Lunchtime can be a challenge as a mom. I’m always looking for quick and nutritious meals to feed my son, that he will actually eat and enjoy. They need to pass the Mom test, which means organic and nutritious. Then, they need to pass the kid test, which means yummy and resembling a familiar food. Lastly, they must pass the Dad test, which means delicious and filling. Then, it all needs to be made quickly enough to avoid any meltdowns! These Easy Organic French Dip Sandwiches and Shells and Cheese with Broccoli pass all of these tests. They are organic, and contain whole grains, vegetables, and protein, so I’m happy. My son is thrilled to see any form of macaroni and cheese or a sandwich on his plate, so he will happily chow down on this. My husband will take warm meat-filled French dip sandwiches any day, so we’re good there, too. Lastly, it’s ready in about 20 minutes!
Eating organic on the cheap requires cooking, but I relied on some packaged items for this week’s lunch meal. That is just reality, though. It’s not always possible to cook from scratch all the time, so it’s good to have some easy, go-to organic meals. I noticed on my weekly trip to the grocery store that Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar were on sale for less than the store brand, plus they were ‘buy one get one free’! This was a deal I had to take, so into the cart they went. I often make macaroni and cheese from scratch, but when you see a rock bottom price on an organic convenience food, you take it. I’m happy to gain whatever extra free time I can get.
With a coupon and my shopping list, I picked up the rest of my ingredients. I am always careful to look at the package sizes and purchase the item that has the lowest cost per ounce, instead of just the lowest total cost. In most cases, it’s a better value to purchase the largest size package. This is because less packaging used, and then the savings are passed on to you. With all those frugal finds, this quick organic menu comes to a total of just $7.91 for a family of four. So, for just $1.98 a person, I have a happy, healthy and full family.
Here’s how I made these organic French Dip Sandwiches and Shells with Cheese and Broccoli within my budget:
- $2.39 Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar for buy one get one free at Sprouts.
- $1.50 Cascadian farms organic frozen broccoli on sale at Sprouts.
- $0.30 Organic Valley whole milk from Jimbo’s.
- $1.14 Rudi’s organic whole wheat bread purchased with a Sprouts store coupon.
- $2.28 Applegate Farms organic Sliced Roast Beef from Trader Joe’s.
- $0.30 Trader Joe’s organic beef broth.