Finding ways to save money to make ends meet is always a challenge when you are living on a tight budget. When you keep a very keen eye on the amount you and your family spends on feeding can help you save a lot of money. It seems unrealistic these days with the rise in the prices of groceries and other food items. You can survive on a small food budget if you are willing to go with a little legwork plan. Read on and find out what we are talking about.
Plan your meals
You will be saving yourself both time and money when your meals are well planned. You will definitely not be tempted to run through a drive-thru or stop by the grocery store to pick up dinner on the way home if you do not know exactly what you are going to eat for the day. When you are living on a limited budget, avoid impulse buying. When your meals are well planned, guesswork will be eliminated and this will help you stay on track.
A good way to keep the cost down when planning meals is to focus on “the staples.” These are basic, low-cost ingredients that can be used in a variety of different ways. Staples include foods such as eggs, rice, beans, pasta, oatmeal, chicken, and potatoes can be used in many recipes. Peanut butter and canned goods can help keep your spending down. Many of these items will stay good on your shelves for a while, so they can be purchased in larger quantities. This can help you to save a little more at the store. Fresh fruit and vegetables that are on sale are also great meal additions that can add a little variety to what you are eating at a lower cost. Take stock of the ingredients that you have on hand when planning your meals. Make a list and purchase only those items you need to buy at the grocery store.
Discount stores and coupons
After you might have drafted out your list, the next thing is to go to the market and buy the things you need. You can save money on your purchases by shopping at discount grocery stores. You can do so by keeping an eye on their weekly ads. Even at stores that have traditionally higher-price, you may be able to get good deals with them.
Another way to save money on your grocery purchases is through coupons. Check out weekly store ads and online websites to see if they offer coupons for anything you want to buy since you already made a list.
Visit a Food Pantry
A food pantry can be a great way to keep your spending down. Food pantries distribute food to those who are in need. If you are already receiving some form of government assistance or are on unemployment, you may qualify to visit a food pantry. Visit Feeding America to find a local food bank near you. Local churches or other non-profit organizations may also offer donated food or other assistance to families in need. If you do qualify for these services, use them. Even if it only saves you a few dollars every week, it adds up over time.
Cook in bulk
You can feed yourself and your family for a few days by simply making a large meal that has multiple servings. You can then freeze the meal and only heat up the portion you want to serve. Cooking in larger quantities save you both time of preparation and money.
If you are a beverage lover, I am happy to tell you beverages eat up a big chunk of your budget. Your investment however, should be in water filter and drink tap water. Water costs nothing and it is way healthier than beverages. Go with a reusable water bottle if you love taking water when you are out and about.
Stay away from restaurants
The havoc of the convenience of a fast-food restaurant on your small food budget can end in tears. This is because meals always cost more and many times the food quality is lacking. Your visitation to restaurants should be drastically reduced and if possible, it should be limited to when there are special offers.
Sticking to a tight food budget can seem like an impossible task, especially if you are feeding a family. If you are willing to invest your time and energy into planning meals, looking for good deals, and searching for services that may be available to you, you can feed your family on a small food budget.