Having a family with kids can be tough, and it only gets tougher when trying to feed that family on a budget. Of course, your first choice would always be to make sure they’re at least eating a healthy diet, but is that even possible?
Sometimes, it seems like the only options are to buy healthy whole foods for a lot of money or to buy unhealthy processed foods for a little money. However, with the following points in mind, I feel confident in being able to help you eat healthier, even with a small budget in mind.
In this post, you will find out how to:
- WASTE NOT!
- GO BIG
- STAY LOCAL
- EAT GENERIC
- HUNT FOR DEALS
- KEEP A LIST
- NEVER SHOP HUNGRY
- REVIEW YOUR PURCHASES
Thirty-one percent of the food in America is wasted, according to the USDA. Often times that is waste from consumers like us – not just restaurants and supermarkets. That equals 133 billion pounds or $161 billion dollars. We all most likely waste at least some food, which means we are all wasting at least some money. To avoid this, pay attention to expiration dates and plan to use food before it spoils and even before restocking your fridge.
TIP: Cook food that’s nearing it’s expiration, even if you aren’t ready to eat it, and throw it in the freezer for dinner the following week!
Many foods can be bought for a bargain in bulk at big-box stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. The trick is to not fall into the trap of tip #1. That means it’s important and safest to get non-perishables from these stores. We buy things like rice, flour, beans, and regularly needed canned foods in bulk.
Believe it or not, farmers’ markets can provide great deals on the freshest produce. You’ll want to keep cash on hand for these veggie dealers, but often times the produce is the cheapest, freshest, and healthiest around.
TIP: Take a look at localharvest.org to see what vendors are selling near you and take a look here to figure out how to get your kids to love their whole foods.
You may be surprised to know that some generic brands aren’t just cheaper, but they also have higher quality ingredients. Store brands have been steadily increasing in quality over the years and often match or exceed national brands in taste-offs. But keep an eye on added sugar content! Check more out here.
Coupons are still a thing and they can save you big! First, check to see what the week’s specials are and then hunt for the coupons. Try sites like Retailmenot or Klip2save.
TIP: Walmart will give you double the value of any coupon every single Tuesday.
Once we figure out where we are going and where to find the deals, we make a list. Never forget the list! Planning and good intentions often fall apart once in the store and the stress hits. Have your kids help at the store by having them check things off the list as you shop.
Shopping on an empty stomach is the quickest way to fill your home with tempting treats and snacks. Eat before you go! You’ll be able to resist those two-for-one deals on oreos and chips.
TIP: Bring a snack for your kids to munch on as you shop and they’ll be less inclined to beg for treats as well.
The most important step of all of this is review it all after it’s done. Review, review, review. We stack up those receipts and we see where it all went. We see what worked and what didn’t. And then we do it all again.