My kids love eating with their hands. Even foods that are meant to be eaten with a fork are picked up with little fingers. Then, we have to talk about how that’s bad manners, and we need to use our utensils. Not this week! With my finger food make-ahead meals, leave the spoons and forks in the drawer.
Finger Food Make-Ahead Meals
In school this week, my third graders have been learning about life in Colonial America. We read the book You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist to learn about colonial foods, homes, and schools. The kids were fascinated by how different life was back then. We learned that the colonial children had to stand at the table to eat. They weren’t allowed to talk at all. They also didn’t have silverware, except for a few spoons. Dinner was served in a big bowl in the center of the table. Everyone reached in with their fingers to eat. My students thought this was disgusting, and I agree. However, it got me thinking about my family meals.
Obviously, my kids have chairs at the kitchen table, and they’re allowed to talk. Actually, dinnertime is when we do most of our talking at night. We find out what the kids did that day and discuss our plans for the evening. My discussion with my students at school made me wonder what it would be like if we had no silverware. Like I said before, my children often “forget” it exists anyway. If I made a week of finger foods, it would save me from lecturing them on good table manners. That’s when the idea for finger food make-ahead meals popped into my head.
I didn’t want to go quite as far as the colonists did. Dipping my fingers into a big bowl with the rest of my family didn’t seem too appetizing. To solve that problem, I searched for foods that were easy to pick up with your hands. My kids are going to be so excited when they realize they don’t have to use utensils this week!
The first of the finger food make-ahead meals are the Juciest Turkey Burgers from Lauren’s Latest. I got a great deal on ground turkey at the grocery store. Since the Shady Brook Farms ground turkey expires on Monday, it was marked down to $1.75. I picked up the two packages that had the special price. Then, there was a coupon dispenser in the meat section. The coupons were for $1.00 off of any Shady Brook Farms ground turkey item. I took two of them. (Technically, you’re only supposed to take one, but I couldn’t resist this amazing deal!) I got two packages of ground turkey for 75 cents each. They are normally close to $5. Needless to say, that put me in a good mood for the day.
Since the turkey was going to expire, I decided to use one package to make the turkey burgers on Monday night. The problem I usually have is my turkey burgers end up dry. I specifically searched for a juicy turkey burger recipe, and I found the one at Lauren’s Latest. She puts some butter in the middle of the burgers to make them extra juicy. I cooked one today as I was preparing them just so I could include a picture. Tony and I shared that one, and it was definitely juicier than any other turkey burger I’ve ever made. This recipe is a keeper! We can’t wait to have more Monday night.
I used the second package of ground turkey for Tuesday’s dinner. I made the Easy Black Bean Chili from Kimberly at A Night Owl. Chili may seem like a stretch for a finger food, but we always use tortilla chips to eat our chili. Sometimes we dip our chips into the chili, and other times we make nachos. I love chili because it’s so easy to make, and we can each add our own toppings. Cheese, sour cream, and avocados are some of our favorite toppings.
Wednesday night, we’re having the Grands Unsloppy Joes from the Pillsbury website. Grands biscuits were on sale 2 for $4, and I had some ground beef frozen from a few weeks ago. I didn’t use canned sloppy joe sauce, like the recipe suggested. I made my own by mixing the cooked beef with 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup yellow mustard, one tablespoon brown sugar, and the chili powder from the recipe. Then, it was time to stuff the biscuits with the meat mixture and some cheese. I baked a few ahead of time again, so I would have a picture. This time J and Miss M helped me taste test. As soon as Miss M bit into one, she said, “Mmmmm”. I guess they’re pretty good. Looking forward to this dinner on Wednesday with some carrots, broccoli, and dip.
For Thursday night’s dinner, we will be having the Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos from Sara at Our Best Bites. Again, a coupon in the aisle at the grocery store saved me a few dollars. I was already buying Chi-Chi’s salsa and tortillas, because they were on sale 3 for $5. When I got to the Mexican food aisle, there was a coupon for $2 off shredded cheese if you purchased two Chi-Chi’s items. I needed shredded Mexican cheese for the taquitos, and I was able to get it for 39 cents with the coupon. For now, I put the taquitos in a baking dish. Thursday night, I’ll spread them out on a sheet pan and spray them with cooking spray. That way, they’ll get nice and crunchy. I’ll also be making some queso to serve with the taquitos.
English muffins were buy one, get two free at the grocery store this week. I put two packs of them in the freezer for later. The last one will be used for mini pizzas Friday night. My family loves English muffin pizzas, because we can each choose our own toppings. They also are quick and easy to prepare, which is perfect for the end of a long week.
Dessert this week will be the M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from Averie Cooks. I bought a bag of Easter M&M’s at the grocery store today, and I already had the chocolate chips and other baking ingredients. As soon as these came out of the oven, my whole family wanted to sample them. They smelled so good! I made them wait an hour until the bars cooled enough to cut them. Then, we each had a bite. They are delicious! We’ll see how long they last.
My finger food make-ahead meals cost a total of $24.12. Again, I spent less for the ingredients to make all our meals at home this week than we would have spent for one meal at a restaurant. I have to admit I was a little nervous when I saw my original total, $124.72. We try to spend a maximum of $100 on groceries each week. I wasn’t sure I had saved enough to meet that goal. The cashier scanned my club card, and the total started going down quickly. In the end, my grocery bill was $81.16. I saved $43.56 by using the weekly circular deals, coupons I clipped at home, and surprise coupons I found as I shopped.
How did you save money at the grocery store this week?
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