As a large family, we have to try a bit harder than smaller families to make sure that we stick to a budget to help feed our family so we have a few tricks up our leave for making frugal meals for the family. Eating healthy and delicious meals doesn't have to be expensive. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can make your meals more frugal and save money without sacrificing taste or nutrition. Plan Your Meals One of the easiest ways to save money on your meals is to plan your meals in advance. This allows you to buy only the ingredients you need and avoid buying food that may go to waste. When planning your meals, consider what ingredients you already have on hand and what ingredients you need to buy. This can help you save money by reducing food waste and only buying what you need. Buy in Bulk Buying staples like rice, beans, and pasta in bulk can save you money in the long run. You can also buy meat in bulk and freeze it for later use. This can help you save money by reducing the cost per serving and allowing you to buy in larger quantities when items are on sale. Buying in bulk is a great way to fight inflation. Grow your own food there are a few things we do to help save money and feed our family for less. One of these is to grow some of our own food. From growing a garden to providing us with fresh fruits and vegetables to raising backyard chickens to giving us the best quality eggs there are so many things you can grow yourself. Shop Seasonally Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to save money. These foods are often cheaper and more flavorful than out-of-season produce. When shopping, look for deals on seasonal produce and consider freezing any extras for later use. Use Leftovers Leftovers are a great way to save money and reduce food waste. Instead of throwing out leftovers, use them to make new meals. For example, leftover roasted chicken can be used in a salad, sandwich, or stir-fry. You can also freeze leftovers for later use or repurpose them into new meals. Cook at Home Eating out can be expensive, so try to cook your meals at home as much as possible. This allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes, which can help you save money and eat healthier. You can also make larger batches of food and freeze them for later use. Use Cheaper Cuts of Meat Cheaper cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs, pork shoulder, and beef chuck, can be just as flavorful and nutritious as more expensive cuts. These cuts are also more affordable, allowing you to save money on your grocery bill. I like to use my slow cooker or instant pot to make the most of these cheaper meat cuts to help save money while giving my family flavorful food. Use Meat as a Garnish Instead of using meat as the main component of your meal, use it as a garnish or flavoring. For example, add a small amount of bacon to your salad or soup for flavor. This can help you save money on meat while still enjoying its delicious flavor. You would be shocked at how much you can save by using less meat. Make Your Own Snacks Instead of buying expensive pre-packaged snacks, make your own snacks at home. For example, air-popped popcorn or homemade granola bars are healthier and cheaper than store-bought options. You can also make your own dips and spreads, such as hummus or guacamole, which can save you money in the long run. Use Frugal Ingredients There are many frugal ingredients you can use to add flavor to your meals, such as herbs and spices, citrus, vinegar, and hot sauce. These ingredients are often inexpensive and can be used in a variety of dishes to add flavor and depth. Avoid Convenience Foods Convenience foods, such as pre-cut fruits and vegetables, pre-cooked grains, and individually packaged snacks, are often more expensive than making them yourself. Avoiding these foods can help you save money and eat healthier by choosing whole foods instead. Making your meals more frugal doesn't have to be difficult or time-consuming. By planning your meals, buying in bulk, shopping seasonally, using leftovers, cooking at home, using cheaper cuts of meat, making your own snacks, using frugal ingredients, and avoiding convenience foods, you can save money on your meals without sacrificing taste or nutrition. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can create delicious and healthy meals that won't break the bank.