How to Feed Your Family on a Budget

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Feeding your family on a budget isn’t only a good idea; it’s mandatory. The fact is you’ve only got so much money to spend, and you still have to eat. This idea  is so important that the federal government has even put together a website about how to feed your family on a budget that offers links to state, local, and federal resources for families who are struggling.

Before you dial up the local food pantry, however, there are some things you can do on your own to reduce the cost of food and still provide filling, nutritious meals for your family:

  • Grocery shop weekly or bi-weekly. Shop once and only once each week. This will help prevent impulse buys, lowering your overall grocery bill. One larger trip each week means you’ll avoid buying all of those extra things like a box of cookies or bag of chips that you don’t really need (and isn’t the greatest for your family’s health, either).

  • Use a meal plan. Create a meal plan for the week. Know what you’re going to eat each night. Use the list of meals to determine what you put onto your grocery list.

  • Figure out what your meals actually cost. As you go through your meal plan, take a look and see what each meal actually costs. Make note of which meals are less expensive than others. It can be difficult to balance this against what your family likes best, but if you try hard enough you’ll find some meals that fit both categories.

  • Eat the same thing, even if you’re not eating together. Families are busy. Son is going to soccer practice, Daughter is attending a concert, and Dad has poker night with the guys. Even though you’re not all going to eat together, you can still all eat at home. Consider a crockpot recipe that can be self-serve, so family members can eat when it’s convenient and not have to stop for fast food.

  • Go generic. Many generic foods are just as tasty as the name brands. Try a few out, and figure out which ones you can go generic with and which ones you need to stick with the name brand.

Feeding a family doesn’t have to break your budget. What are some other tips you use to keep everyone fed and still control costs?

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