Grocery shopping for our family of six: fresh, tasty and budget friendly

This blog post was created in partnership with FreshCo.

It took me a long time to find my groove when it comes to grocery shopping and preparing meals for six people. It’s not an easy task. But when you add on trying to prepare fresh healthy meals for your family, and not breaking the bank, the entire process can feel overwhelming.

For a few years there, my husband and I were just in survival mode. We had four young kids and would reach for what was convenient over what was healthy and probably more cost effective. But as the dust settled, and we had a closer look at our bank accounts, we knew something had to change.

One of the biggest changes our family had made over the last few months is ordering in less and actually meal planning and getting what we need at the grocery store. I may not be so far out of the trenches that I am cooking gourmet meals for our family, but I have mastered a few healthy, family-friendly meals that I can make in bulk and then reuse the leftovers in other meals.

What is my number one go-to meal? A roast, including roasted vegetables, which I cannot get enough of, especially during the winter. Now with Christmas over, it is time to reel in the spending and be very strategic when it comes to feeding my family.

Here is how I typically approach my meal planning and grocery shopping for our family of six…

For us, I have found what works best is for me to only plan for three days at a time. This is less daunting, and then if something derails us, like illness, I won’t be wasting a week’s worth of food. I am starting to base more and more of our meals around what is on sale at the moment, using our local grocery store’s mobile flyer to help build my list. I find that FreshCo not only has great deals, but will even price match.

making grocery list

I don’t mind popping out to the grocery store a few times a week either, I think that’s because I can wrap my head around a small grocery shop rather than a massive shop, which can take up hours of my day to shop and then put away the groceries.

grocery shopping with four kids

These mini grocery shops can also make it more manageable when I have all four kids in tow.

Grocery shopping at FreshCo

I have my staples that I stick to, and always buy our produce first. I will typically plan out two fresh meals and grab an easier back-up meal like frozen lasagna, just in case, well… life happens.

Roasts are one of the easiest meals to prepare in my opinion. It is a meal in one, but the best part is, it’s easy to make a large quantity without extra hassle. This is a must when you have four kids. I always go to the recipe my mother passed down to me and I will share with you.

cooking a roast

Start by pre-heating your oven. You will have to check the weight of your roast and determine how long to cook it for. Often a quick Google search can answer this question for you. Take your roast, (either pork or beef), and lay it in a roasting pan, fat side up. Although I have a nice roasting pan, I have been using disposable tin pans for easier cleanup lately.

Cut up your vegetables and place them around your roast. I highly recommend carrots, potatoes, onions and my personal favourite… parsnips.

cooking a roast

Here’s where the magic comes in… you quickly season your roast and vegetables with pepper and salt, toss on a few dabs of butter and then squirt your favourite steak sauce all over it. Yes, you heard me right; the secret is the steak sauce. I love using HP sauce on my roasts. It has a great kick which really compliments the flavour of the vegetables. Yum!

uncooked roast

Then cover and cook for the recommended time.
Afterwards, you have a beautiful roast that will most likely last you a few meals…cooked roast

…and an abundance of roasted vegetables that I love to add to pastas and salads for days to come.

roasted vegetables in salad

I am excited, as my kids get older, and life becomes a little easier, I cannot wait to add more and more meal ideas to my arsenal. It is exciting finding ways to shop and meal plan that actually work and save us money.

Disclosure: This post has been generously sponsored by the makers of FreshCo but the opinions expressed are my own.

I Am A Baby Hoarder – By Kate Casey

IMG_9676By Kate Casey     I am pregnant with my fourth child. Invariably when I am asked how many children I have I get surprised by how many times I am asked whether I am Catholic or a Mormon. I am neither, Ma’am, but thank you for asking an incredibly personal question when we’ve known each other approximately 30 seconds. Perhaps we should also discuss the age I lost my virginity, how I feel about the current President, or my retirement portfolio? Sometimes I am tempted to just answer that I am over-sexed, a suggestion, by the way of a nice elderly woman who stood behind me last month at the check out line at the grocery store.

If you want to get technical I am an Episcopalian baby hoarder.

I love babies. I love having a large family. I like noise in my house.

IMG_7154I am overjoyed at the idea of my kids having three best friends to mutually complain about how much they are constantly annoyed by their parents.

I fully respect anyone’s choice to give sole responsibility of his or her elder care to one child, but in my case I prefer to spread the wealth.

IMG_0500Yes, having a lot of children, especially all under age 6 is chaotic. I don’t get much sleep, my face has rapidly aged, and I don’t have much of a social life, but I am overwhelmed with love. Eventually I will have a long Thanksgiving table filled with smiling faces, even if I have to get the meal catered because I am too exhausted to make it myself.


Kate Casey writes gossip analysis and reality television recaps on her popular site She and her husband and almost four kids live in Newport Beach, California. Connect with Kate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Check out Kate’s New Book:

You Know You Are Pregnant When…: Funny Quotes From Women Who Have Been There,” by pop culture humor writer Kate Casey features quotes from women and husbands from all over the country highlighting the often hilarious things that happen to you when you are growing a baby inside your body including hormonal and body changes, strange food cravings, uncomfortable sex, and having a foggy brain.

  • You go to Costco for a new refrigerator but leave with two pizzas.
  • You hug the toilet more than your husband.
  • You stop shaving your legs for your husband and start shaving them for the OB/GYN.
  • You have eaten a one-pound bag of Skittles that you keep hidden in your car from your other kids.
  • You assume everyone wants your urine sample.

 The book is now available on