This week I wanted to focus on meals I knew my kids would love. This week’s meals include some of their favorite foods – chicken, cheese, veggies, and fruit. I think your kids will love these kid-friendly make-ahead meals, too!
Kid-Friendly Make-Ahead Meals
This week Chi-Chi’s tortillas and salsa were buy one, get one free at the grocery store. That meant we were having Mexican food for at least one meal this week. I got an extra surprise when I was shopping at the grocery store. Right in the middle of the Mexican aisle was a display with special coupons. If you bought two Chi-Chi’s products, you would get $2.00 off a bag of shredded cheese. Sargento cheese was already on sale and on my list, so I was able to get it for under $1.00. I love finding last-minute deals at the grocery store! Make sure you keep your eyes open for coupon dispensers when you’re shopping at the grocery store!
Now I had my tortillas, salsa, and cheese. I had also picked up some chicken breasts that were on sale. When I got home, I searched for a recipe that used all of these ingredients. The recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas from Six Sisters’ Stuff sounded perfect! My kids love the flavors of honey and lime. They also enjoy foods that have chicken and cheese. I added some red peppers to the filling to give the enchiladas a veggie boost. I can’t wait to serve these Monday night!
Total Cost: $5.24
I knew I had to find more kid-friendly make-ahead meals that used chicken for this week. The sale pack of chicken I bought was way more than I needed for the enchiladas. I had also picked up some pasta sauce that was on sale for 99 cents. I had some alfredo sauce and lasagna noodles in my pantry. After searching for recipes that used these ingredients, I found the Easy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna from Stephanie at Back for Seconds. Cheesy, saucy noodles are another of my kids’ favorite things. I knew I had found another winner with this dish!
Total Cost: $4.99
My kids love anything mini. Mini quiches, sliders, even fruits and veggies that are tiny are favorites at my house. Miss M eats grapes and picks out all the “baby grapes” to eat last. There’s just something about little foods that are appealing. I found a 3-pound pack of ground turkey with a $3 off coupon on it. It came down to $5, and I was able to freeze half of it after making the Mini Garden Turkey Loaves from Beth at Budget Bytes. I loved this recipe because it included lots of different veggies. My kiddos will eat veggies in their whole forms, but sometimes I still like to hide them. That way they get veggies through the entree, and I can also serve them on the side for a double dose!
Total Cost: $4.50 (I included $2.50 for the ground turkey, and the rest was for the veggies. Everything else was already in my refrigerator or pantry.)
Ground beef was also on sale at the grocery store this week. The grocery store circular had a special coupon for $1.97 a pound. I got a 4-pound pack. I used half of it for sloppy joes and froze the rest. Now my freezer is stocked with meats for a few more meals. I just added some brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard to the ground beef, and the sloppy joe mix was ready. I picked up some rolls for 50% off in the discount bakery area. Since I knew we weren’t having the sloppy joes until Thursday night, I popped them in the freezer. Then, I will defrost them Wednesday evening. Served with some fresh veggies, this will be a really easy supper for Thursday night.
Cost – $4.94
As you may know, Friday night is pizza night at my house. Pizza is always kid-friendly. Plus, it is quick and easy to throw together. I wanted something different this week. The past few weeks, we’ve had DiGiorno pizza. I stocked up at the grocery store because I had a buy two, get one free coupon. They were on sale, too, so I ended up getting three pizzas for under $7.00. I still have one of them in my freezer, but I wanted to try something different. The Grilled Chicken Flatbread from Kraft sounded delicious! I just needed to get the cream cheese and the pizza crust at the grocery store. I already have leftover red peppers, cheese, and chicken from previous meals. Artichokes are one veggie my kids don’t like, so I left those off. I can’t wait to try this Friday night!
I couldn’t make a week of kid-friendly make-ahead meals without a dessert. My kids love fruit in their desserts, so the Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake from Tip Hero sounded perfect! I was a little bit nervous, because my bundt cakes never some out looking like the picture. Part of them usually gets stuck in the pan, so they look half-eaten before I even have a chance to cut into them. I decided to try it anyway.
I usually make my cakes from scratch, but I didn’t have a ton of time this weekend. So, I used a boxed cake mix as the recipe suggested, and it came out beautiful and delicious! Yes, I’ve already tasted it. I couldn’t resist. Now, it looks half-eaten because everyone had a small piece after lunch today. At least I got a picture first!
How Much Did These Kid-Friendly Make-Ahead Meals Cost?
I was able to make 5 meals plus a dessert for $28.90. By using the weekly circular to find sales and finding coupons that matched them, I was able to get a great deal on a lot of the ingredients for my meals this week. With these purchases and the rest of the foods we needed for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks this week, I was able to save $63.44. That’s a total savings of 42%!
What are your kids’ favorite meals?
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