How We Feed Our Family of 9 with 2 pounds of Hamburger

How We Feed Our Family of 9 with 2 pounds of Hamburger + Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe | RaisingArrows.netWhen I wrote about my bulk taco seasoning recipe, I mentioned we only use 2 pounds of ground beef for our family of 9, and that I only started using the second pound about 2 children ago.  Several of you were shocked and wanted to know how this was possible, so I thought I’d write a little bit more about how we manage this.

First of all, THIS is what 2 pounds of ground beef/hamburger looks like (plus some onions from our garden…more on that in a moment):

How We Feed Our Family of 9 with 2 Pounds of Hamburger + Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe |

The skillet is a 15″ cast iron skillet from Lodge.  As the meat cooks, we season it and often throw in onions and/or peppers to add flavor.  From here, the possibilities are endless!

Let’s say you are doing something with a Mexican flair…
Add tomatoes, beans, rice, and some type of sauce (tomato sauce is the most often used one here).

More garden veggies, noodles, and sauce.

Sandwich meat?
Oatmeal, veggies, beans, lentils, and yes…sauce!

And don’t forget CHEESE!  We use a lot of cheese, sour cream, and veggies to add to our meat to create a heartier meal.

You can easily double the amount of pasta or rice you put into a dish and still keep the ground beef amounts the same.  Casseroles and stove-top meals (like the Unstuffed Cabbage Roll recipe below) are the easiest to stretch.  We rarely do something like meatloaf or a meat by itself (unless we are cooking up steaks, pork chops, or homemade brats).  Meatloaf can be bulked up with oats or rice, but not many in my family are fans of meatloaf, so I don’t even bother.

We often make quesadillas for a quick lunch (<—take a look at that post – it’s from when I was pregnant with Baby #7 and there’s a sonogram picture!)  We will start with the 2 pounds of hamburger meat, but when that runs out, we finish off with cheese-only quesadillas.  And again, we encourage the kids to add sour cream, lettuce, and salsa to bulk up calories.

Another thing we do is set out bowls of “sides” that add an element of fun to the meal.  It is not uncommon for there to be pickles, black olives, or a bowl of cut up cucumbers on the table to serve as finger foods to supplement the meal.  Sometimes I serve a traditional side (mainly for the evening meal when Daddy is home), but usually for lunch, the main dish is supplemented only by the extra finger foods.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I do serve snacks.  Around 3 o’clock is snack time and it helps to carry everyone through to suppertime.

Now let me give you a real life example from a meal we had a couple of nights ago…

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls |

I set out to make the Trim Healthy Mama Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from the book, but realized too late they were supposed to be in the crock pot for 7-9 hours!  (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does stuff like this!)  So, I went with an unstuffed version from a recipe online.  Of course, there’s no way an online recipe is going to contain the right amounts for our family (unless of course, it’s from my own stash of Large Family Recipes), so I set out to tweak it.

The first thing I noticed was that it had 1.5 – 2 pounds of meat listed to serve 5-6 people; however, the cabbage was supposed to be a small head with the addition of only one small can of tomato sauce.  That’s where I grabbed my bulk.  The cabbage I used was large, and I used 2 cans of sauce, but could have used more if I wanted a soupier mixture (which works really well when putting it over something like rice or noodles!).  I could have added other veggies too like zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant or peppers.

Because this was going to be a THM-friendly dish, I had my son cook a large pot of rice as a side for the children.  If you aren’t watching your carb intake, then cook the rice and add it right into the dish itself.  You could even turn this into a soup by adding more tomato sauce and some water or broth.

And that was our meal.  Everyone tanked up and there was only a tiny bit of leftovers that Baby Creed will eat for lunch tomorrow.

