However, if you take the time to prepare your meals in advance, shop at discount stores, and are willing to cook meals from scratch, there is no reason why you cannot feed a large family healthy meals on a budget. Frozen fish is a health solution for dinner, I often cook that 2-3 times per week for my family. Hopefully this guide has shown you that it is possible to feed a large family on a budget. This can include things like rice and pasta, as well as things like potatoes and flour. Feeding a big family on a budget is a big challenge! Another smart bulk purchase is your main protein source: meat, eggs, beans, dairy, etc. If you’re purely using beef mince in your recipe, you could end up paying as much as $10 just for the mince to feed a family of four. You can rotate options, but you don't have to have all the options at one time. Some families choose to plan meals for six nights and then pick up a pizza for the seventh night. How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save, Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners, How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big, What Really Goes into Creating a Credit Card, 3 Tips to Get a Bigger Kick out of Your Rewards Programs, Tips to Maximize Credit Card Reward Earnings. So, before you head out to the store, write a list of the meals you will cook for your family during the week. If you pay attention to what's in season for produce, and what's on sale at your local grocery store, you can plan your menu around these items. I have not found the entrance to this universe. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! However you have to dedicate lot of time to planning the shopping list and all the meals and so on. Cooking with kids; Family favourites; School night suppers; Batch cooking; Quick & easy; Money saving recipes; View more… Special occasions. (See also: 9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big). The same snacks or dishes over and over again can get boring for you and everyone in your family. Your email address will not be published. Jeff calls meal planning, "a matter of self-preservation." Please. And, better yet, it’s likely your kids will love getting involved in the food preparation too – especially if they’re allowed to taste what they’re making along the way! Hi there! 3 What can You Cook for $5. You'll not only get fresher, better produce with this approach, but you'll also save money. As the mother of four hungry kids, I've learned a few strategies that work well for our family. Take the standard lasagna, for example. Basic pantry items, such as baking ingredients and canned goods, are almost always a good idea for bulk purchases. I love writing about what we do as a family, what I do as a Mummy & what we are doing to our family home. It is much cheaper to buy whole vegetables and cut them yourself at home. You need to have adequate pantry or cabinet space for dry and canned goods, and adequate freezer space for other items. You can buy chicken in bulk, chop and season it, then freeze. 4 What are the Cheapest Foods. Either way, fewer dishes for you! One way to lower the cost of these recipes is to use bulking ingredients. Lentils are also high in protein, making them a top choice for growing kids. Healthy Investments – using supplements to revitalise your life, The awesome savoury veggie snack brand that’s easy to grab on the go: ZENB, The new Autumn limited edition recipe from Forthglade, An easy family fruit scone recipe with Tala, 10 Fun things to do during your pregnancy, A Little Explorers city break at 100 Queen’s Gate London, Make the most of your family trip to amazing Sheffield, Entertaining the children at the airport #familytravel, Things to consider when flying with the family. In order to bulk out the dish, you can add finely chopped vegetables or lentils. If you do, let me know. Use labels to mark where things should go, and bins or other storage items to keep things separated in the freezer or pantry. It’s no secret that the cost of living is forever on the increase. These cheap meals for large families are so easy that you’ll want them on your meal plan all month long! And, with wages stagnating, many parents are struggling to feed their families a healthy, balanced diet. If your family eats in high volume, buying and prepping your food in correspondingly high volume makes sense. If you can think of any additional advice, please let us know in the comments. In the list below you’ll find cheap meal ideas that are great for large families or just a family of 2. I also called in an expert: my friend Jeff Page, father of eight and founder of Hectic Meals. That might encourage them to quit asking you about it. It's a good way to expand your family's eating repertoire without alienating your picky eaters. (Notes are included if you don't have time to listen.) You may find grocery co-ops, ethnic food stores, and local farmers markets can offer you great ingredients at a much better price than your regular grocery store. These meals are perfect if you need to really stretch your food budget. Most frozen foods also contain