If you find yourself having to feed a large family on a budget, some very simple rules can help you get through dinner time. Let’s take a look.
1. Cook Everything From Scratch
When you’re cooking for a large family, the more you make from scratch, the less expensive your ingredients will seem. So say goodbye to those mixes and canned goods and hello to flour, sugar, butter, and more.
2. Keep A Price List
This might seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s entertaining to watch prices drop as you buy vegetables and spices in bulk. Write down how much each item costs first, and then check back on your list every few weeks as prices change and new sales come out. Seeing that number go down is just as satisfying as saving money. You can even take this a step further by making a price book of which grocery stores have the best deals so you can make sure you’re always shopping at the best prices.
3. Have A Freezer Full of Goodies
Freezing your leftovers is a great way to keep them from going bad and help save time for meal prep (pull and go!). It’s also pretty cheap to buy meat in bulk and then cut it up yourself, but if that doesn’t fit into your family’s budget, then consider joining a meat co-op or buying through a local farm or butcher. You might even be able to score some free food by trading extras from your garden.
4. Clean As You Go
It’s so much easier to cook when you don’t have to clean as you go! When cooking dinner for a large family, make sure to do dishes as soon as you’re done and while the food is cooking (no one will mind waiting a little longer if it means less work for you).
5. Cut Out Snacks
Snacks add up quickly and can be pretty expensive! So instead of buying snacks for your kids between meals, make some simple things like sandwiches or cut veggies with hummus and let them graze when they get hungry. It’ll save money in the long run.
6. Make A Shopping List And Stick To It
If you have a large family, it’s easy to over-shop without meaning to because there are just so many mouths to feed! Avoid this by making a detailed shopping list before going out and then sticking to it. Write down how many people you need to provide so you can keep your shopping list organized and cut out the unnecessary items that only tempt you along the way.
7. Shop The Sales
You should always have a grocery budget, but don’t be afraid to splurge on things when they are on sale because it’s usually cheaper than buying multiple packages at full price. Meal planning will help here, too. Plan out your meals for the week ahead of time so that you know how much food to buy and what sales are coming up before it’s even time to shop.
8. Find A Cheap But Convenient Grocery Store Nearby
Where you shop is almost as important as what you buy when shopping for a large family. Pick a place close to you and have reasonable prices so that you aren’t spending all of your time driving around town searching for the cheapest food.
9. Don’t Forget The Coupons!
Coupons are fantastic for saving money, but most people don’t realize that you can use them when shopping for a large family too. Try buying things in bulk to get coupons for more items at one stop or look into store loyalty programs- many give back rewards for purchasing certain items, which might end up being cheaper than using coupons with others.
10. Make A Menu And Stick To It
A menu can be beneficial when feeding a large family because it gives everyone an idea of what’s coming down the line. This will help with meal planning and shopping, which both go a long way in saving money.
11. Skip Eating Out
Eating out is usually more expensive than making your food at home, so save some money on groceries by taking this tip to heart- though it can be difficult not to grab takeout when you’re tired and hungry and your kids want something different. Try cooking an extra dish every week or two that you can use for lunches or quick dinners during the busy weeks ahead.
12. Get A Garden Going
Growing your garden is a great way to save tons of money on food because you know everything that went into it and how it was grown. If you have a yard, start a garden and let your kids pick out plant starts while you’re preparing the soil, and you’ll end up with a gorgeous space to enjoy as well as plenty of healthy food for your family.
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