Here’s my large family (with only 2# of ground beef) version of Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls:

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe (stove top using a 15" skillet) |

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (or fresh)
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
1 cabbage, coarsely chopped
seasonings to taste

In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, or other favorite seasonings.  Add in the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and mix.  Next, add the chopped cabbage and rest a lid on top of the pile of cabbage to encourage it to steam and cook down.  (I promise, it WILL cook down and fit in your 15″ skillet.  If you don’t have a large skillet, transfer the meat to a large pot before adding the cabbage.)  Once the cabbage cooks down a bit, stir to mix the meat and sauce in with the cabbage.  Continue to cook down until cabbage is tender.

Now, it’s your turn!  How do you stretch your meat?  What sorts of things do you add for bulk and calories?  And don’t forget to mention how many you are feeding!

Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

You may be a large family if every time you turn around someone has opened a new container of peanut butter…

or mayonnaise…

or [insert name of food that already has a full container sitting open in the refrigerator or pantry].

It’s maddening!

So, I got proactive and did this:

How to stop the kids (and dad) from opening brand new food containers when there is one already open |

X marks the spot!

This is the ONLY peanut butter jar that is allowed to be opened.  And if you can’t find the one with the X, you find mom and together the two of you will look for it before determining it is a good idea to open a new one (which will be promptly marked with an X by the way!).

This works for anything that tends to get opened without thinking.  Maple syrup, boxes of cereal, and yes, mayonnaise!

Sharpie marker saves the day!

Want to win $100 toward homeschool resources
so you can buy more peanut butter?

Click below!
Enter to Win $100 Towards the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

Family Finds {Cookbooks, Free ebook, Translation Fundraiser} – May 17, 2014

Family Finds {Cookbooks, Free ebook, Translation Fundraiser} - May 17, 2014Busy weekend, anyone?  Seems like May is just crazy busy for most everyone!  I hope you are having a wonderful May so far!

The first Family Find of the day is a set of eCookbooks that I have really enjoyed!

The Sweeter Side of Candida Healing Candida With Food


When you order The Sweeter Side of Candida or Healing Candida with Food, you receive a FREE 1 Week Menu Plan to help you get started.  Whole Intentions also offers a 6 week menu planner for sale.  And while I know you may not be dealing with candida, the recipes and information in these ebooks are quite valuable and very compatible with eating a no-sugar, low-carb diet.  In fact, Gwen’s Nest has a FREE THM Type Guide for all the recipes on The Sweeter Side of Candida!  (you’ll have to scroll down a bit in the linked post, but it is worth it!)

FREE through tomorrow!

Homeschool Summer FREE ebook


Lee Binz is the author of Total Transcript Solutions (get some great FREEBIES from them when you purchase my ebook Large Family Homeschooling!)  She’s been sharing many of her short ebooks for free on Amazon.  Great resources and quick reads!

I mentioned Apologia last week in my Family Finds, and today I want to mention them again because they are offering a unique opportunity for you to get involved in!

Apologia Translation Fund Raiser

Last year a homeschool mom from Pennsylvania contacted Apologia about helping homeschool families in a Certain Large East Asian Nation (We’ll call it “CLEAN” for short). It seems that families in CLEAN have discovered the blessings and benefits of home education and, even though not “supported” by the authorities, they do it anyway, making the most of the resources available to them.

Apologia is kicking off a month long fundraiser to raise the funds to translate their materials in the native language, but each translation is approximately $8000!  They really could use your help!  And if you donate $5 or more (every little bit helps!), you are eligible to WIN A PRIZE!  See more info HERE!





Family Finds – May 10, 2014

Family Finds (May 10, 2014) - DrinkBands, BerkeysDrinkBands have been a staple in our household for several years now.  They are a great way to keep all those cups under control!  TODAY ONLY, you can get 20% Off DrinkBands in their Band Blitz Mega Sale!  Like their Facebook page and read the latest post on their blog for the discount code.DrinkBand Blitz 20% off!

