Food Tip 7

Today on Surviving on Little Income Because All the Kids Need Dental Work Except One and the Water Heater Went Out and We Had to Replace It…

My super thrifty food tip involving concentrated orange juice.

Water juice down a bit.


When we’re living the high life right after tax returns; I purchase all natural, fresh-squeezed orange juice like a millionaire. At other times, concentrated juice or even Kool-Aid are our go-to.

You can stretch your buck juuuuuust a bit further if you add a bit more water than it says to. How much so depends on your ability to withstand what you mix.

Of course, you can always go cheaper and add food coloring to water. I’m sure they’ll never know the difference.

Manic Kids? Try Snacks!

Back when I gave some parenting advice, I mentioned food as a good solution for wild times. I like food; turns out that most people do as well. In fact, you might say we couldn’t live without the stuff.

And water.

So, my parenting tip for this Friday is:

Have snacks on hand. Like, all the time.

I know that not all snack foods are created equal. I know that not any snack foods are healthy, really. Seriously; think about it. When it’s between meals and you’re at the grocery store and still have two more errands, however, who cares about the exact nutritional value of that Chex Mix?

Certainly not the other people in line, I tell ya what.

So; whether at home or abroad, feed your kids a snack in that space between meals. Don’t go overboard, of course. The individual bags of Nilla Wafers and little squeeze bottles of applesauce are super expensive.

And to answer the ‘not healthy’ problem, throw in some chopped apples or carrot sticks. Eat nuts (unless you’re allergic). Drink milk. Try a cheese stick. Add some homemade bread that you baked lovingly with your child after cleaning the entire house and singing, “A Spoonful of Sugar.”


Just get those grumpies some food.


Photo Credits:
Charles 🇵🇭
Juliet Furst


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Food Tip 6

We’ve had a lot of houseguests here for the last two days. Most of them are children, our nieces and a nephew.

Having them around has been fun for our own boys, who’ve only had themselves to smack around for the long summer days -not that there’s been any smacking, of course. The worst altercations so far have been slight tiffs regarding Legos.

Having them around has also increased The Meals Game to Maximum Level.

Where we once could throw together a few sandwiches or a pot of soup, I find myself instead considering the entire side of lamb at The World’s Biggest Costco or gauging the capacity of our largest pans.

Today’s tip has less to do with amount of food, though, and more to do with stretching what you have. Like, these apples:


We only had six apples in the house and I needed a side for lunch. (Which, in case you wondered, was instant Ramen noodles.) Knowing this, I employed a little trick I’ve learned with my boys.

Slice thinner.

Yes, it sounds simple. That’s because it is simple. Using our sharpest, nicest knife, I cut all of the apple slices thinner. The kids know they ought to take a fair number each, and feel better about being allowed ten instead of four.

This trick also works for cookie dough (make the cookies smaller), grapes (cut them in half), and cheese slices (I like them nearly transparent anyway). Go ahead; try it.

Food Tip 4

Kids can be picky eaters. I’m lucky in that I didn’t really get a picky eater till my third one. Whether kids like the meal you’ve made or not, however, presentation is usually key.

My food advice today is:

Make the food appear more interesting.

A few ways to do this include:

  1. Cutting it into cool shapes, especially their favorite ones.
  2. Allowing them to choose toppings or arrangements. This works well for meals like tacos or potato bar.
  3. Serving it as a sandwich mouth (with olive or grape eyes) or an octopus veggie tray.
  4. Hiding veggies in tiny diced form in their mashed potatoes or sandwich.
  5. Having the food talk to them about how much it wants to swim in their tummy.

I’m also a big fan of telling them they need to try just a taste of what I make. It doesn’t always work, especially with sensory issues, but it’s a good standard when you can have it.

Plus, there’s always bribery (dessert).


Photo Credit:
Image by Ana_J from Pixabay

Food Tip 3

I’ve grown lazier in my later years, due to a combination of waaaaaay too much work to do, hormone levels dropping with age, capability levels of children rising with (their) age, and a penchant for staying up late to have me time.

No worries; this is my food tip for today:

Buy stuff the kids can make and eat themselves.

Last week I recommended you purchase ingredients that can be used in many meals. While you’re picking those up, make sure you buy some pieces of simple lunches and breakfasts for the kids.

All my boys can make most of the meals I listed in my “Cheapest, Bestest” series of recipes; plus cereal, toast, sandwiches, Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and …chips when they’re snacking like squirrels and I have to remind them to make an actual meal.


Heck; I’ll even pick up Costco muffins, Gogurt, applesauce, bagels, Lunchables, and re-heatable frozen meals like burritos.

They feel proud for ‘making’ something and you feel relieved they’re eating ‘healthy.’ Besides that, you’re teaching them important life skills. Good job, parents.


Photo Credit:
Image by EdMontez from Pixabay