When you’re ripping and running as much as I am, sometimes, the easiest solution to making sure your family eats is ordering takeout, or heating up a microwavable meal. The only problem with these two options is that in many cases they are more expensive and less nutritional than if you had just made the meals at home on your own. With funds being tight, the last thing you want to do is spend more than you need to on food for your family.
So, what can do you that will allow you to provide nutritious meals for your family at an affordable cost? Here are a few things I’ve tried and trust me–they’ve worked wonders.
- Create a Meal Planner
One of the biggest issues I had in creating meals for my family each day was knowing exactly what to cook. By the time I took something out to defrost it, it was very late and therefore I decided to order out which of course costs a great deal of money. However, if I just took a few moments on the weekends to come up with my meal ideas, it created a basis so that I didn’t have to try to figure it out the day of. Having a meal plan allowed me to know what to cook, I could better prepare the ingredients I needed and didn’t get frustrated and order pizza.
- Check the Sales Papers (Before Shopping)
Blindly walking into the grocery store to pick up your food choices for the week can end up costing you a lot of money. Grocery stores have weekly sales for a reason, but it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Don’t wait until you’re in the crowded store with limited time trying to search through the weekly circular. You’ll get so frustrated that you’ll end up purchasing the first things you see, (which in most cases are not the items on sale). Again, taking a few moments on the weekend to review the weekly circulars allows you to see which items are on sale.
- Consider Store Brand Products
We all have our products that we simply feel like we can’t live without. You know the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or the Prego Spaghetti Sauce… Be that as it may, sometimes you’re paying for the brand. While I’m not saying that you should ditch all of your favorites, what I am saying is that sometimes you can save as much as 25% if you simply switch to a few store brand products. Many of these products taste exactly the same as your name brand products.
- Buy in Bulk
Another method I use for saving money on family meals is purchasing certain items in bulk. Now bulk purchasing is only beneficial if you have a large family, are purchasing things that are non-perishable, or only purchase things that your family eats often. For instance, my kids are huge pasta lovers, therefore purchasing large packages of the frozen pasta meals with veggies were a great way to save a few extra bucks.
- Use Coupons
Another great way to save on your family meals is to use as many coupons as you can. Companies often use coupons, coupon codes, and promotional codes to entice the average consumer to make a purchase. Why not take advantage of these huge savings? You can print out coupons, or even use coupon codes online to have some of your food items shipped right to your front door. Looking to eat out at a discount? You can even find coupons online from sites like CouponBox save money at your favorite restaurants and hangout spots.
Eating is something we must do in order to maintain a high quality of life. But I for one know that the cost of food has skyrocketed making it harder for households to afford nutritional necessities. The good thing about it is, there is a way around it. By planning your shopping trip, swapping out some of the name brands for store brands, and using coupons, you’re sure to see a significant decrease in your monthly grocery expenses – without having to sacrifice nutrition or value.