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Ideas for Simple and Budget-Friendly Meals at Home

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2020 2:00 am

Ideas for Simple and Budget-Friendly Meals at Home

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 22, 2020 2:00 am

Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson, co-authors of the best-selling book Once-a-Month Cooking, discuss the resurgence of making meals at home that's been brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. They encourage listeners to make the most of this opportunity to make mealtime more meaningful for their family, offering many practical suggestions for doing so.

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Nothing like the sounds and the smells of a home-cooked meal and boy there's been a lot of those lately haven't. This is Focus on the Family with your host Jim Daly in today would be sharing a unique cooking method once a week cooking. It's designed to make meals at home were simple and budget friendly, especially during this unique season in life. Thanks for joining us I'm John Fuller, John, along with those meals. The multiple meals were now cooking at home. Have you noticed the dishes are piling up. Golly yes is your dishwasher going like 20 for at least a couple times a day. It's it's crazy, but it seems to be a look at the dishes were going. Granted we use all those things. The live today it's it's nuts. But we want to talk about this. It's going to be in a fun context, obviously, but once a month cooking has been a tremendous hit. Over the years, probably the last two or three decades and are gas brought that thinking to our audience many years ago and we thought to be good time to refresh the content talk about once a week cooking because once a month may not be the way to get it done right now and you don't have a lot of wheat or flower exits the same time and it is great to have them back and I'm pleased that Jean is able to join us today. I thought this is the perfect program where Jean could come in and ask questions and probably contribute some ideas to surging welcome. Well thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here and I'm excited to get some recipes will I know you can be getting some great ideas today from Mary Beth Lundberg and Mimi Wilson who created this once a month cooking method. As Jim said I we do have their book the once a month cooking book in stock.

Just click the link in the episode show notes and they did write the book once a month cooking and they… That critical once a month cooking method. As Jim said, and they do have a great book called once a month cooking. It's available at local retailers. There is no bigger plug than you need diversity in your meal planning right now so I think we need to stop now. Order the book.

As you can. 11 thanks for joining is about to get into this because it is important Mary Beth and Mimi welcome back to focus good in the course. Jean welcome again during this pandemic time what you think about this need for a little bit of diversity in your meal planning what are you saying when you're kinda sheltered in place people getting a little desperate right.

Can we have chicken again. Yeah, we all have to eat and eat at home. I mean I is on for the need for variety yeah yeah and so going to the once once a week thing.

If you have some tricks in your freezer.

That's helpful because you have to think of something every day every day every day. Some husbands might say tricks in your freezer doesn't sound is a little scary but what are you getting at when there's stuff in the freezer now in a step in the freezer that you been intentional about that you repaired ahead, then you really can use more variety, because you're not falling back on pizza and tacos and mac & cheese and the things that typically are your coaches and Johnson at the beginning.

You two are well known for that. Once a month cooking. Let let's get into some of them are about the practical nature of it. I can imagine any of those chores now are divided much more than they used to be. In the last generation is so guys to lean and what can I cook for dinner. I get that.

Everybody in you for helping out in the kitchen. That's great for either the woman who's trying to think at 9 o'clock in the morning. What can I do sometimes is just perplexing and used to be. I'm sure it will assist me out tonight. Let's call up somebody, let's pick something up more more restaurants are able to do that now, but why is that a bad idea all the time. I can think of the pocketbook being one yet.

The pocketbook is a big reason and a big reason for a lot of people right now because you do pay more. Eating out Chris back in the day when you are eating out in a restaurant and also paying a tip here really paying more, but it just as cost more to eat the same food that you've ordered from somewhere as a teapot in a crush Easter. I think were going to look back and find this having been an interesting time in realizing our budget and what we can live on. If were only paying for what we have to do we not going out and shopping and entertainment and all that down to the basics and getting the food budget down to the basics. I think it be interesting. I would think you probably did some analysis even on the back of an envelope when someone goes at the dinner you know for a family of four that could be 50, 60, $70 if you pick out back when we did research this. It was about 60% more 60 same meal comparable meal out, but in that context, what you're paying for is the ease of just picking it up and eating it right. That's true that Harry variety is healing and the taste probably practice put restaurant probably a little better making that taste good. Don't ask how much salt was used, but that is what you're paying for.

