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Eat Well, Spend Less: Making the Most of Fall Foods

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This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less topic is making the most of fall foods.

I love fall food, which you may have already guessed from my pumpkin recipe and apple recipe roundups!

With sickness making the rounds through our home, I wasn’t able to participate in the Eat Well, Spend Less series this week, but I didn’t want you to miss out on the amazing inspiration from the rest of the participants.

You’ll find recipes, shopping tips and more, and I guarantee these posts will make your mouth water!

10 Frugal Fall Snacks for Hungry Kids

From Jessica @ Life As Mom:

source: Life As Mom

It would seem that kids are always hungry: breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevensies, luncheon…. Oh wait! Is that hobbits or kids?

Same thing, really.

While three (or more) good meals are a great base, a healthy afternoon snack can be just the ticket to help kids — and adults — make it through the 3:00 slump.

As our family moves away from a steady diet of processed foods toward more wholesome fare, I’ve been looking for ways to provide snacks without resorting to boxed crackers, gummies, and other pre-packaged foods. At the same time, I need to serve foods that won’t break the bank!

Can healthy eating be budget friendly? You betcha!

Get Jessica’s snack tips and her scrumptious spiced pear cake recipe here…

Hearty Breakfasts for Cold Mornings

From Shaina @ Food for My Family:

source: Food for My Family

The return of cold weather means many things. Jackets will no longer be optional as my kids run out to catch the bus each morning. Gloves will be worn to warm fingers rather than to keep dirt from the garden from settling in under our nails. Likewise, there are changes happening in our meals as well.

As most parents, I know that breakfast is an important meal to get my kids going on their day, jump-starting their minds and bodies before they get to school or head off to a sports practice or game on the weekends, and when the air is cold and frigid, it doesn’t hurt to start staying warm from the inside out.

Oats, eggs, pancakes and more…see all of Shaina’s breakfast suggestions here…

Eat Well, Spend Less: Seasonal Soups

From Aimee @ Simple Bites:

french onion soup
source: Simple Bites

How is it mid October already? Oh, right, first there was our jump into October Unprocessed, then Thanksgiving, and just last weekend, Blissdom Canada in Toronto. The month tends to fly by when one is busy.

After four days of conference snacking, hotel food, road food (we drove home from Toronto), and yes, missed meals, I am so ready for some seasonal comfort food and for me that spells S-O-U-P. Another reason to add soup to the weekly menu plan is because the food budget is hurting a little after two high-end (but oh-so-memorable) dinners out at Pangaea and Luma with dear food blogging friends over the weekend.

See all of Aimee’s favorite soups and get her recipe for french onion soup here…

How to Save on Thanksgiving

From Amy @ Kingdom First Mom:

This month our Eat Well, Spend Less series is focusing on making the most of fall foods, and around here it doesn’t get more “fall” than Thanksgiving!

In our family, we have three different meals, spread out over 3 days. This makes it nice, because we are able to enjoy each family without rushing from home to home. And while the bulk of the cooking is not done by yours truly, I do bring my share of delectable goodies!

If you are the one who prepares most of your Thanksgiving meal, the task can seem daunting, and I’m not just talking about the cooking! With rising grocery prices, the Thanksgiving budget must rise as well. Or does it?

Get Amy’s tips for saving on Thanksgiving dinner here…

Holiday 2011 Grocery Sale Outlook & Predictions

From Carrie @ Denver Bargains:

Most of us have turned the calendars to fall for a few weeks now – and in fact, there’s already skiing going on here in Colorado!  With the changing of seasons comes a new segment in the grocery sale cycle, and it’s my favorite one of the year.  This month’s posts in the Eat Well, Spend Less series are exploring the wonderful bounty of food during the autumn months, and I’m going to take a look at what’s on sale, when to expect the lowest prices, some warnings about items that could be scarce, and share some specific price points to help you know when to stock up on certain items.

In my opinion, the months of October, November, and December have the best sales of the year on pantry staples – especially December.  This year, I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll see some good sales, but with grocery prices rising and the frequency of sales decreasing, I’m a bit apprehensive as well.  Here’s what I think we’ll see and how I’m planning to shop these sales.

Get Carrie’s predictions and tips for grocery budgets here…

Enjoying Fall’s Bounty of Pumpkins and Squashes

From Tammy @ Tammy’s Recipe:

cooking with pumpkin and squash
source: Tammy’s Recipes

October’s Eat Well, Spend Less theme is about cooking with fall foods. I haven’t been blogging much, but I sure have been enjoying the crisp days, sunshine, and having hot tea in the mornings. I can actually keep up with the yard work now (I love making it look beautiful!), and we’ve been getting outside on any days that are nice. Soon enough, the clouds and rain won’t lift for weeks at a time…

But, on to the topic at hand: Using and enjoying delicious winter squash and pumpkins!

For more info on types of winter squash, see Aimee’s great article about winter squash. (I haven’t tried all the different types, but have tried some of the most common ones, and of course, pumpkin!)

I find that pumpkin puree and winter squash puree are interchangeable in most recipes. (Cooked and pureed carrots also can be substituted for pumpkin puree in most recipes.)

I usually end up using whatever I am given or find on sale. Some friends know that I love to cook with pumpkin and winter squash, and will give me their Fall pumpkins and squashes after they’re finished using them for decoration. Other times, friends or relatives with gardens will give me some of their extra Autumn bounty. I don’t think I’ve ever had too much pumpkin!

Get Tammy’s tips for all things squash (including plenty of recipes) here…

10 Things to Do with Apples

From Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship:

source: Kitchen StewardshipMost people would probably be rolling in the leaves this time of year.

Not our family.

We’re rolling in the apples.

Three weeks ago, we went to the apple orchard and picked 3 full bushels of apples (that’s 6 baskets). This weekend as we prepared to return for the later varieties, I figure we had already eaten more than half. I didn’t preserve a single one and only made one pot of applesauce.

We are a family of five.

The kids who have teeth are only 6 and 3 years old.

Methinks we eat a lot of apples!

This trip, we bought five bushels and really filled the garage…

Anybody want an apple?

See all 10 of Katie’s things to do with apples list here…

Eat Well, Spend Less: Fall Produce

From Katie @ goodLife {eats}:

fall produce
source: goodLife {eats}

It’s fall here in New Mexico! The Cottonwoods are slowly glowing gold and like Allison, I know fall is here because the sky is regularly dotted with brightly colored (and often interestingly shaped) hot air balloons.

I love our cool, crisp morning walks and regular afternoon trips to the park. Yes, fall has most certainly arrived here in New Mexico.

Not only has the weather embraced it, but the produce section of the grocery store has too. I couldn’t be happier to see regular sales on my favorite fall produce.

Though I admit that I do lean heavily towards summer produce. Who doesn’t want berries and big, juicy peaches by the pounds or plants overflowing with large, ripe tomatoes? Throughout the year I look forward to what the next season has to offer.  Once fall hits, I am ready for all things apple and pumpkin.

See how Katie’s using all of this fall produce here…

What are your favorite fall dishes?