Even though every family is different, there are basic steps that everyone can follow when it comes to feeding your family while on a tight budget.
Here are 7 simple, effective steps you can take as the person in charge of the family budget and expenses.
1. Teach yourself to cook at home
Apologies for opening with the word teach, but learning how to feed a family properly on a tight budget is a process that is well worth it. Simple components cost far less than prepared foods.
Make the calculations on your own in the grocery store.
Here, contrast 1 lb of fresh potatoes (around $0.50 for us) with 1 pound of chips ($5.00 - not just a bag!), hash browns ($1.50), or french fries ($2.00).
What a shock, huh? Additionally, because potatoes are so simple to grow, some farmers always have too much and are happy to give you some for free. The most important thing is that you can make straightforward, healthy meals from scratch.
2. Choose whole, nutritious ingredients
The objective is to feed your family, not only to fill them full. Whole grain, legumes, and potatoes are affordable foods that are filling.
Greens, fruits, and vegetables are healthy foods that are rich in nutrients that will nourish you. It's simple to can dry beans by yourself.
Sprouts and microgreens are incredibly simple to cultivate at home and are nutrient-dense. No matter your budget, processed food is unhealthy.
3. Buy special sales, not in reliance on a meal plan
This is debatable. How often have you heard that sticking to a meal plan alone will help you save a ton of money on food? It has some validity. You won't waste any produce if you only purchase what you will consume.
However, it is important to learn how to purchase during sales if you have a limited budget. This is a learning experience once more, but it's worthwhile.
4. Eat a bit and leave a bit
One of my mother's all-time favorite proverbs was "Who eats a little and leaves a little has two meals". First of all, obviously, overeating is bad for any budget.
However, it also serves as a helpful reminder to set aside some vegetables for homemade vegetable soup. Vegetable broth can be made at home. Utilize leftovers to make casseroles. All of those meals are delicious yet are essentially free.
5. No crackers, chips or soft beverages
I realize this is a challenging one. I used to really enjoy chips. Our humorous wedding gift from friends was a big basket loaded with unpackaged potato chips. They knew I would devour the chips quickly.
But chips only fill you up; they don't actually nourish you. Since I've become accustomed to living without them, I don't really miss them.
Food that is wholesome and nutrient-dense gives you far greater satisfaction. Stop consuming junk food and carbonated beverages. Your wallet and health will reward you if you stop using fake and processed foods.
Nevertheless, if you read the labels and compare prices, you can conclude that crackers are not bad for you.
6. Reduce snacks
Snacks are a result of surplus. They are costly and can contain hazardous components.
Healthy snacks exist, but they are also more expensive.
Even a dollar for a pack of cookies is a lot when compared to complete meals. They also encourage a loop of snacking, not being hungry at feeding times, and snacking again straight after meals, especially in children but also in adults.
On the other hand, a healthy meal keeps you full for hours when you skip a meal. There is no longer a need for snacks.
7. Grow your own food
The least expensive way to obtain food is to grow it. Our writing on gardening is extensive. If you haven't already, I hope you can find some useful advice and concepts for starting a garden. There are numerous ways to cultivate food if you do not own any property on which to plant a garden.
The garden won't be much of a help to you, though, if you don't know how to cook a meal with fresh produce or only enjoy eating highly processed foods and snacks. You can see how everything fits together.