Grocery budgets can be the downfall of even the most financially well-off family. Even for a small family, grocery budgets can be a struggle. Now imagine how difficult that struggle can be for even bigger families! Food cost is usually one of the highest expenses in most households, and when it comes to larger families, that food cost could be a significant portion of their overall budget. If you have a big family or know someone who does, these grocery budget hacks could change the way your family thinks about groceries. Keeping your food budget under control is probably easier than you think!
If you are planning meals for a lot of people, the best trick in your book is a solid meal plan. Meal planning doesn’t have to be intense. You can choose to only plan dinners, or go the extra mile and plan breakfasts and lunches too. Whichever method you choose, meal planning is a must! When you meal plan, you are making a plan for what your family will eat throughout the week. This will lead to less waste and you’ll never have to wonder what’s for dinner.
Make a list and stick to it
Keep a list on your fridge and update it every time you run out of something. This will help remind you to add it to your grocery list before you head to the store. Once you have your meal plan in place and know what you need to restock, it’s time to make your grocery list.
Using your meal plan, go through your home and see what ingredients you already have on hand, and what you still need. Write down anything you need on a grocery list to take with you to the store. While you’re at the store, avoid temptation and stick to the list. This will cut back on impulse buys and help reduce food waste.
Use fillers to stretch your meat
When cooking your meals, you may have to get a little creative. Filler foods such as beans and grains can help reduce the cost of dinners by stretching your meals a little further. These fillers are both filling and they can help you cut back on meat costs in your meals. Grains and beans can be bought in bulk bins which will save you money at the store.
Coupons are a large family’s best friend. When items you regularly buy are on sale, and you have a coupon to match it up with, you snag yourself some great savings! Since most coupons require you to buy multiple items, this is great for big families! You should stock up on enough to last you about 3-6 months (depending on the item) or until whenever it will go on sale again. Coupons can help your family stretch your grocery budget even further.
Motivate yourself to cook at home
If you have a family of seven or more, your “quick dinner” at a restaurant could cost you well over $100 before you’ve even tipped the waiter. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can put a gourmet meal on the table every night. Have some freezer meals handy for busy nights or quick meals you can whip up in 15-30 minutes. No matter what you make at home, it will be less than you would have spent at a restaurant.
The grocery budget hacks in this article all apply to larger families. They can also help smaller families as well though. Overall, the key to feeding a large family (or any family) and sticking to a budget is planning. If you are feeding a large family, keep these hacks in mind when planning your next trip to the store.
Some great resources to save money are brandless.com, thrivemarket.com, and your local big box stores.