Back-to-School Breakfasts {Eat Well, Spend Less}

It’s almost time for lunchboxes, early rising, big yellow buses, and homework. Yes, school is back, and no matter where your kids attend, everyone seems to have a “school” routine.

Even though we homeschool year-round, when we start back full-time, our routine changes. During the summer, we are more laid-back; come the middle of August, while not strict, we do have a schedule.

back-to-school-breakfast-ideas

One morning a week, we head to our Classical Conversations classes, while the other four are spent at home. I have found keeping the same routine for all five days helps us to be more organized on the one morning we “have” to be out by a certain time. {On this note, I have the utmost respect for those of you who public or private school your kids. The “school morning rush” is not something I look forward to on ONE day, so to you mommas who do it FIVE days every week? Well, you pretty much rock!} And while I’m not above serving a bowl of cereal if Cam and I have had a long night, I would much rather serve the girls something hearty that stays with their tummies and brains longer than cereal.

Here are my favorite {quick & easy!} breakfasts for school mornings:

Fruit, yogurt, and scrambled eggs – the fruit is quick because you can wash and cut it the night before {or, do like we do and wash it as soon as you purchase it… although doing this will make it disappear faster!}. And scrambled eggs only take a few minutes to whip up. If you have your kids helping, breakfast can be on the table in under ten minutes.

Oatmeal – and this isn’t the microwaveable kind, either. Top with blueberries or other favorite fruit and you can guarantee they’ll be full until lunchtime.

Breakfast Burritos – these yummy homemade-but-from-the-freezer burritos can be microwaved in about a minute. It doesn’t get much quicker than that, does it?

Easy Breakfast Parfaits with Homemade Granola – this is a breakfast your kiddos could throw together on their own, while you sip on some tasty coffee {links below, mommas!}.

Omelets, Pizza or otherwise – to make this even quicker chop and saute your veggies the night before; they’ll warm up when you throw them on the eggs.

Homemade Pop Tarts – once you’ve made and frozen them, these babies can be toasted and served almost immediately.

A few not-so-quick breakfasts for school mornings at home, weekends, or when you miraculously wake up early enough to actually cook:

Homemade Pancakes – make it quick by mixing the batter the night before; on school mornings just toss some butter on the griddle and bam! a hearty breakfast in a pinch.

Breakfast Casserole – again, mix all of the ingredients up the night before and pop it in a {cold!} oven. It takes about 30 minutes to bake, but it’s the perfect comfort breakfast for any morning.

Blueberry Muffins – what would a list of breakfast foods be without a muffin recipe? I could eat these muffins every. single. day. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, so that’s why it’s on my “not-so-quick” list.

Homemade Toaster Tarts – these are made with a homemade crust, but I bet you could make them with a pre-made just fine. This recipe made my not-so-quick list because you can’t just wake up {well you could, but you would want to start mighty early!} and throw these together. Now, if you made them the night before, warming them up in the oven or toaster would make them a quick breakfast indeed!

And for those special occasions, like the first day of school or the occasional snow {snow? it’s 100 degrees and Amy said snow?} day or holiday:

Cinnamon Roll Waffles – these make for a very decadent breakfast treat!

Baked Donuts – you had me at donuts.

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls – because you can.

And for those mommas who need special {can I get an Amen!?} coffee, here are a few make-at-home recipes to be enjoyed on the drive to the school drop-off line or for when the kids are safely on the bus and you have a few minutes to breathe {or not!}:

Iced Coffee Recipe – my very favorite iced coffee recipe. Hubby claims it’s better than what you can buy at a fast-food restaurant.

Easy Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee – you can’t have too many iced coffee recipes. #coffeejunkie

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte – pumpkin spice? ‘Nuf said.

I’m always pinning something, and breakfast ideas are some of my faves. Feel free to follow my Breakfast Bonanza board or my Coffee Recipes board!

What are your go-to school morning breakfasts?

August is back-to-school month! See more tips, tricks, and recipes for streamlining this year’s school days:

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June Wrap-Up

Well, we are halfway through 2013! Happy almost-July! Keep reading for our wrap-up of the month of June :)

mommys-helperHelping me with my homemaking binder

{Links I Love}

:: Eat Well, Spend Less ::

Freezer Cooking for Vacation || Denver Bargains

Getting Your Kitchen Ready for Vacation || Life as Mom

How to Make Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns || Simple Bites

Lunch Ideas for Vacation || Food for My Family

Real Food Road Trip || Kitchen Stewardship

:: Being a Mom ::

Finding My Motherhood Mojo || My Blessed Life

It’s Not Okay to Yell at Your Kids || Family. Your Way

When I Look Into Their Eyes || The Finer Things in Life

:: Homeschool ::

What is a Classical Christian Education? || Family. Your Way

World History Resources: 800 AD to 1994 || Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Wreath-CollageOur Wreaths

{What I’m Reading}

I am gearing up to attend another Classical Conversations practicum in July (can’t wait!), so I’m reading The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education, by Leigh Bortins. After that, I’m rereading Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (I get all geeky when I read this because I love it so much!).

{Looking Back on June}

We’ve had a busy month with VBS one week and swim lessons the next.

Shane went to Memphis, TN on a mission trip, and while he was gone, Reese, Abby Grace, and I fought an awful, awful stomach bug. The bug lasted less than 12 hours (thankfully!) but it took me out of the game for two more days. Ugh. Both my mom and dad took off work to take care of the kids (mainly Cam) because I was so sick and weak. My mother-in-law ran errands for us. I am SO beyond blessed to have four wonderful parents in my life!

