Monday, February 13, 2012

Giving on a tight budget--serving others (food!)

Last week I was once again contributing at Livin On Love and Cents.  If you missed it, here is the full post!
Last time you heard from me here was my Mythbusters post.  We talked about not needing to make a lot of money to be able to give.
Today I'm sharing with you a practical way to do that!


On my blog I just did a post about the Top 5 things a post-partum mommy needs and food was on the list.  The readers all agreed, bring food!

Besides new moms, who else could use food? 
  • older neighbors or relatives
  • single moms
  • someone recovering from a surgery
  • someone who is ill, or the main cook of the family (usually mom!) is ill
  • families experiencing a loss
  • anyone just having a rough day/week/month/life

Why food?
We often don't know what to do to ease someone's pain.
We can't hire them and give them a job after they get laid off.
We can't bring their loved one back to life.
We are unable to heal their illness.
But we can feed them!  We can meet that most basic human need and in doing so, speak to their hearts, let them know they aren't alone.

What food?
We have had three children and been lucky to have friends bring us food after each. It was so nice to not have to try to think about cooking during that time.
Here were some of our favorite meals:
  • Enchiladas
  • Chicken and Noodles
  • Pork Chops
  • Chop Suey
  • Pizza (someone gave us a break from casseroles and gave us a pizza gift card and a pan of brownies!)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Meatloaf
  • Ham/Potato Casserole

Sides and Desserts that travel/save well:
  • Hashbrown Casserole
  • Peach Pie
  • Strawberry Pie
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Dinner rolls
  • Chocolate chip cookies 

Food that I have taken to people:
  • Taco Soup with biscuits
  • Paula Dean's The Lady's Mac & Cheese
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Greenbean Casserole
  • Chicken Lasagna (a white sauce style)
  • Cheater Fudge (recipe here)
  • Baked Spaghetti and frozen veggies and brownies

What about my budget?
Ahh yes, the budget.  You can give a meal to someone without breaking the bank!  That is the beauty of it!  Many recipes can easily be doubled for very little extra cost.  What I usually do is make the recipe a double batch and give half to the family and keep half for my own family to have as dinner that night.
Remind yourself that this does not need to be a fancy gourmet meal!  No one really expects you to show up at their door with filet mignon.  A simple vegetable soup will be tasty, inexpensive, and very much appreciated!

Finally, remember, you can bless someone without giving them an entire meal.
After our first son was born, a friend showed up with a container of assorted muffins.  They were delicious, I liked the variety, and it could not have cost more than a few dollars for the boxed mixes.  You can make a simple bread, just a pan of dinner rolls, homemade biscuits, put together a bowl of mixed fruit or a veggie tray, or send over a pan of your famous baked beans.  

Now, who can you bless this week with some food!?

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