For families, it can be tough to handle a strict budget, especially when it comes to meals. Nowadays, prices of various commodities and other food products always seem to be on the rise. Not to mention the oil and gas used for cooking.
For most families who have several family members, it can be tough to correctly budget money for food expenses. What if you have company? What if someone wants seconds? How about leftovers for the week?
The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your food budget without adding to the stress. Here are some useful tips for providing quality meals without incurring too much cost.
Create a Shopping List
Before going to the grocery store or supermarket, it is important that you have a shopping list first. The purpose of having a list is for you to avoid buying items that are not necessary and forgetting to purchase items that are needed. This is also a good way to avoid impulsive buying. When you have the list, you can buy the necessary things that you need. You can estimate the total cost of your purchase.
Make a Recipe List for the Week
In order to avoid going back and forth to the supermarket, you should come up with a recipe list for the week. For example, you can write the various kinds of meals that you want to prepare for the family on a calendar, keeping in mind what ingredients you need and what ingredients you have at home. You can even have fun with themed days of the week, such as Meatless Mondays or Taco Tuesdays. You can itemize the recipes in such a way that it will be easier for you to know what meals you will prepare for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you prepare a comprehensive list, you can ensure that not only you’re sticking to your budget, but you’re also providing nutritious foods that hit on all of the core food groups.
Search for Affordable and Nutritious Meals
Finding the right meals to prepare for the family is easier now than it ever was because of the Internet. Most frugal family recipes are offered for free, so you don’t have to worry about buying recipe books. Try searching for low cost recipes or think about trying to invent your own. You can also download a recipe finder app on your phone so that you can plan your menus and find frugal foods on the go.
Use Discount Coupons
Discount coupons and vouchers can be really useful.. The amount that you can save might appear insignificant, but over time, that adds up and you can end up getting a really good deal overall. Some people just ignore these coupons and they do not even bother to use them, but you don’t have to toss out the coupons with the rest of the Sunday paper. Instead, make it a point to include coupons as part of your meal planning.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: This guest post is written by Charline Bolito exclusively for New Frugality. She is an experienced freelance writer who is also currently connected with fast food franchise opportunities.