How much of your family's hard earned money goes to groceries? $ 200 per week? $ 150?
Believe it or not, it's possible (despite challenging) to spend as little as $ 75 per week on groceries for a family of five or six. But slashing the food bill down to those lower numbers means you'll probably need to rethink the way your family eats.
For today's busy families, it's often easier to swing by the local drive-through restaurant rather than finding time and energy to cook a new meal every night. Not only is fast food an expensive alternative for feeding your family, it's also not the healthiest way to eat on a regular basis.
If this describes your dinner-time dilemma, you're not alone.
Keep ingredients on hand for several quick and easy meals.
Cook some of your meals ahead to store in the freezer for easy preparation later in the week. For an easy way to build up a stash of frozen assets, you can simply double and triple recipes now and then as you go about your regular cooking during the week. By stockpiling the extra meals in the freezer, all you'll need to do is heat a meal and make a side dish or salad for one of those all-too-frequent busy nights with no time to cook. By cooking ahead, you can also save money by purchasing ingredients in bulk and taking advantage of sales at the market.
Occasional serve breakfast for dinner. Even when prepared in a big way, breakfast is one of the most economic meals to make. In many busy homes, families rarely have time for a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon in the morning, so it's a special treat to have a meal like that for dinner now and then. Omelets also make a good dinner choice.
SIMPLIFYING FOOD PREPARATION
By planning and preparing larger meals at dinner-time, you can use the leftovers for lunches bought from home rather than buying lunch at work everyday.
Have one night each week where your children are each responsible for dinner for the entire family. This can be as simple as opening a can of soup and fixing grilled cheese sandwiches.
Slow cookers are great for easy dinner prep – just throw the ingredients into the crock in the morning and dinner's waiting when you get home.
Even if you do not think cooking for an entire month would be of interest to you or your family, planning your meals ahead of time can really simplify meal planning during the month, and also save money.
First, set your grocery and gas budget and then make the menus and grocery list fit fit your budget – not the other way around. Decide what you can afford to spend and do not go over that. You've been surprised how creative you can be when you know you can only spend "this much and no more" at the store.
Take a few minutes to make …