Meal planning is one of the best ways to lower your families food budget. In today’s times, with inflation running wild families need to make the step more than ever. If you are on a very tight budget meal planning can feel a bit overwhelming because you really see the breakdown of what you have to spend to feed your family for the next week, 2 weeks, or month depending on how long your meal plan for. A few meal planning basics can help you meal plan for your family on a budget.
Plan your meals around sales
You can plan your family’s meals on a budget by looking at the sales at your local grocery store. Plan your meals around the items you have in your home and the items on sale to stay within your food budget. Reduce the cost of your family meals by using frugal additions, such as pasta, which is usually on sale at the grocery store. When you go shopping, grab an extra item or two that you use frequently that are on sale to provide a stockpile for feeding your family for less.
Bulk up your meals with fresh produce
A great way to plan meals for your family is to use fresh fruit and vegetables to save money. A high water content and the presence of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in produce make it a great choice for a healthy, frugal addition to your meals. Several things can be done to lower the cost of a family meal, even more, when you’re on a budget.
When you grow your own produce, you can provide whole foods to your family at an affordable price. Gardening is a great frugal pass time that can save you a lot of money once you get the hang of it. Start small to avoid wasting money while you are learning how to keep plants alive.
Alternatively, you can find cheap fresh produce at a farmer’s market or a produce wholesaler, which usually sells produce to the public. For trips to farmers’ markets visits go later in the day when the farmers are willing to drop prices to avoid packing up produce and taking it home.
If you reduce the amount of processed foods your family consumes by adding more produce to their diet, they will feel fuller and less prone to using up more expensive foods, such as meat.
Spice it up with verity
A budget-friendly meal can be unique by offering a wide variety of foods to everyone to enjoy. You can maximize your savings with a wide variety of choices even if there is not enough food to feed everyone with each option since you don’t have to buy enough of just one item to feed everyone. This is an excellent way for large families to enjoy a delicious meal buffet-style. This is a great way to use up leftovers or make use of food that you can get a limited amount of on clearance.
Be mindful of drinks
We often overlook what we serve with our family meals when we are trying to plan a budget-friendly meal. When planning a healthy and filling family meal, a budget-friendly drink can be a key component of a large family gathering or dinner. Although milk and juice are often served with meals, this can get very expensive. Try serving unsweetened or just lightly sweetened tea, water, or water with flavor drops. Before serving the meal, you can encourage your family to drink water, which will help them feel full faster.