I have a family of 10 to feed and not a huge amount of money coming in. This means I have to make every penny count. How do I do this? All kinds of ways, and I love sharing my frugal tips with you so you can get the most of your money when it comes to feeding your family.
Believe me, I understand the demand of needing to make every penny count when it comes to buying groceries because the price of groceries seems to be on the rise continuously. But, I don’t have an income that necessarily goes up at the same time, which means I just have no wiggle room in my budget.
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This means I need to find more creative ways to feel my family.
Maybe you do, too?
I have spent more than 22 years living a penny pinching lifestyle, and as a result we are now living debt free and raising a family that includes 8 children and counting!
Here are the money saving, frugal tips you need to know to feed your family on the cheap!
The most important thing is to get your family on board
Make sure that they know that you will buy things when they are within your price range, and that is it. Once you have drilled this concept in, your life becomes so much easier because they can stop asking.
Make a list of the price points of everything that you buy
This will take some time, but make it a good/better/best list. Update it as needed, and keep it with you when you are planning your shopping lists and then when you go shopping, too.
Be aware of what goes on sale when, and stock up at those times to capitalize on these sale items
Did you know that things go on sale at the same times each year? They do! You can find great prices on the same items in January this year, and then you will find great prices on those items in January of next year, for instance.
You can check out a brief listing of what goes on sale by clicking on the link below.
Check your receipts for accuracy
It is amazing at how often something rings up wrong whether by computer error or human error. Be sure to visit the customer service counter for any discrepancies. You can also carefully watch the prices as your groceries are being scanned. According to 2010 figures, shoppers lost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion. Don’t be one of those shoppers!
Shop less often
This seems kind of obvious, but it wasn’t to me. If you are not at the store, you can’t spend money.
Mix it up
If you like name brand or more expensive things such as coffee, cereal, or even soups, sauces, or a variety of other items, mix less expensive, generic options with the expensive ones you prefer. You can also transition your taste for the expensive items in this way, adjusting the ratio to include less and less of the expensive option over time.
in recipes for less expensive options that will go unnoticed. An easy substitution that I find often works is substituting vitamin D milk instead of half and half or heavy cream. Margarine for butter often works as well.
Be selective on what recipes you save
If you are going to be tempted to make recipes that call for expensive ingredients that can’t be avoided, just don’t pin, save, or print them. Choose recipes that have affordable ingredients.
Serve only what you need
In order to be efficient in the kitchen as I shared with meal prep tips, I make extra when I can, but when I do this I am quick to get the extra in the freezer. For example, if you brown three pounds of ground beef but are only using one at the moment, freeze the other two before serving dinner. If you have extra meat around, people will use it. The people in my family are famous for doing this with things like tacos where they tend to make their own.
Serve two or more vegetables and two or more fruits at every meal
In this way, the healthy and generally cheaper options far outnumber the meat portion of the meal.
Utilize portion control
In order to maintain control over portion control on expensive items like meat, you put the meat on everyone’s plate. No matter how many times I preach portion control with expensive items, certain people have no idea how to actually do this in my family.
Keep your refrigerators and freezers clean, neat, and organized in order to avoid losing food that goes bad and therefore has to be thrown away.
Hold the beef
Use ground turkey instead of found beef whenever necessary. You can often find ground turkey on sale, and there are often coupons available for ground turkey as well. Almost always, ground turkey will be much less expensive.
Avoid pre-made snack foods for snacks
Healthy, homemade options like fruits and vegetables, homemade granola bars, or air popped popcorn for snacks will save you a ton of money over the prepackaged crackers, chips, or sweet snack options.
Start your day right
Start your day with a healthy, homemade, and filing breakfast. Your family will consume less food if they are well fed from the get-go than they would if they found themselves hungry after only an hour or two. If you follow my menu plan, you will see that this is a regular occurrence in my home.
If you are looking to feed your family on a shoestring, knowing a few tried and true tips can make all the difference. These tips don’t require much, but they do allow me to feed my family on the cheap without having to sacrifice eating things we enjoy. You can save thousands by using them, too.