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  1. #1
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I'm spending too much on food!

    I feel like I'm spending way too much money on food. I cook meals from scratch, using lots of fresh fruits, veggies and proteins. I also have a group of really good eaters. Last month alone, I spent over $1000. I don't know whether to stop serving the types of meals and snacks that I do and start cooking canned foods, grilled cheese, or hotdogs instead? Or, should I raise my prices (and will parents will understanding if I do?). I just can't continue to spend so much. Help!

    To give you an idea of what I'm serving, today was:
    Morning Snack: yogurt with granola, strawberries and blueberries
    Lunch: Greek chicken pitas with cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese and tzatziki. Peaches for dessert
    Afternoon Snack: Raw veggies (carrots, celery, peas, cucumbers) and crackers with hummus

    Tomorrow will be pumpkin and quinoa muffins for morning snack, stir-fried ginger pork and vegetables with rice for lunch, and apples and home-made trail mix for afternoon snack.

  2. #2
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    My menu similar to yours and I spend same. I raised prices last year by $3 a day with option of parent provide food. I prefer provide food so all eat same which why I raised it by amount I know they can't provide food themselves.

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I'd raise the fee too. Most parents will gladly pay the $2-3 extra vs having to send their child a lunch. Food is important and it sounds like you serve great, healthy meals and that's a huge benefit to the kids!!

    There are ways you could cut back/save though...only buy on sale, buy in bulk to last you until the next sale, make freezer meals so that nothing goes bad before you get a chance to use it, cut back to one fruit per meal/snack, pasta lunches 1-2x more often in the menu rotation, use bean dishes as a filler, buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow cook them so they'll still be super moist to chew etc

    Also, don't feel guilty if you give them soup and sandwiches or even hot dogs once in awhile!! Nothing wrong with that when they are getting such healthy meals the other 4 days of the week
    Last edited by 5 Little Monkeys; 08-05-2016 at 08:16 AM.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaL View Post
    I feel like I'm spending way too much money on food. I cook meals from scratch, using lots of fresh fruits, veggies and proteins. I also have a group of really good eaters. Last month alone, I spent over $1000. I don't know whether to stop serving the types of meals and snacks that I do and start cooking canned foods, grilled cheese, or hotdogs instead? Or, should I raise my prices (and will parents will understanding if I do?). I just can't continue to spend so much. Help!

    To give you an idea of what I'm serving, today was:
    Morning Snack: yogurt with granola, strawberries and blueberries
    Lunch: Greek chicken pitas with cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese and tzatziki. Peaches for dessert
    Afternoon Snack: Raw veggies (carrots, celery, peas, cucumbers) and crackers with hummus

    Tomorrow will be pumpkin and quinoa muffins for morning snack, stir-fried ginger pork and vegetables with rice for lunch, and apples and home-made trail mix for afternoon snack.


    Some tips to help cut down on cost:

    Plan your menu around seasonal fruits/vegetable (or, use frozen ones)
    Plan your menu around things on sale.
    Buy things on sale for future menu. Like if ground lean beef is on sale, I buy tons (and freeze them) to make meatballs, or casseroles, etc.,
    Get some things from Bulk Barn

    Did you make tzatziki and humus from scratch? Because those ready-to-use specialty sauces can really hike up your budget.

    Buy stuffs that you can also use for your family meals. Like, a bag of carrots - surely your children wouldn't be eating all that along with a bunch of celery and cucumbers. How much can they eat?

    Mind portions. Children don't eat as much as adults. If you're throwing a lot of left overs by kids, then you're giving too much.

    Think like a restaurant chef when it comes to planning meals, and costing.

  6. #5
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    Believe it or not, my kids are in heaven every time it's French Toast day! I serve it with frozen blueberries strewn on the toast! The presentation looks great! It's easy to prep, and it's economical, and very nutritious!

    There are days when we splurge a bit, but it's planned along with days that offsets that costly meal. Some days we have peanut butter or grilled cheese sandwich with soup, and those are very popular too!

    Today, they had spaghetti with meat sauce from scratch for lunch, peaches/banana combo and crackers for snack, and maybe cantaloupe and medjool dates this afternoon.
    Last edited by betsy; 08-22-2017 at 01:13 PM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaL View Post
    I feel like I'm spending way too much money on food. I cook meals from scratch, using lots of fresh fruits, veggies and proteins. Last month alone, I spent over $1000.
    If that amount ($1,000/month) includes the meals for your family, that's a reasonable expense.

    I currently spend around $200.00 - 250.00 a week (considering that prices had gone up since 2015) for groceries for both daycare and family of 2, and that includes cat food and laundry/hygiene items. My daycare is open only from Mon to Friday.


    Morning Snack: yogurt with granola, strawberries and blueberries
    Lunch: Greek chicken pitas with cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese and tzatziki. Peaches for dessert
    Afternoon Snack: Raw veggies (carrots, celery, peas, cucumbers) and crackers with hummus
    The expense will depend on the planning of meals, and the number of children you have, and the days you're open for business.

    If that amount $1000, is only for daycare - yes, that's way too much. Surely a bag of baby carrots, a bunch of celery, cucumbers, a block or a bag of grated cheese, and crackers, will not all be used up in one meal! Those can be used for another day, and you don't have to serve the same thing.


    The meal planning has to include what to do with things that weren't used up.

    That left-over celery, cucumbers and carrots can become a stir fry with chicken, or along side Hawaiian (or bbq) meatballs, and served with rice or egg noodles. We can serve gourmet, and still be reasonably priced, with planning.
    Last edited by betsy; 08-23-2017 at 05:33 AM.

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