Rising food prices hit every family hard, but for large families with a single income, food can be a significant percentage of their budget and it is a particular concern. Today the 4 Moms of many are sharing some tips to stay within the food budget even with rising costs.
Eat whole foods
I know that many people say that it’s just too expensive to purchase healthy foods, but we’ve found that feeding our children real, whole foods can be cost effective. When our kids eat real food, they eat less and feel better. Real food fills us up, eliminates cravings and of course can save money by keeping us healthier.
The key is to eliminate or nearly eliminate processed foods and sugar. If you’re continuing to eat sugars and processed foods while including lots of healthier options, you will incur much of the cost of healthy eating without reaping some of the more money saving benefits, like fuller bellies.
Kitchen Stewardship is my go-to place for recipes, links, info and inspiration for whole foods.
Buy in bulk (the bulk store secret)
Sam’s and Costco can sometimes save you money on their bulk items, but did you know that you can save even more if you’re really willing to buy in bulk?
If you purchase a case of meat at Sam’s (we don’t have a Costco, so I don’t know if it’s true there) you will save anywhere from $.50-$1.50 per pound off of the regular meat prices. Sometimes the case price is posted and other times it’s not. All you have to do is ask about the case price at the meat counter and then tell them how many cases you’d like to purchase.
Don’t shop at the grocery store
OK, not really. We still shop at the grocery store, but there are many items that we rarely, if ever, purchase at the grocery.
Meat – Even though we purchase meat for our bulk cooking group at Sam’s (see the above tip), we purchase most of our beef directly from the farmer. We purchase healthy, pastured cattle, on the hoof, (generally a quarter to full cow at a time) and then pay to have them processed and packaged for us. Our total price ends up being around $2.50/pound of meat and this includes steaks, roasts and ground beef. If you ask they’ll even give you the bones that you can use for making healthy stocks.
Produce – There are a couple of ways that we’ve found to save on produce.
In the last town we lived there was a produce stand that offered local, in season produce with prices that were much better than the grocery.
Consider buying produce wholesale. At the beginning of this year I discovered that you can purchase fresh produce wholesale by just knowing where to go. I spent the summer purchasing in season fruits and vegetables at significant savings and canning or freezing them for use during the winter months. I purchase from wholesale suppliers whose primary customers are restaurants. Ask around or use Swagbucks to search for wholesale produce suppliers in your area.
Grains – We purchase nearly all of our grains and legumes in bulk through a food co-op. Wheat, oats, beans, rice all are much less expensive when purchased in bulk rather than at your local grocery store.
Grow it yourself
I realize that this isn’t an option for some people, but one of the reasons that we are praying about moving to a place with some property is to try to be less dependent on purchasing food from others. We’d like to have a large garden rather than the small patch we’ve had for the past few years, and we’re considering several other ways to cut food costs by growing or raising it ourselves.
Change your menu
I know this isn’t a popular option, but the reality is that some of us will have to change our menus in order to continue to stay within our food budgets. Choosing recipes with less expensive ingredients and substituting beans or grains for some of your meat dishes can make a difference. Every penny counts and a couple cents here and a few cents there will add up.
Cook from scratch
When you do head to the grocery store, stay out of those center isles where they keep all the processed foods.
The other moms of many are sharing their tips:
Now it’s your turn to share your food budget saving tips. Please play by these rules:
- You must link to a specific relevant post on your blog.
- Your post must include a link to at least one of the 4 Moms blogs.
- The post you link to must be completely family friendly.
If your link is deleted, you probably didn’t follow one of the rules above. Please feel free to add your link again once you have fixed the problem. If you don’t know why your link was deleted, please ask.
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.