In essence, so in the shelter in place environment and you guys are now promoting once a week cooking methodology had to go back to that one of the mechanics of once a week cooking organization that's a fearful word that to be organized enough to go to the store wants a week once a week once a week to get your stuff and come back and put it to take your list go once a week by the staff and probably cook the next day rather than the same day. I mean you can do it you can come home and do it is kind of an energy thing though you might want to do it the next day and it might take you the whole morning and maybe four hours maybe three hours. If you have a spouse or a child or someone helping you the next.

The ultimate that's really good. You have to pay them five bucks to do this, let me let me ask this question kinda through Jean to get her validation of this. Does this make that even more intimidating that somehow immune to get organized enough to go shopping for once a week and put all his meals together in a day. That sounds like it could become a bit of a mountain for someone who isn't that organized weight yes absolutely. And that's why we need to hear from you. Mary Beth and Mimi as to how you get organized. How do you make that shopping list. How do you for the week you take the list that's provided I think focus is going to provide a one week cyclist Sanders will thank you. But the beauty of it is that you takes you step-by-step by step. You don't have to yourself. Be a very organized person or a confident cook you just follow the directions. Here's your list. Here's a list of things that you need to have on hand in your pantry, you know, salt, flower, whatever. Make sure you have these things if you don't add him to your grocery list, go get the list and then it takes you step-by-step through the recipes so that you're doing similar processes that once you going to cook all the chicken you have to cook at once. The ground beef your brown at once.

That sort of thing so it really is a take you by the hand and step-by-step. Let me touch on something else before we can get in the more the nuts and bolts of doing this.

This financial strain on me.

We have something like 30 million people are over 30 million people now on unemployment over the decades that you've been doing this in the once a month cooking context. How do you address that special situation or money supertight. Is there anything you need to know about that shopping list that you need to do a little differently, or the way you prepare meals a little differently when money is tight.

We were talking about the this cycle and looking at it and thinking it does use cuts of meat that perhaps people might find a little difficult and you might need to look at it and make some adaptations. You know that cuts of beef and that sort of thing with the price of meat going up, and you might win a modify that a little bit personally rate, having raised three little boys. I would go to the grocery store alone when I really needed to economize because kids see things they want and you have the struggle of do I need to say no known you know how do I explain. We can't afford this or whatever but if you really trying to economize. I think it helps to take a well-prepared list and go by yourself. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly are guests in the studio, Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lundberg and Jim's wife Jean John Fuller in the once a month cooking family favorites book is available at our website and we made mention of this as well we do about a week long kind of a menu sampler with cream chicken pasta and coffee, molasses, pork, and some the kids love chicken pockets. You can make all of this at home will have the free PDF for you to download. Just check the episode notes for more Mary Beth and Mimi. I feel like I am cycling through the same recipes over and over. How can we add variety to our meals that help that's a good class.

I like that question. You know we always have Tonight on the ingredients that are not too expensive and we will not use an ingredient, is that sound intended use that particular spice and highly say I have a lady in mind.

She's a single mom that I don't have any idea who she is back always write recipes for her so I will make sure that that their affordable that they kid friendly and that it doesn't take a long time to put together and send that I to meet this end of the lady that's wonderful.

I think it helps if your let's say that you're planning aggression sure start list for once a week and if you look at it with the intention of using a main ingredient that you might have left overs from in a different way another day. For example, if your let's say you're having ham and sweet potatoes. One evening okay if you plan to have split pea soup another evening. You know you use. Maybe the hambone are some little pieces of ham you have left over in the split peas which can be inexpensive but if you look at each day a couple of ways. Each protein each main ingredient. The use a couple of different ways and plan for that you're going to end up with more variety okay for males out of the same course right right right right. Another challenge I think a lot of that again I'll just coming to stereotype a lot of women are to face and I get a lot of mentor helping out the kitchen. That's great. I get that. I know that I tried to do a good job what's unethical, but certainly this is universal. That feeling of being unappreciated by their spouse and their kids, and whoever is that men cook, assuming what's that's mom is most time with mom had heavy managers that underappreciated.

