Saturday, April 16, 2011

Strawberries Strawberries Strawberries

Do your children eat their weight in fruit each week like mine do?  We spend sooooo much money on fruit each week.  Fruit in their lunches each day and fruit when they get home and then fruit after dinner and this doesn't even take into account all the fruit they sneak without us looking.  They would live off of fruit if we would let them.  Fruit is expensive, and as a newly self-proclaimed extreme couponer (haha), I have discovered that you just can't get a deal on fruit. 

We thought of something fun and cheap to do with our children and it was a success, so I chose to share with my fellow blog readers.  Before I get into the story, please note in the picture above that my fashion diva of a child had to accessorize with a scarf tied around her waist and another around her neck before she could participate.  Back to the story...

Danny took them to the orchard and had them pick their own fruit.  They were in heaven.  They had a blast.  Strawberries at Jones Orchard are about $2/lb if you pick them yourself, and unless Kroger is running a deal, this is cheaper than we can normally get them.

Once the kids got home with their strawberries (they picked 5 lbs. in 30 minutes), they washed and de-stemmed them.  They were actually very excited to do this (my children excited about "work" = not normal).  They were proud of their strawberries and wanted to see the project to completion. 
We split the strawberry load in half.  We are going to eat half now and freeze the rest.  We took the ones to freeze and stood them up individually on a cookie sheet and then stuck the sheet in the freezer.  Once they were frozen solid, we put them in individual ziploc bags and back in the freezer.
Lots of great things came from this adventure:
  •   We now have fruit the kids can snack on anytime.  We can keep these in the freezer for long after strawberry season is over.  They are bagged and in snack sized portions.  We can pull a few bags a week out to thaw or the kids can eat them frozen (and they love them frozen as much as they love them fresh).
  • It didn't cost as much as buying fruit from the grocery store (generally).
  • The strawberries are unbelievably tastier than the ones you buy in the store since they are fresh off the plant and without chemicals all over them.
  • Most importantly, my children learned a lesson.  They are PROUD of their hard work and they see what rewards they got from it. 

So I think we will be heading back now to pick peaches.    What exciting adventure are you doing with your family this weekend?


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