the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts, and their longer shelf life makes them well worth investing in. If you’re regularly spending $20 a week on cakes and cookies, could you make these yourself to save money? Yes, you will have to remind them of their ability to do so approximately 4,327 times before they will learn it, but stick with it. You can designate the kitchen refrigerator for this week's snacks and meal ingredients, and the other refrigerator can be used for less-often used items and ingredients you're storing for later use. It is incredibly convenient to pick these things up from the store, but this convenience comes with a high price. It’s wise to be slightly flexible with your list, while not going overboard. You’ll also probably end up buying a lot of expensive ready meals that you could have made yourself. Buy Cialis Online | Canadian Pharmacy | USA, UK, CA | Keeping your children safe from animal and insect bites. Otherwise, you might watch it go to waste, which is the opposite of budget-friendly. Sicilian cauliflower & chickpea stew with fluffy couscous, Quiche lorraine with carrot & parsley salad, DIY party combos - prawns and Marie Rose sauce, How to make Jamie’s proper tasty porridge, Cooking Buddies: Kitchen hacks with Buddy, Baked potato skins with gorgonzola, rocket and mustard fruit, Cooking Buddies: Recipes to cook with kids, Chilli con carne with popping kidney beans, Dinner, sorted: Jamie’s fresh pasta & sauce range, Jamie's Super Food Family Classics recipes. Instead of buying small packs of these each week, it can be much more cost effective to invest in catering size packs. Turkey or chicken is the classic ingredient, but feel free to use ham as the protein. Buy in bulk. For example, if you bring home 10 pounds of fresh carrots, you can peel and slice them, divide into portions, freeze some for use in soups later and refrigerate the rest for easy snacking. You could set aside one day a week where you make a lot of the foods you usually buy pre-packaged. You know meal planning would make it all easier… but feeding a large family on a tight budget seems intimidating. 2. Whether you bring home 15 pounds of ground beef or a couple of overflowing boxes of ripe tomatoes, you need to do something with your bulk food to make it easily usable. The first thing that you want to do is go back to basics. Even young children can learn to wash a dish after they use it. Don't bring home the bacon (or any other food in bulk), unless you have a plan for how you will store it. Tetrazzini is an excellent casserole for a family, and it is loaded with flavor. This can make the putting away process faster for everyone after grocery shopping. For Jeff's family, their biggest value has been in purchasing meat in the largest quantities possible, then freezing it for use as needed. Another great tool for bulk prep and preservation is a food dehydrator; couple it with that vacuum sealer for maximum prep and storage efficiency. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors. I'm Sonia, and this is my creative space. To get started, have a look in your pantry and see how many things you could make instead of buy. Cheap & cheerful; Desserts; One-pan recipes; Quick fixes; Community Cooking; View more… Baking. If, when you are shopping, you do see something on offer that can be made into a meal, don’t feel like you can’t purchase it. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Once you know what you need, and how much, you can shop around for the best offers. So long as you store them correctly, these foods should last for months, saving you cash along the way. We know you’re looking for ways to lower your grocery bill, and bulk buying seems expensive, however in the long run it can save you a lot of money. What about things like cheese dips, guacamole, and coleslaw? For the most efficient bulk food prep, Jeff recommends a high-quality set of knives and a vacuum sealer. Veg like onions and celery will help to add some extra taste to the meal, while lentils can’t be tasted once cooked, however they do help to soak up a lot of the great, juicy flavors. And, you’ll find that store brands are often not much different in taste to the premium brands you pay up to five times as much for. Once you have this list, check your pantry and the freezer to see which items you already have. We have a designated snack shelf, and when it's snack time, the kids know what they can have and help themselves. The savings might not be huge, but since you can go through high quantities of these staples, you want to keep them on hand and buy them in large quantities when they go on sale. Frozen meat, frozen fish, and frozen veg can all be included in your family’s meal plan, and they’re often much cheaper than their fresh alternatives. Again, following on from the lasagna example, instead of using $10 of mince in your recipe, cut this down to $3. 2 Why Eat Dirt Cheap Meals? Jeff generates a list from his meal plan and, with that in hand, he's usually able to keep his weekly shopping trip under an hour. 1 How to Eat Dirt Cheap. It's usually easiest to plan a week's worth of meals at a time.