Don’t let boredom get the better of you when it comes to cooking; try something new and add a new recipe or two to your repertoire. Check out family-friendly recipes here, and compare the ingredients with what you may already have on-hand.
They say the more mouths to feed, the slimmer the wallet. However, in this age of rising costs and inflation, it can be tough to feed even a modest family of four affordably, without resorting to the same thing over and over. Plus, it’s easy to fall in a mealtime rut and lose the joy that can come from creating tasty and nourishing meals for loved ones.
So, how can you satiate and satisfy often-fussy family members without breaking the budget?
In this guide, we provide budget-friendly options and suggestions for feeding the family affordably tonight.
Before you plan your first meal, make a thorough inventory of what you have on hand, first. Check labels for expiration dates and discard old spices and canned goods that are past their prime. Make a list of what you have, as well as what you will need to replace in your pantry. This is a good place to start before perusing cookbooks and making your meal plan.
It is now that you need to consider your budget; grocery budgeting and meal planning will be key in feeding your family affordably while also preparing and providing tasty meals and satisfying snacks for your household. Write a list and stick to your budget. These are the first steps toward feeding your family affordably.
Dining out should be an occasional treat, not a last-minute meal idea if the goal is to stick to a budget. Try cooking your eating-out favorites at home. Check out and chef up a recipe that you may not have tried before and that could become a regular on your meal rotation schedule- and you won’t need to leave a tip! Eating out is expensive, but copycatting some favorites doesn’t have to be.
As mentioned, when it comes to feeding a family of four or more on a budget, meal planning is not just helpful- it is vital. Sit down with paper and pen to draft out a weekly menu. Off to the side, create a list of items that you use regularly, i.e. coffee, snacks, dry goods.
Figure out how many meals per week you will be preparing and what your family will eat when they are away from home. Try to extend one meal into another if possible. For instance, if you are baking chicken for dinner one night, cook a bit extra to reserve for a chicken salad lunch later.
When it comes to inexpensive family dining ideas, choose pasta. Dry pasta is a must-have in every pantry, and its shelf life makes it a staple meal ingredient. Plus, pasta is versatile, providing the foundation for a comforting lunch to an elegant dinner- and kids love it, too! Consider family favorites, like this chicken pasta bake, which is not only tasty but easy and affordable, too. Whatever your preferences, make sure to incorporate pasta into your budget-friendly dining options.
You know what you use the most of every day; have you considered buying these items in bulk? When you buy in bulk, you typically can save money per unit, serving, or pound. Plus, buying commonly used ingredients in bulk ensures you are not making last-minute and costly trips to the closest grocery store to get dinner on the table. Always do the math: know what you are paying and where to find the lowest price point possible.
When you are comparing the costs of your favorite items, make a note regarding where these items are most affordable. While it may not make good sense to travel far to save a few cents, if there are several items at a discount, it could be worth the trip. Stock up during sales. Be cognitive of what your groceries cost- and where they are the most budget-friendly.
You know what your family likes best. Why not embrace this by preparing simple meals that they enjoy? Put some new pizzazz on old favorites by visiting recipe websites to garner inspiration and ideas for family-friendly meals that won’t break the bank. Instead of your usual chicken and potatoes, consider cooking something like the one-pot Chicken with Potatoes and Artichokes tonight for a fresh meal that is easy and satisfying.
While trying new foods is key in getting children to eat a nutritious diet, recognize what they will eat and try to serve it to them in new ways. You may find some great recipes to add to your rotation that expand their palates, while also serving up nourishing and tasty meals that they will eat and enjoy.
You might be able to make your grocery budget go further by cutting down on incidental expenses. Get rid of any subscription services that you may have, and that you may not be getting the most from. Instead of subscribing to and buying things like meal kit subscriptions, prepare the same at home using ingredients that you shop for locally. While you are at it, get rid of any streaming, music, or subscription boxes that could be pulling money from your account, month after month. Clean up your budget and get rid of fluff; cancel your subscription and save money right away.
Don’t let boredom get the better of you when it comes to cooking; try something new and add a new recipe or two to your repertoire. Check out family-friendly recipes here, and compare the ingredients with what you may already have on-hand. Always be searching for a new recipe that will use something you have in surplus- like rice or pasta- or that features a protein that is on sale, like ground beef or eggs.
Use these tips to get your family to the table, while saving money on your grocery costs. Feed your family of four or more affordably and serve satisfying meals that please young and old alike. Get inspired and try a new recipe tonight!
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