I always think of Jean when we do Thanksgiving at our house and you'll have 12 people over something like that and she takes all day usually have that meal about two in the afternoon. She's been working that I might've watch one maybe two football games already and she said you can you do this yet just a minute. I gotta watch this last play. I can only imagine what are you serious and sit down to this meal and it's grand it's beautiful, and we said great prayer. Thank the Lord for this. And then all you are in like 10 minutes later we all looked up ago can apply are we going to have what is it feel like well know you mean really I feel like the Lord taught me something through Thanksgiving because I was spending all this time making a grand dinner and it was for. We always host Jim's family. The children were young Jim was out playing football in the morning and I care of the young children and preparing the meal and I he was resenting the and I was not enjoying myself and I was so worried about everything, being hot and served warm at the same time and I was homemaking roles and did you know what I realized. And really, the Lord taught me a lesson through this because I was I was angry 11 Thanksgiving and I'm sure no one noticed that but I was and I felt the Lord saying to me that the people are what are important and and yes, good food that is nice but if you're serving with a you know with an angry heart than the food isn't going to taste good.

Then I realized didn't have to make those roles. I could go to the grocery store and buy really yummy whirlpools and and I paired down just the basics for Thanksgiving and began to enjoy the process and enjoy enjoy the day and enjoy what I did make and the Lord really really taught me how to enjoy the people we have them at our center now grown and all live close by with their families.

They come over and Sunday night for dinner and we have five grandchildren pretty young. All of them and I observed they like to cut it's kind of like you cook it in the outcome kind of thing yeah but I can sense the appreciation from them. I mean, you know you can go through a lot of times where you feel like you've put out, and it's not appreciated but you also know when you see the outcome and that they'll like to be there. I you have your times your glimpses. I think when you realize this day-to-day the day-to-day nests is significant over time. Yes, and it is appreciated. Over time, although you might have a meal like you know were familiar with the one like the Thanksgiving you're talking about maybe you have a story about wanting to leave the heritage of gratefulness in your family.

What is the cat I had a similar story. Cal came home he was in medical school. He came home and he said let's go to get pizza and I simply and delicate peace. And he said the playset was close and I said, but there Christ's eye to Thien and I could see all my kids that they were all excited and they wouldn't have noticed the cost.

If I hadn't pointed that silly back. In any case, in the case at all like damper on their enthusiasm and I trained him how to fast sophisticated lady because they would never have picked up the cost idea.

So Tommy, I thought Lord, I want to be the kind of mom that shows them good of our God, the graciousness of God and wanted a time.

What comes out of my mouth forms the kids thinking and a first class because I had taught them sophisticated to do that and I I must change my way of thinking and look for the goodness of God and everything and so they changed I think well I really I really experience that during this pandemic. And because I put what you are teaching and practice because I had to only go to the grocery store, every 7 to 10 days. I felt I had to be organized so I made a plan for all the meals I wrote down the ingredients I had and I knew I needed to use the hamburger that was in the refrigerator not frozen and I knew I needed to use that within a few days and it really revolutionized my cooking.

I think our oldest son had moved back in with us during the coven pandemic and I felt like I was really providing this service for my family and because it was more organized. I enjoyed since most of the sitdown restaurants are still closed. What are some ways to make meals at home with your immediate family, a little more like a special outing. I love that you do that, I always have a centerpiece house have something on the table to talk about making the Legos and can be the latest project I project that there's always something on the table to file that's interesting right so as I know you put away goat do you make it is made something the kids yeah okay so that's on the table and I do have flowers every chance I get that not every chance I get. And then I put under the dining room plate question and we can't table talk and what we've say I family is everything has a treasure inside of them.

We just have to ask my questions to figure out what it is all that's beautiful would give us an example of what that no card would look like under the well. It really depends on the gas. We have a lot of internationals and Sally depends on tell us about your first grade teacher was that they are so excited to tell you because no one ever asked Lincoln. My first grade teachers Mrs. Crabapple and I think her last name says it all. And she was most difficult experience, but that's a beautiful way to do it.

How about just between you and the kids and your husband you, I have a question. Well, one of them would be what is the coziness room in our house while that's a great question. What is your most unfavored tour. The question is, yeah, your lease like short, what is your favorite childhood book, but it is a funny thing to watch the kids, young and they get asked the question ASAP with their little bodies and they try to answer is the cutest thing so they may not even answer it right but the fact that they're trying is the issue you know there is research that shown that children who are used to table conversation are more at ease and do better expressing their opinions in a classroom setting or in a group of people are with adults. It is just a very good exercise. Note only do you learn things about your own kids in your own grandkids, but it's a good exercise for them to know I have something important to say and I'm going to express it here and we've talked and we always have the rule you don't cut down someone else's answer. I mean there's no yes no right or wrong answers to these things.

