakfasts are a cheap, nutritious, and there are so many options that are probably not apart of your regular breakfast rotation.

suggested breakfasts:
Eggs Benedict (if you have difficulty with the sauce, I recommend the Korrs brand sauce mix)
homemade muffins
waffles (to make them extra special use fruit as toppers)
Rice Pudding (can be made in the crock pot and makes a great Christmas morning breakfast)
Bread Pudding
Scones/fry bread/donuts
Hot cocoa with toast
German Pancakes
cinnamon rolls
biscuits and gravy
Breakfast Pizza
Apple cobbler

What are some of your families' favorite special breakfasts?

For Father's Day we made my husband a massive omelet. Twice a year (first weekend) in Oct and April are the General Conference of the LDS church. I made Eggs Benedict those mornings. Our ward (local church congregation) has a huge pancake breakfast on the 4th of July. We have Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast most Sunday mornings. Create some of your own traditions. It doesn't have to be one of the big holidays, and it doesn't have to hurt your wallet.

Don't forget that breakfast food can be used to make special meals for non-breakfast meals too. Breakfast food isn't just for breakfast.

What are some of your families' favorite tradition foods and how do you keep them affordable?

*Follow up story for the 4th of July: when my in-laws learned that the amount of ice cream this year was going to be decreased, they offered to buy the cream if I would make full batches. We took them up on the offer, after all who doesn't love lots of ice cream. That can be another tip. If the budget isn't going to allow for your favorite dishes, if others participate in the joy ask if they wouldn't mind adding to the pot. I did still make the Buzzfeed video recipe and it turned out really good.

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