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14 Mouth-Watering Ways on How to Save Money Feeding a Family

how to save money feeding a family

Saving money when feeding your family can seem like a real challenge. Growing kids eat a lot and food prices aren’t going down anytime soon. Even so, when it comes to how to save money feeding a family, I’ve got 14 mouth-watering ways to do just that.

how to save money feeding a family

(You can read how I got myself drowning in debt here and how I got out of it here and here.)

How to Save Money Feeding a Family – Time is Your Friend

When it comes to saving money feeding your family, time is your friend. Spend some time on the following and the savings will come easily.

  • Only shop once a week or every two weeks – the less often you go to the grocery store the more money you save. Don’t fall into the habit of running to the store for one or two items. You always buy more than planned.
  • Make a shopping list – you’ve heard it before and here it is again. If you have a shopping list and stick to that list, it will save you money on impulse buys. 
  • Meal planning – you can’t have a shopping list if you don’t plan your meals. If meal planning sounds like a drag, just do it for dinners. Breakfast is easy and lunch can be sandwiches but plan out your dinners.

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Watch the Types of Foods You are Serving

Everyone likes junk food even if they don’t want to admit it. That goes for preprocessed foods and fast food. By cutting back on these items as well as keeping an eagle eye on the following you will save money.

  • Cook one dinner for everyone – no special meals for picky kids. I know this is tough. I was a picky eater and my mom would sometimes make me something special, but this does add to your monthly grocery bill.
  • Make sure everyone is well hydrated – too often adults and kids alike think they are hungry when in reality they are thirsty. A good percentage of the population walks around every day dehydrated. Be sure to have lots of water and other sugar-free drinks available and make sure everyone is drinking enough each day.
  • Limit preprocessed snacks – yes they are super convenient, but per ounce they are expensive and they really aren’t very filling. All the carbs and sugar don’t keep you feeling full for long. Instead, a snack of cheese and lunchmeat go a lot further and will keep your family full longer.

You might also enjoy:

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31 Life-Changing Tips on How to Survive on a Low Income Budget

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The Top 17 Things You Can Live Without to Save Money

how to save money feeding a familyMake Your Own When Possible

I know life can get crazy busy, but whenever possible make your own food from scratch. It tastes better, is better for you, and is a lot cheaper.

For example, I bought a used (but like new) breadmaker at a thrift store for $2 dollars. I have made bread in it ever since. It doesn’t take long and is always a treat.

It’s also a lot less expensive than what you buy at the store.

My sister goes a step further and makes bread for sandwiches every week.

Cook More Than You Need

When you cook in bulk you get two rewards. One, you don’t have to cook as often, and two it is less expensive. 

When you buy a larger-sized packet of chicken, for example, you tend to get a break on the price. You can freeze the extra or cook it all up and have it ready to eat in just a few minutes when you need it.

Having food ready and handy makes it much easier to skip take-out or fast food after a long and busy day.

I used to have a bad habit of eating fast food because I don’t like cooking.

Now, on Sundays I cook several meals, enough for dinners all week long, and I rarely stop for fast food because I know I have something to eat waiting at home.

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Make Cheap Food Your Focus

There are certain foods that are much less expensive. If you use these foods as your focus it will make your meals less expensive.

For example, I personally like rice and beans. Here is my sister’s receipt. It sounds like an odd combination, but it is super good and really cheap.

1 – can of black beans ($0.89)

1 – can of diced tomatoes ($0.98)

1 – cup of uncooked rice ($0.50)

2 – cups of water

1 – cup shredded cheese ($1.15)

Dillweed – a good amount (about 1 tablespoon full)

Chili powder – a good amount (about 1 tablespoon full)

Add everything but the beans to a pot and bring to a boil. Don’t drain the diced tomatoes. Once it is boiling, turn down the heat, cover, and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked (about 20 minutes)

Turn off the heat, drain the beans and mix them in, and cover them with shredded cheese.

Enjoy!

Add a side salad and you’re good to go. Having a meal like this once a week will greatly reduce your food bill.

If you already have the dillweed and chili powder spices (if not you can find them for about a dollar each and they will last a very long time) your main meal will cost you $3.02 and should serve a family of 4 or 5.

Think about ways to use rice and potatoes as stables. in your cooking to cut costs. There are hundreds of ways to cook them.

how to save money feeding a family

Buy What is in Season

If a fruit or vegetable is out of season, skip it. Enjoy all you can when they are in season and cheaper but go without in the offseason.

This will save you a lot of money and does anyone really need a tasteless, hard $5 cantaloup in December?

Consider Other Protein Sources

When we think of protein most of the time we picture beef, chicken, and even fish, but there are other ways to get the protein you need.

Don’t forget about eggs, tuna, and beans.

All three are great sources of protein. Beans come in a huge variety and can be used in all sorts of different ways from side dishes to main entrees.

The same is true of eggs and tuna as well. Just be creative.

How to Save Money Feeding a Family – Use Common Sense

There are a few common sense things you can do to save money on food for your family.

  • If there is a sale be sure to stock up on items you know you will use
  • Eat before you go shopping – never shop hungry it is too hard to resist impulse buys
  • When possible use coupons with sales

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How Do You Feed a Family on a Tight Budget?

Plan…plan…plan and then stick to your plan. Don’t allow impulse buys or kids making a scene at the store to derail you from your plan.

How to Feed Your Family When You’re Poor?

If you are truly poor feeding your family can be tough. Make rice, beans, and potatoes your best friends. They are cheap, you can make a lot out of them, and rice is a good protein source.

To Sum it All Up:

When it comes to how to save money feeding your family, it takes a combination of planning, being creative, and thinking a bit out of the box when it comes to food choices. Go back to how your mom or grandma did it – cook from scratch and fill the freezer.  

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