This week has been a full one. I've been preparing for my inlaws to visit, a birthday party, and we've all battled a summer cold. Thankfully, everyone is on the upswing now, and we're on our way back to normal (well, as normal as we get).
During the school year (Sept-May), I'm involved in a local MOPS group. I enjoy it, very much. But, I totally see why my mother is reluctant to ever attend a covered dish. These folks have taken it on as their personal mission to totally burn each and every one of us out on covered dish. It's amazing the amount of food that they "suggest" we provide.
But.... the group is fun. And, at this point, the benefits outweigh the forty two bajillion requests for food. So far. We'll reassess in May.
A big consideration for me is the cost of all these dishes. My food budget is tight, and I'm not willing to have my family sacrifice to provide food for a bunch of women out for a good time, you know? But, on the other hand, MOPS is a great ministry, that I really feel is the right place for me at this point in my life. A quandry, for sure.
So, my ongoing task is to find dishes that I feel proud of sharing, as well as keeping the costs within my budget. I figure I have about $10 extra a month for MOPS, and I need, on average, about 3 dishes a month. Couponing helps that. Sometimes I can find crunchy snacks for less than 50 cents. I've already started a small stockpile of those. I got a frozen pie for 70 cents the other day that will work as well. But, for the others, I'm just going to be creative.
So, occasionally this year, my Publix bargain meal will be a covered dish special. And, that's what this week is all about. A fabulous Snickers salad. Did I forget to mention that my MOPS group is primarily Baptist and located in the fabulous sunny south?? We're not about health food here..
6 (2 1/4 ounce) Snickers candy bars, chill and chop--on sale 25/$7.50--$1.80
6 apples, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces--let's say 2 pounds, and I'll buy the 3 pound bag--we're mixing it with cool whip, folks; no need for organic here--$1
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip--approx $1
1 (5 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding or butterscotch pudding mix--$1
You jonesing for covered dish yet?? *smile*
And, if you are looking for inspiration, check out 5dollardinners, with a $5 meal every night and a weekly gathering of folks with inspiration from their ads.