Nothing says summer like a frozen treat.
When the weather warms up, my kids start asking for popsicles. They’re a fun way to cool down on a hot summer day.
Throughout the summer we make and buy a variety of frozen treats. But I almost always keep a bag of inexpensive Twin Pops in my freezer.
The kids love the color variety, and I like that I can break them down the middle for the younger kids.
We get a bag with 18 popsicles for $2.57.
Frozen sausages cook up in a jiffy.
Some mornings are hectic, and we need a quick way to get breakfast on the table. That’s why I like to keep a bag or two of Banquet Brown’N Serve sausage links in the freezer.
They heat up in the microwave super fast, or I can make a whole pan of them on the stove in about 12 minutes.
My kids like to wrap toast around these sausage links to make a portable breakfast.
The sausages cost $5.98 for a 2-pound bag.
I add okra to smoothies for added nutrients and better texture.
Almost every morning I make my husband a smoothie for breakfast, and I throw a handful of frozen okra into the blender along with the berries and other ingredients.
When blended long enough, the okra helps to thicken the drink and give it a great texture.
We’ve tried different brands from other stores, but none of them tasted as good to us as Fresh Frozen at Walmart.
The 28-ounce bag costs $3.94.
Clorox laundry sanitizer gets the stink out of your clothes.
Toilet-training toddlers sometimes have accidents. When that happens, no one likes to wash the clothes they were wearing.
Before I found Clorox’s laundry sanitizer, I almost always had to wash stinky clothes twice. Now, I add a bit of this to the cycle, and when it’s done, nothing smells — total game-changer.
I also add some to my teens’ sweaty clothes, wet towels that sat out a little too long, or anything else that smells bad.
A large 80-ounce bottle costs $8.98 and lasts us almost a month.
Sunday mornings are for cereal.
For years, our annual meal plan has listed cereal as the breakfast on Sunday. Between getting ready for church and trying to start a meal in the slow cooker for lunch, there’s not much time for cooking.
Instead, we set out a few cereal options, milk, bowls, and spoons. Then the kids can all get their own food when they’re ready.
We keep a couple of different types of cereal in the pantry so Sunday breakfast doesn’t get boring.
The large bags of generic cereal from Walmart are easy to store when they’re not opened. Then we put them in a plastic container so they don’t turn stale.
There are several varieties to choose from in the $3 to $5 range.
Precut frozen vegetables can speed up the cooking process at dinnertime.
Some days go by in a blur. Although I prefer to cut my own onions, celery, and peppers to season dinner with, that doesn’t always happen.
When life is crazy, the Pictsweet Farms bags of frozen seasoning blend are a great option.
The diced vegetables cook up quickly in a pan with a bit of hot oil. Once cooked, they’re the perfect base for spaghetti sauce, chili, stew, and so many other recipes.
A 24-ounce bag of chopped seasoning blend cost $3.94. I usually use half a bag for a meal, which stretches it a bit further.
Hot cocoa without the added sugar is still a treat.
For health reasons, some members of my family can’t consume much sugar. But brands like Swiss Miss make living sugar-free much more sustainable.
When everyone else is having a cup of hot cocoa on a cold morning, those who follow a special diet don’t have to be left out.
At $2.24 for eight pouches, this is definitely more expensive than other cocoa options. But since I’m not buying it for all 12 of us, it works out.
Sprinkle a little crushed red pepper on pizza for a burst of flavor.
Each Friday we make our own pizza. I make up the dough and the kids add their own sauce and toppings.
We found a four-in-one pizza seasoning at Walmart last summer, and we’ve been using it weekly ever since.
In addition to red-pepper flakes, there are also Italian herbs, garlic and onion, and garlic and cheese. The kids have had fun experimenting with them each week and appreciate that the lids aren’t hard to open.
The pack of four seasonings costs $4.98.
We go through so much ketchup.
Several of my kids like ketchup. They like it so much that when we run out, it’s almost a tragedy.
Now I buy several big bottles each month, and whenever the current bottle is empty, I can pull out another one.
At Walmart, I can get a two-pound bottle of our favorite brand, Hunt’s, for $2.72.
Add some zing to your rice with sweet-chili sauce.
Whenever I cook rice, Mae Ploy sweet-chili sauce comes out of the cupboard. My kids enjoy the slightly spicy flavor it adds.
They also use it as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets — either way, it tastes great.
A 12-ounce bottle costs $1.97.
Every peanut-butter sandwich needs some tasty jam.
My younger kids could live on peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches if I let them. And although I prefer to make my own jam, like my mom taught me, I don’t have a berry patch planted at our new house yet.
For now, it’s store-bought. And though I don’t think it tastes as good as homemade, my little boys don’t mind at all.
I like that the big containers of Welch’s jam come in a plastic jar. When my kids make their own sandwiches, I don’t have to worry about them dropping glass and having it shatter into a million pieces.
The strawberry jam comes in a 27-ounce jar for $3.84.
Some days, you just need chocolate.
When you’re not supposed to eat sugar anymore, there are some things you miss. Chocolate is one of them.
Thankfully, Walmart carries several tasty sugar-free options. I think Reese’s cups are the best.
At nearly $11 a bag, this chocolate definitely costs more than the sugary stuff. But you get about 17 servings, so it lasts a while.
I need a lot of flour to bake from scratch.
I do a lot of cooking and baking from scratch. Each week, I make pizza dough, a few loaves of bread, and muffins.
My kids also enjoy being in the kitchen, and they typically make cookies, cake, or some other tasty treat.
All of this baking requires a lot of flour.
I prefer to use unbleached flour, and although I used to buy it in large 25-pound sacks, those have been hard to find throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Now I pick up a couple of 5-pound bags at Walmart each week for $1.56 each.
Vegetable-beef soup is made easier with frozen veggies.
I don’t remember seeing Pictsweet soup vegetables when we lived in Washington, but now in Missouri, I buy them regularly.
The frozen blend makes it a cinch to get soup on the table. It eliminates the peeling and dicing phase of the whole process, which helps save time on cleaning up as well.
There are enough vegetables in the 28-ounce bag for a whole pot of soup for $3.94.
My kids love to munch on Goldfish crackers.
Per our annual meal plan, Monday’s snack is crackers this year.
Most weeks we eat regular cheese and crackers, but I always try to purchase one big box of Goldfish crackers each month. It’s a snack my kids never turn down.
I also keep a bag full of these cute crackers in the diaper bag. That way if the baby fusses when we’re out and about, I have a quick snack to pass out.
I got a 30-ounce container of Goldfish for $6.98, but it’ll be gone in no time.
Sugar-free chocolate chips don’t have to taste like a sacrifice.
Though I’ve tried several different brands of sugar-free chocolate chips, I keep coming back to Lily’s. They taste almost like the version with sugar.
The chocolate melts in your mouth and has a nice texture. I also haven’t noticed any strange aftertastes.
These chips make the perfect add-in for low-carb chocolate-chip cookies. They also taste great when you melt them and use them as a glaze.
The prices and sizes vary by type, but a 7-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips costs $4.98.