Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sensory Friendly Cooking On a Budget

I am wanting to start a new segment of my blog about living, and eating thrifty (mostly eating) when dealing with sensory issues.  It's been something that I have found very difficult to do in my household where every member of my family has a variety of sensory issues pertaining to food.  I think that by posting recipes, and methods it might be helpful to other parents out there who are trying eat on a budget that can't fit in convenience foods like chicken nuggets, and frozen pizza for every meal.  Also, some of these ideas weren't always that obvious to me, even before having kids when just cooking for myself, and my (ultra picky!) husband. It might be helpful for the independent autistic who was never taught how to budget in nutritious food that they like.  I also think that by explaining some of the reasoning behind why certain foods are not sensory friendly to some people parents might gain a better understanding of why their kids won't eat certain things, and what items might work in place of them, but won't break the bank.

I thought about making this a separate blog, but I don't plan on posting about this all the time, and I really don't want to maintain two blogs, so.... I'm gonna just squeeze these entries in here on this blog.

To start with, I have been googling frugal recipes, as well as making a list of common ingredients that I use from my receipts.  You can't know what a dish costs to make if you don't know how much the ingredients are.  I am still doing this, and encourage you to do the same.  Prices do jump around, so you may have to update your list from time to time, but it's always good to have an approximate idea of what you're spending on what ingredients.  For now, I am putting them in a notebook, but I will likely type them out, and print them when I get a good list going.  This way, I can take it with me in my purse to the grocery store for price checking when I think something is on sale.  I can see right away of it really is, or not.  I will be sharing recipes, and meal ideas as I go.

Share any ideas, links, and feedback you might have in the comment section below!


  1. Great idea! I'm glad you are doing this on here. I had originally wanted to start a cooking blog, posting recipes and all that fun stuff--but who the heck has time to keep adding more blogs because they kept thinking up more projects (not me that is for sure!)

    I wrote a couple of posts about juicing because I cannot tolerate eating veggies or any kinds of fruits that have skin on them. Juicing has me drinking all kinds of fruits and veggies that I would NEVER put into my mouth. The juice is smooth and pulp free so I can do it!

    The only drawback though--it is definitely NOT budget friendly. Technically I am supposed to be using organic fruits and veggies too (have you seen the prices of those?) Not in the budget. Even just buying non-organic produce is a huge expense to see me juice it up and throw away all the pulp. But on a good note I am getting my fruits and veggies, just wish I could get em cheaply. I'll be watching for your recipes and tips!

    1. Maybe, I will have you guest post? That way you can add your ideas, but won't be a huge responsibility. If it gets to be a big thing may we can go in on a blog together (you can make a blog here on blogger with multiple authors)and make a thing of it. I also tend to have way more ideas than I do time to do any of them! lol

      I'm not sure I have any ideas about fruits, and veggies, either. I know that's a big one in the autism community, but I struggle getting my kids to eat them, too. I'll be thinking on it, though.

  2. I recently found this really neat blog called Budget Bytes - check them out. There are a fair number of sensory-friendly foods there (for my senses anyway). I generally eat cheaply because I like simple foods, like plain pasta. Can't get much cheaper than that... Relevant link: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/

  3. Hi there,
    What a great idea! Thank you for taking the time to do this.
    My daughter loves kneading. When she helps me bake she can knead for twice the time required. I can see her mind is wandering off while doing it and she is so relaxed.
    I remember a day last year when everything was wrong, and school was tough, and she was so stressed and she wasn't able to manage it and regulate herself. I made homemade pizza for dinner and kneading the dough made things bearable and she became communicative again. Had I suggested she uses her theraputty to calm down she would have said no, but she didn't see my motive when I asked her to knead and she was less distressed afterwards.
    So there's a great cheap OT session that turns into a yum cheap meal!

    1. That's a great tip. I once had someone tell me that they have their kids help make homemade playdoh for the same reason. I've never tried it, but I'll bet it is a good way to work out tension.

  4. Hello,

    Thank you for starting to post these here. I work as a chef in a large batch kitchen. I've always had problems with the textures of food while prepping it. My family kept gloves on hand and I use them in the kitchen, especially for raw chicken which is my biggest nemesis. :)
    At home I've used old plastic grocerie bags and have regular. Cleaning gloves that I can wash and sterilize to keep costs down.
    I'll watch this space in the future for your posts.

    1. I totally understand what you're saying. I am able to do it now (for short periods of time) but when I was younger putting my hands into any messy texture made me overload within seconds. I used to have to leave the room when someone else made something like meatloaf. I would get so dizzy, and nauseated.


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