In this day and age of rising living costs, it’s all too easy to forego eating healthy in order to save money. We often think that healthy eating and a balanced diet costs too much money when we’re on a tight family budget, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to cheap junk food, two minute noodles or toast. In fact, you can feed a family well on a tight budget with a well-planned shopping list, and we are about to give you some tips and show you how.
If you truly want to save money, it’s important to stick to a food and grocery shopping budget each and every week. Go through your current food
It’s also a great idea to stock up on your basics when you see them on sale in the supermarket. By planning wisely and only buying what you need without any extras, you’ll find that you can stick to a tight budget.
It’s a good idea to do your food shopping in line with a definite meal plan. Sit down and write down some cheap and easy meals. Use lots of cheap and plentiful basics like pasta and rice. By doing this you can plan a healthy and balanced diet and still save money on your shopping. Some people like to have a weekly meal plan, but it might be a better idea to have a meal plan that spans two weeks so that you have some healthy variation in your eating.
Always remember to stick to buying exactly what is on your shopping list! Supermarkets are full of other temptations that will cost you more money outside of your budget.
Home is Where to Save Money
The first rule of feeding a family on a tight budget is to make sure you eat at home. It might seem obvious, but if you prepare your meals at home, you can save on fuel costs and eating at your local café, restaurant or other eatery.
It might even be tempting to go and grab that junk food meal deal at your local fast food joint because it seems cheaper, but the truth is that not only is the food unhealthy, it also doesn’t satisfy and fill you up. You’ll likely be eating again an hour later!
Why not prepare some of the following healthy and cheap meals, and note them on your shopping list as a reminder:
- Scrambled eggs with seasonal vegetables
- Pancakes with fruit
- Pasta bake with added vegetables
- Baked potato with salad
- Homemade soup
- Pasta and bolognaise sauce
- Tacos or Burritos
- Rice, vegetables, diced chicken and beans (chick peas and kidney beans etc)
You can save a lot of money if you cook basic meals like oven bakes and pasta dishes, and then refrigerate the leftovers so that you can have them another night, or even for lunch at work. Don’t be afraid to cook big and plenty! You can always eat it another time.
When out shopping, sometimes you’ll come across recipes and meals that are cheap and easy. Take a pen with you and jot them down on your shopping list!
If you want to take your savings to the next level, you could also consider growing your own vegetables if you have the room. Healthy basics like tomatoes grow readily in many environments, and you can even explore other fast growing vegetables like Napoleon beans.
Even if you don’t have the room for a garden, you might still be able to cultivate a window box and grow herbs. Items like this can be used as garnishes or additional seasoning to add some variety to your meals. Herbs like Parsley, Mint and Water Cress grow quickly and don’t take up a lot of room.
You Can Feed a Family on a Budget
It might at first seem daunting, but it’s possible to feed a family healthy and balanced food on a tight food budget. Make sure you plan your meals wisely, write down a shopping list, stick to the shopping list, and cook big so that you can eat leftovers. If you’re really adventurous, you can even grow some of your own food!