How to Feed Your Family on a Budget

Feeding Your Family on a BudgetMany families struggle to maintain a healthy diet for their family on a budget, but there are so many cheap meal ideas and money-saving tips that can help.

There are numerous ways for households to save money on the food that they eat that can help them make the most out of their budget.

Fortunately, families do not have to sacrifice a healthy diet in order to save money. The main keys to making family meals for cheap is to plan before shopping, purchasing items at the best prices and preparing meals that can help to stretch a food budget. For more advice on eating healthy on an affordable budget, read these helpful tips.

Tip 1: Come up With Meal Planning Ideas Before Going Grocery Shopping

If you and your family are trying to cut down on food costs, then you are encouraged to plan easy and cheap dinner recipes for the week before visiting the grocery store. By planning ahead of time, you can avoid purchasing anything other than the items essential to the meals that have already been selected for the week. This is one of the most important steps to healthy meal planning on a budget because it allows you and your family to keep track of both your food budget and overall diet.

Tip 2: Look For Savings to Get the Best Price

Nowadays, sales and coupons from your local newspaper, online offers and in-store deals can make it easier for families to manage a healthy diet while still meal planning on a budget.

If there is a store that your household shops at frequently, check to see if they have a loyalty card for extra savings on your groceries. Finding special discounts on expensive items, such as meat and seafood, can be incredibly helpful for family meal planning on a budget.

Tip 3: Compare and Contrast Products and Brands

When you go grocery shopping for budget family meals, you should compare and contrast items at the store. You can look at the price per unit of different items to make sure that you are getting the most product for your money. Try comparing the unit price of various brands and differing sizes of the same brand in order to determine the best offer.

Tip 4: Purchase Bulk Groceries Whenever Possible

In most cases, purchasing groceries in bulk is the cheapest option and can be a useful way to provide cheap meals for large families. It can be a wise, money-saving shopping choice to purchase grocery items like low-fat yogurt or frozen vegetables in bulk.

Dried goods like rice are also much cheaper to purchase in bulk and they have a long storage life. Before you shop, make sure that you have enough space in your pantry or freezer to store all of the groceries.

Tip 5: Buy Fruits and Vegetables in Season

If you are looking for ways to cook fresh and easy meals for your family without breaking the bank, you should start purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in season. Purchasing produce in season can lower the cost of your groceries, adding to the overall freshness of your family’s diet.

Come up with seasonal meal planning ideas and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet all year long. Also, look into applying for SNAP benefits to save more on these costly foods at the supermarket.

Tip 6: Embrace Simple Budget Recipes to Save Money

The best way to make family meals for cheap is to cook simple recipes at home. When it comes to groceries, convenience costs money and prepackaged or prepared foods are usually the most expensive.

Preparing your own fresh and simple dishes at home will be much cheaper than purchasing frozen dinners or eating take-out meals. Cooking for your family is also a great way to ensure that everyone is eating a healthy and balanced diet.

Tip 7: Cook Once for Homemade Meals All Week

If your family spends too much money on take-out meals, then you should try preparing budget family meals in bulk to last throughout the week. One popular method is to prepare a large and inexpensive cut of meat in order to be reused in various recipes throughout the week. For example, you can cook a bulk amount of ground beef or chicken and prepare daily meals based on those ingredients.

Another popular method of family meal planning on a budget is to cook all the meals for one week and place them in the freezer for storage. This way, you and your family can enjoy home cooked meals throughout the week without the need for preparation time. By cooking affordably in bulk, you can save both time and money on your family meals.

Tip 8: Repurpose Leftovers into Creative New Meals

Families who are meal planning on a budget should always try to avoid throwing away food. Instead, families can repurpose their leftovers into delicious new meals. For example, leftover ground beef can be repurposed into a chili or homemade tacos.

Leftover vegetables can be used as ingredients for a hearty soup for the whole family. Throwing away food may seem minor, but it can significantly raise a household’s food costs over time.

Tip 9: Use Low-Cost Alternatives for Budget Family Meals

Let’s face it, many items on your grocery list are expensive. Certain foods have more affordable alternatives that can be used for delicious, yet cheap meal ideas. For example, you can use beans as a cheaper option for a protein food in your meals.

Purchasing expensive fruits and vegetables, such as blackberries or avocados, can make your grocery bill very pricey. Instead, you can choose cheaper produce like apples, bananas, sweet potatoes or cabbage. If you want more access to healthier foods but can’t seem to afford it, then see if you qualify for SNAP to receive financial assistance with groceries.

Tip 10: Cut out Processed Juices and Drinks from Your Budget

Believe it or not, processed juices and carbonated beverages are some of the biggest obstacles to a healthy diet. Purchasing these products also adds to a family’s grocery bill and can make it very difficult to manage meal planning on a budget.

Unfortunately, even juices that are marketed as “healthy” tend to have high amounts of sugar, which does more harm to your overall health than good. By removing these unhealthy and expensive options from your food budget, you can afford to purchase healthier products with the money you save.