Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fun and Easy Summer Lunch

When I was a little girl, on occasion my parents would surprise my sister and I with an easy going quick and fun family meal. On a few occasions, we had mini sandwiches made from tiny pumpernickel and rye breads, we enjoyed mini grilled cheese sandwiches, fresh cut vegetables as a side dish and even a banana split "dinner!"

In our home, we enjoy making children friendly meals and special treats. A family favorite tradition on New Year's Eve, is to put together meat and cheese trays with sauce accompaniments, crackers, mini desserts and sparkling cider.

A few years ago Denny was making dinner for the family while I attended a Girl Scout Meeting for Leaders. He decided to change the menu around and made the children a fun meal!

He made a Family Size Homemade "Lunchable." He sliced deli meats and cheeses, Tomatoes, paired with crackers, pizza sauce and cream cheese. I believe they also had black olives and fruit.

When I returned home, I learned that the children were extremely excited about dinner. I was informed that the very talkative two year old muttered only one word during dinner,  "Moe" He asked for more and more and more again.

Since then, it is a family favorite quick and easy meal. It makes a great lunch or summer dinner.

During the summer, it is a great option because there is no cooking required.

Add a "Lunchable"( Oscar Meyer) to your Menu planning and grocery shopping list.

Purchase an assortment of lunch meats. Add one or two varieties of cheese or cheese spreads. Pick up your favorite crackers.

Add a variety of fun options. Children often love pepperoni. Add fresh vegetables: tomato, cucumber or even carrots. You may choose to add fruit as well. We always mix it up a bit. However, we always add ham as it is a favorite of the children. Our children really enjoy room temperature or chilled pizza sauce.

Our early June lunch (as pictured) :
- Ham
-Basil Rosemary and Olive Oil seasoned Turkey.
-Cheddar Cheese
- Pepperoni
-(Ritz) Crackers
-Pizza Sauce served at room temperature

Now for today, we didn't really worry too much about adding fruits and vegetables based upon our dinner plans and it being a late lunch. Denny has worked 6 days this week. We had to do the weekly grocery shopping,pushing lunch behind.

We normally make the meal visually appealing or fun. Today, we began making lunch while multitasking putting away the groceries and beginning our dinner.

We are working on planning a dinner menu. We are also working on reducing the grocery budget. Today we shopped at a store that honors competitors advertisements and sales. We also brought along the small inventory of coupons that I have collected.

With the Advertisement, we received two Buy One Get One Free items: Macaroni and Cheese and frozen Meatballs. We took advantage of a store BOGO special of Polish Kielbasa. I used one whole coupon ( I know,disgraceful) saving fifty cents off of the purchase if two Zatarrain's Boxed Rice meals. We picked up gumbo to make shrimp gumbo in the future. This week we are going to try the Carribean Rice. So, although it is a small savings, at least we saved a little.

To be honest, all of the groceries were FREE because we purchased the groceries with the weekly payment that I receive from selling an awesome sweepstakes prize!  The prize us being sold to my best friend's husband (The only reason to have accepted payments.)

The payments equal to basically the pay that I would earn from a regular part time job. This will serve as additional income weekly for the entire year of 2014!

Now, to start clipping coupons and building my stash!