1. Set a Budget
First things first, figure out how much your family can afford to spend on groceries each month - be realistic. Then, take only cash with you to the closest local grocery store - it is impossible to go over your budget when you are paying with cash only.
2. Shop in Season
When it comes to produce, only buy what is in season. Not only is it more affordable, it will be fresher too! It's a good idea to buy produce when it is in season and then freeze it. For example, hit the local farm when strawberries are in season - get an even greater deal when you buy a large quantity, then fresh what you can't use now to enjoy all year long.
3. Cook with What you Have
This one is simple, use the ingredients that you have on-hand now to make your meals. This is a great way to use food before it spoils and while it is at it's freshest. This goes for your refrigerator and the pantry!
4. Stock Up
When an item that you frequently use goes on sale, that is the time to stock up your pantry. This is a great way to stock up on spices, canned goods, dried beans and rice. This is a great time to whip out those coupons - you can double your savings when you use coupons on food items that are already on sale.
5. Prepare Vegetable Based Meals
Let's face it, meat products are more expensive than vegetables. Instead of basing all of your meals around meat, make veggies the main course. Not only is this a healthier way of eating, it is much more affordable and better for the environment too! When you do cook meat, for example chicken - purchase a whole organic chicken and when you are finished eating the meat, boil the carcass down for stock.
6. Make Your Own Snacks
Processed foods can be expensive, unhealthy and usually come in wasteful packaging. Instead of purchasing processed/packaged foods, make your own. It is very easy to make your own cookies, granola bars, frozen pops, or granola - and your children will love cooking with you!
How does your family eat well on a budget?
photo courtesy of cinnamon*