ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Feeding A Family On A Budget

Updated on May 29, 2013

Always Living on a Budget

Imagine a single mother with two growing children living in the most expensive city in the world. Well, thats' my life! I am raising two children in a city where a single apple cost ¥200 or about $2.50. It seems like I am always looking at being cost effective. My son has an appetite that I have only seen in grown men (although he is as scrawny as they come). I have to be on top of my shopping game between preparing 3 meals a day and two snacks.


My mother raised me to cook most if not all meals from scratch. She taught me that making one's own food is not only fun but healthy as well. Now that I am a mother, I avoid feeding my children processed foods. Feeding my children home made meals has so many benefits. My children are able to see what a shrimp looks like un-battered and shelled. They learn how to be self-sufficeint and prepare their own meals. And I am able to monitor what they are consuming.

At first glance

Eating processed foods seems cheaper. For example, returning to the idea of fried shrimp, a box of battered frozen shrimp cost about $5.00-$7.00. Where as fresh shrimp alone cost about the same. Then you would have to figure in the cost of flour, bread crumbs and various seasonings. And, then also count the cost of time preparing the dish. It seems to be coast and time effective just to open a box and cook.

But think again

Stocking your pantry and freezer is the best way to feed your family and amazing meal and keep cost down. Flour, sugar,salt and seasonings for example are low cost and do not spoil. Meats, butter and milk bought in bulk and frozen can last for a long time. Various ingredients can be used together to create amazing meals.

Yeah right?! What can I make?

Well there are many things you can make for your loved ones. Homemade meals are not only filling but nutritions. Homemade meals are not filled with the empty calories that are in processed foods. Any food you buy in the grocery store can be made at home. I have a fully stocked pantry of all the basic items I would need. To that I add perishable foods such as eggs and fresh fruits/vegetables. I feed a family of four ( I also cook for my mother) for only ¥40,000 or $500 a month. Here's just a sample of how I feed my family. Everything minus the fresh fruit, vegetables and milk are made at home.

One day meal in my family


  • a glass of milk
  • a boiled or scrambled egg
  • a slice of bread
  • a bowl of yogurt
  • half of a large apple



  • a glass of tea
  • a bowl of rice
  • chicken karaage
  • a salad


  • a glass of tea
  • a tangerine


  • a glass of tea
  • a bowl of ramen
  • a few gyoza


  • a glass of milk
  • a few sugar cookies


Here's what you need to do

  1. Find a few simple recipes for bread and pasta. Bread and pasta are great bases for menu preparation. A simple recipe allows you to add ingredients to alter the flavor. A simple recipe for plain pasta can be quickly trans formed with the additions of spinach or tomato. Also a simpler recipe calls for less ingriedents. I tend to try to find recipes that have many common ingredients. Then at any time I can run to my pantry an whip up anything I want.
  2. Try to plan ahead and shop with a plan. When I am shopping I already have my meal plan in mind. I shop daily so I plan for breakfast for the next morning and lunch and dinner for the current night.
  3. Buy in bulk. when I was a child my mother loved to buy big boxes of bananas form the grocery store. With that we made banana bread, banana shakes and frozen banana pops. When I buy a large roast from the local wholesale shops, I plan to use that one piece of meat for three to four meals. I box of tea bags costs about $1.50-$2.00 verses a 2-litter soda that cost the same. Tea bags can make many containers of tea.
  4. Store it. Make extra and freeze it. Always keep non perishable on hand. I never use canned of frozen vegetables but I recommend stocking on them if you do.
  5. Portion control. I do not mean starving yourself. Instead, I recommend being mindful of how much you consume. Meat should not be the focal point of the meal. In my family rice tends to hold center stage. Nonetheless, the point is observe how much your family eats. Do not waste food and do not over eat.
  6. Have fun!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • luvintkandtj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      Noted. I will be sure to create a hub about gyoza

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Great information here for everyone to follow. I think portion control and buying in bulk is one of the best things we can do to help save costs. I don't know what gyoza is.. will have to look that up. Thanks for sharing.

    • luvintkandtj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      I teach my kids to eat until they or no longer hungry. Not to eat until they are full. It helps with cost control and teach healthy habits. Many people eat until they are "stuffed" and that leads to weight gain.

    • elle64 profile image


      6 years ago from Scandinavia

      Thanks- I like the one about controlling how much we eat, because in my family I think we overeat.

    • luvintkandtj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      Good point. I don't know if I could give up meat. We eat very little. Our diet has so much protein from tofu and soy beans. But I always a have meat or fish of some form in my meal.

    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 

      6 years ago from UK

      Great tips - thanks for sharing. It just shows what can be achieved with some creativity and fore thought. I also find not eating meat me saves a lot of money.

    • luvintkandtj profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      Good point. I tend to freeze everything. And only buy my fresh ingredients daily. And I only shop with a menu plan in mind

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      6 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Another thought is to only buy in bulk what you can use before it goes bad, to avoid food waste.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)