They can say whatever they think. Whatever their least favorite chore is they can say that and it's okay as long as it's not raking the pine needles that can't be right now. That's really good advice. It is this is in addition to the wonderful idea once a month once a week cooking what you put together let let send in this place because I think it's a beautiful expression of Christian love and that is when you're organized in this way, even if you're not that organized person. This system helps you get organized. That's what you're talking about Jane.

You know the ingredients you know we need to get to prepare it once a week and one of the benefits that I noted in your book was being able to quickly give a meal to someone who needs one and thinking of this pandemic crisis that ran as we began to be able to drop a meal over at someone's house who may be struggling a bit more speak to that gift of being able to give the gift of a meal in a way that it's not too much of a burden for you because it's already done day that I sent you and you learn to love those times when you are being called together in that manner, but what we have found is that when you do prepare I had. I like to prepare food that I might give away. I put it in a certain part of my freezer and I make sure that it smells good. Lots cooking because the smell of food cooking is very therapeutic.

Interesting. I want to make sure that the meal I'm getting is to be therapeutic for them. Well, so house will was not so what I'm just curious what you think is your number one smell good therapeutic meal. It's chicken one can of cranberry and one package of onion soup while I can do that, so I will cook ahead for anybody. I want them to have the benefit of the smell in the house. I suggested to them I say don't don't start the cooking and lace home she delightedly done and this it's it's a freebie that Isaiah gave let me listen here you know we've had some fun talking about this.

It's in a serious contact with the pandemic and all, but how to summarize this. You know the ingredients that you need to get try to plan ahead, set 1 decile week to cook these manuals. Make sure you have the containers to throw me in your freezer, etc. mix the rest of the week really easy you know by 9 o'clock in the morning what you're going to cook that night. The next day a little nicer for you. I want to give each a shot just to say okay I'm still that unorganized person I've heard what you said but it's kinda like weight loss. I know what I should do but I struggled doing it because those potato chips are so good. Give me your last shot at why this is the best way to do this murder and I think it releases a lot of anxiety. I think that if you are that person who's not real confident.

Cook, you do have a lot of anxiety.

If you have a family at home and they have to eat every day. Your stress level is gotta be really high and this is something that would relieve some of that take baby steps, you know, maybe do today cooking or four-day cooking are whatever take a part of that and just try it, I'd say take baby steps and try it for your own sake.

Stress will make you feel better, probably turns into great behavior better, happier person write many say that you will start seeing the benefit financially to get gonna head this is not impulse buying. You have it all figured out. So if I cooking the method safe, think that those are two great attributes you really stress in your life you save more money that should be motivating to everyone for me and Mary Beth, thank you so much for being with us. This is been great to reconnect and I just love your spirit, your joy thank you Jean for being with us. I really realized that I did just get some recipes out what's for dinner tonight one of their looking forward to it. But listen, thank you to the listeners to go to our website and download the free once a week cooking meal plans thanks to the women, have been willing to do that and that's very gracious of you.

Thank you for providing that and I highly recommend you get a copy of Mimi Murray best wonderful book once a month cooking family favorites and will have that available as well. Roger, we will Jim and I will just say about this once a week cooking menu it's got everything, it tells you the whole week's worth of meals. It gives you the various things you need to buy in terms of how many canned beans and how much grain and pasta and rice dairy produce all the all the different things so it really will be very helpful. That's free that's online and then that book once a month cooking when we can come out of this season.

You can probably do a little more batch cooking a little easier and I was so get this book and adapted and then get the once a week menu. We've got that online end of the link is in the episode notes or you can call us 800 K in the word family and Focus on the Family is a listener supported ministry if you can help us help others by making a contribution today to the ministry will say thanks by sending a copy of thank you copy of this book once a month cooking make that multi-pledge or one-time gift when you call one 800 K in word family or at our website will I hope you have a great weekend with your family and friends and church community as well and then join us on Monday as we celebrate Memorial Day with powerful stories from listeners like you are on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller and Buddy back as we were help you thrive

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