Patriotic-LuminariesPatriotic Luminaries

Cam turned 9 months old and is crawling everywhere. I can’t keep up!

This week, I’ve gotten my craft on and whipped up a few fabric wreaths… one for each girl and one for myself! We also made homemade luminaries thanks to inspiration from my friend Myra. I’m including the links to all of the crafts so you can check them out, too!

Hope you guys had a great month, too! I’ve got awesome stuff coming up soon, including a new-mom must-have, homemade “Febreeze” spray recipe, and more! Have a great weekend!

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May Wrap-Up: Eat Well Spend Less, What I’m Reading, and More

Happy first day of June! It’s my birthday, and I am anxiously waiting for my oldest to come home from her first camp!

Keep reading to see what we’ve been up to this month.

Abby Grace packed and ready to go to camp!

{Links to Check Out}

We are talking entertaining on a budget this month in our Eat Well, Spend Less series. Get great ideas, tips, and more from these awesome bloggers:

12 Tips to Help You Eat Well and Spend Less + Buttermilk Dressing Recipe, from Aimee at Simple Bites
Save Big by Preventing Food Waste at Picnics and Parties, by Carrie of Denver Bargains
Summer Parties on a Budget, by Jessica from Life as MOM
How to Feed 25 People Real Food and not Lose Your Mind, by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship
37 Potluck Dishes for Summer, by Mandi at Easy Homemade
Last-Minute Entertaining + Honey Whole-Wheat Hummingbird Cake Recipe, by Shaina from Food for My Family
Six Tips for a Simple and Frugal Birthday Party, my contribution

{What I’m Reading}

I haven’t been reading as much as I would like lately, but I’m working on Raising Digital Families for Dummies, by my friend Amy Lupold Bair. In my opinion, this is a must read for all parents.

{Looking Back on May}

Cam turned 8 months old, and you can read all about his new tricks! Abby Grace celebrated her 9th birthday, and will have her first sleepover party this Friday. Goodness, how the time flies!

Cam sporting his Daddy’s superman onesie

I am slowly but surely sharing about our trip to Disney. My “Day 3″ post will be up sometime next week :)

I’ve also shared a quick and frugal tip for you homeschoolers.

And don’t forget, there are several quick and easy ways for you to help those Oklahomans affected by the May tornadoes. As most of you know, the OKC metro area was hit again on Friday, so whatever you can do to help is greatly appreciated.

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Six Tips for a Simple and Frugal Birthday Party {Eat Well, Spend Less}

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really spent a ton of money on my girls’ birthdays. Usually, we have family over and roast hot dogs and eat cake. Every other year, they get to have a friend party at a local park, where they can invite a few friends (plus family) to play and have cupcakes.

Six Tips for a Simple and Frugal Birthday Party

This year, Reese had a blast playing at the playground and eating store-bought cupcakes. Even though I didn’t go the homemade route this year, I still didn’t spend much; less than $50 for cupcakes and paper goods.

However, I realize that many people can spend hundreds of dollars on one child’s birthday party. To each his own, but this just isn’t how we roll. Having four children means having four birthday parties, and I would rather spend my money on something tangible, rather than a party everyone wants to pin on Pinterest. I’m not very pinterest-y anyway, have you noticed?!

Ahem.

So here are six tips to help you eat well at your children’s birthday parties and still spend less.

Use a theme with toys you already have.

One year, we had a Dora-themed birthday for Abby Grace. We bought the Dora plates and cups, but all of the decorations were the Dora figurines we already had. Shane set up the Dora castle and figurines as the table centerpiece and Abby Grace loved it. When we had a Barbie-themed party, we bought the Barbie and some accessories as her gift and used those as part of the decor. Two birds with one stone, baby!

Fire up the grill…

… or have a hot dog roast. We enjoy roasting wieners in our fire pit, and it’s always a hit when we use it for a party. Snack on s’mores instead of cake and you have a campfire birthday to remember. Try purchasing hot dogs when they are on sale (mainly the months of May, June, and July) and then freezing them if your kiddo doesn’t have a birthday during the summer. Don’t forget to take your coupons!

Have one big party.

In the past, we have combined Abby Grace’s and Reese’s birthday parties; Reese was born in March and Abby Grace was born in May, so we have one big party in April. Since we are inviting pretty much the same people for both, this works really well. We save time and money and everyone still has a lot of fun.

I have made a huge pot of beans, homemade cornbread, and of course, cake and the party was a huge hit with the guests. I love this guide on how much to serve at a party. It will definitely help you plan and hopefully keep you from having too much (or not enough!) food.

We still make sure their special days are special by celebrating with just our family and each girl always gets a special lunch date with Daddy.

Eat cake…

… without serving a meal first. Have the party in the afternoon, between 2 and 4 and just serve cake (maybe some ice cream!) and punch. This option is definitely cheaper and there is a lot less work and clean-up. ‘Nuf said.

Take the easy way out.

No, I don’t mean go to Chuck E. Cheese. If you have to have food with your cake, but don’t want to cook a meal, go the easy route: mini sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and dip. Easy-peasy, satisfying, and you can keep costs down by buying the fruit and veggies in bulk, rather than pre-cut. You can also make your own dip or pair chips with salsa.

Opt for homemade.

You really can’t beat a homemade birthday cake (with an awesome homemade birthday banner to boot). Homemade can easily be the least-expensive, yet tastiest option for birthdays. It’s the way we usually do it, and while it can be more work, you can make it fun by including your kiddos in the planning, making, and creating.

Here are a few of my favorite homemade recipes:

What are your tips for having a frugal birthday party?

And don’t forget to visit the other ladies to see how they are eating well and spending less on summer parties!

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