How to feed a family for under $20 and have them love you!

Feeding a family of eight has been a challenge at times. I can recall Saturday mornings, my five sons lumbering around the kitchen, stirring restlessly as a pan of scrambled eggs slowly cooked into fluffy happiness. My daughter cheerfully flitting around the kitchen, her brothers teasing her for whatever reason, mainly because they could. My wife and me manning the stove and toaster while orchestrating the table being set.

The damage for a breakfast full of boys? Let’s see, 18 eggs (plus some chopped ham), a gallon of milk, and a loaf of bread. This usually would tide them over until they needed a snack about an hour later.

Mingo123 / Pixabay

The funny thing about this size of a crew is that I could feed them at a restaurant for under $20. Not only could I feed them for this amount, but everyone was thrilled with their meal!

There used to be a battle, just a few years ago, between the different fast-food restaurants and their dollar menus. Now they’ve renamed them and the prices have crept past the dollar mark. Back then, there was a plethora of available dollar items: cheeseburgers, regular fry, regular drink, chicken sandwich, etc.

Okay, before you start saying, “Uh, you’re talking about fast food. How good could that be?”

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Answer: “To a teenager, they feel as if they’ve hit the lottery!” Here’s why…

The food may not have been that amazing, although I still like it myself (self-confession), there was one simple trick that made it taste incredible to them. When we walked in, I would tell everyone, “You can have any two things off the dollar menu.”

At this point, their eyes would glaze over and the possibility of combinations would rush through their brain. It’s not as if the selection was truly that amazing, but they were given the autonomy of choice. They enjoyed a small sparkle of freedom. There is something about having a choice, no matter how small the issue, that gives a person freedom and ‘buy-in’ to the situation.

And for the record, my wife could have whatever she wanted (I’m not the dumb, as my kids would say, and yes, they say it like that).

Still, all eight of us could go to dinner, have a choice in what we ate, and still walk out for a nifty 20-spot. Not bad. An inexpensive win for everyone!

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