Delurking with lotsa ?s

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2003
Delurking with lotsa ?s
Sun, 08-24-2003 - 8:18pm
Hi all! I've been eagerly exploring this board for the past couple of weeks. The reason? I'm single, a school teacher (Read: Don't make much $! LOL) and I'm training to become a foster parent!! This means my already tiiiiight budget is going to become even tighter! I can be pretty creative when it comes to providing children with healthy, frugal, even educational entertainment. After all I do that already in my classroom and with friends. I figured that's one thing I could contribute to the board. (Do let me know if you want ideas for specific ages and interests!) I have a wonderful time creating all sorts of toys, games, activities for kids with very little stuff/cheap stuff/recyclables, etc. Having said that, I think my main problem is going to be food. I'm NOT a good homemaker!! I HATE grocery shopping, cooking, etc! I tend to think of 'healthy' food as homecooked from scratch, but when I buy fresh vegetables etc full of good intentions, I sometimes let them go bad before I get around to making something with them! NOT frugal or smart in any way! If I could make it work (I've tried, but haven't gotten the hang of it yet), I'd love to grocery shop just once or at most twice a month, prepare everything ahead of time and freeze for homemade healthy 'convenience food'!! That is a tall order though for someone who considers preparing ONE meal, a chore! Another thing is, I have this BIG crockpot...I've never used it and don't have the first clue how! One problem with is I think it's TOO big - I've heard that it needs to be at least 3/4 full to operate correctly, is that true? (Sorry I'm so ignorant!) I'm usually willing to "experiment" with food, but I'm afraid I'll waste a lot of food by filling it chockfull of stuff and then not having it turn out right! I also HATE beans in any shape or form, and a lot of the recipes I've seen onhere and elsewhere, for crockpot or otherwise, have beans in them. Huh, lots to think about! Well, that's my introduction. I hope like I said earlier to be able to contribute to the board rather than just be a 'leach'! Thanks in advance for any responses :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2003
Mon, 08-25-2003 - 8:15am
Welcome! You have one of the hardest jobs in the world. I really respect teachers and think it's a pity we don't pay them what they are worth (but that's a subject I could complain about for hours!).

You said you have a big crock pot. You are off to a good start. All recipes don't have to contain beans. I make all sorts of things in mine. You can put it on in the morning and it will be done when you get home. The bonus to having a big one is you can freeze your left-overs. You could cook 2 or 3 meals at a time.

As far as cooking ahead goes, I don't really do it much. I'm a SAHM, so I have some time to cook. I do cook a bunch of meat ahead though. When I fry hamburger, I make it double and freeze half. I will cook an entire chicken or 10lb bag of thighs and debone and freeze them in meal size portions. It's great for quick cook meals, when all you have to do is cook some rice or pasta. A bonus is you only have to wash one pot on one day, not one every day.

There is a make ahead meals board here and a crock pot board as well. They are great and have tons of recipes.

That's about all I have for now, it's still early.

Good luck!