Taking food to someone in need can be a wonderful thing, both for you and the person you are bringing it to. I really enjoy being able to minister this way to someone in need, and teaching my children to do so also. I remember when I was 8 months pregnant with baby number 4, Art was out of town, and my friend who was also pregnant with baby number 4 had to be induced because of leaking fluid. I kept her children for the two days she was in the hospital. 8 months pregnant, 6 kids and no husband to help. The kids were great, but I was exhausted the afternoon they left. My friend Kathleen called me and told me she was bringing me dinner. It made my day! It was so wonderful to not have to worry about what to cook that night, and remembering that feeling makes me want to pass that on to others as much as possible.
When I used to cook for other people, I would cook elaborate meals, complete with salad, bread and dessert, and feed my family sandwiches because i didn't have time to cook for them too. I did a Bible Study on the book A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George and what she says about that convicted me that this needed to change. As much as I enjoy cooking for others, my family has to come first.
I have seven mouths to feed at home, so how do I prepare meals for others and keep it in the budget? First, I prepare inexpensive meals such as pastas, soups, casseroles, etc.. that can easily be doubled for two families. I try to double meals when possible and freeze one for just such an occasion. I also make a batch of rolls that would be enough for two families. As for dessert, I make something I can divide such as cookies or brownies. Instead of taking salad I will take a vegetable instead. This keeps the meal very inexpensive. It doesn't have to be fancy, it is the thought and caring that you put into it.