For many years, we’ve been wanting a Berkey.  We aren’t exactly preppers, but we do believe in being prepared – especially if we can help others in a time of crisis.  Berkeys are tall, stainless steel water filtration systems that will take pond water and make it drinkable!  This is the ideal product for people who live in areas where the water is not of good quality or in case of a natural disaster.  The best part is, it doesn’t strip the water of the good stuff!

We chose to order through UES because they had a better in-stock selection, but you can also find Berkey at Bulk Herb Store.

We ordered the Big Berkey with 2 black filters.  You can buy an additional 2 for faster filtration.  We have a family of 9 and filling up the Berkey at every meal is a must.  If you want to be less “tied-down,” buy a bigger one, but consider your counter space.  They are big, but well worth the investment.

UES Water

Homeschool Foundation

If your family is looking for ways to help others in the homeschooling community, or perhaps need help yourselves, take a look at the Home School Foundation (the charity associated with HSLDA).  They help homeschoolers in all sorts of difficult circumstances – from the recent tornadoes to single parent homeschoolers, families with special needs, and military families.

Speaking of military families, did you know that Apologia (one of our favorite homeschool curriculum companies!) gives a 40% discount to military and missionary families?!

As you think ahead to the new school year, I wanted to remind you of some of the goodies contained within the pages of my newest ebook LARGE FAMILY HOMESCHOOLING!

Large Family Homeschooling eBook | by Amy Roberts of

You can receive 3 months FREE of Scholaric – the online homeschool planner we use.

FREE GIFTS from Total Transcript Solutions & NotebookingPages.

Discounts on NotebookingPages, The Homemaker’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule, Paperless Home Organization, Simplified Dinners, Finding Joy in Depression, Circle Time, DrinkBands, & 28 Days to Hope for Your Home!

All this + 170 Pages of practical homeschooling help for

Only $7.99

Add to Cart


Learn more about Large Family Homeschooling here!

Have a blessed weekend!  I’m heading to my mom’s for tea. :)

Family Finds – May 3, 2014

Family Finds {Little Girl Stuff & Giveaway of Large Family Homeschooling} |{affiliate links included}

Have you heard about Little Deborah?

Deborah & Co. has come out with a new line of girls toys, books, and so much more!  Right now, they are having a Mother’s Day sale ending TODAY, Saturday, May 3rd! 

Save 10% on all items at Deborah & Co. AND Little Deborah!  

Use code:


Find it on Kindle HERE!

Want to win a copy of Large Family Homeschooling?

Giveaways on Apron Strings!Linda at Apron Strings and Other Things is having a Blog Anniversary Giveaway!  You can win my book and many other great giveaways!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!  Ends May 4th.

Have a blessed weekend!

Frugal Ideas {Welcome Home Wednesday}

Frugal Ideas {Welcome Home Wednesday Homemaking Link Up on Raising Arrows}

Last week on the Welcome Home Wednesday Link Up, I ran across some really great frugal ideas that I wanted to share with all of you.

First up is a series from SewMona on extending the life of your kids’ clothing.  She shared how to transform long sleeves into short sleeves and how to revamp kids pajamas.  I actually just threw away a pair jammies with holes in the knees.  OOPS!  Should have listened to SewMona!

frugal pantry

From Aspired Living comes a REAL frugal pantry solution.  I love this!  She gives suggestions for using the things you already have rather than buying all sorts of cutesy containers and such.  We’ve been doing this a lot in our new home.  I don’t have a lot of drawers in my kitchen, so I have created “drawers” by putting things in open boxes that I can slide in and out of cabinets.  Works great and is oh so frugal!

Laura from At Home in the Wilburness shared how she keeps baby socks on her little girl’s feet. Really cute idea – and really cute baby!

The most clicked post from last week was from Sweet Country Roots on birth control.

Now, it’s your turn!  Link up as many as 3 posts from your blog and enjoy the other links left here!  {If reading via email, please click over to see the links and leave yours!}

Welcome Home Wednesdays
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Welcome Home Wednesdays"><img src="" alt="Welcome Home Wednesdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>