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How To Feed A Family on A Budget

Updated on September 30, 2011

How To Feed A Family On A Budget

How To Feed A Family On A Budget written by Kimberly Horvath

The economic downturn that our nation is presently facing has made it necessary for many middle class families to meticulously budget their finances.A food budget is essential to the financial stability of these families.To feed a family on a budget, the person who is responsible for groceries should get and keep the kitchen organized, create a shopping list, and should use the same list in the grocery store.

The first thing a family needs to do is to get organized.The food in a family’s home should be organized in a way that the oldest items will be used first.This prevents spoilage, which is a waste of the families’ resources and money. Whenever I visit my mother, I end up cleaning out her refrigerator because she does not take the time to organize it. It is amazing how much food is thrown away because it was just tossed in the back of the refrigerator and forgotten about.Foods that are alike should be put away together, so that it is easy to see how much of a particular item is already in the home.It is also important to maximize storage space, so that after shopping, there is plenty of room to put things away. I quickly learned the importance of maximizing storage space after comming home from a shopping trip and not having enough room for my groceries. I ended up bringing a few things back to the store, only to find that if I would have taken the time to organize and maximize the space ahead of time, there would have been ample room for putting away my groceries.

The next step is to create a shopping list.When compiling a shopping list it is a good idea to check the papers for sales and coupons. As a child, I remember being ammused by the fact that my parents got so excited when they found a really good sale. Now that I have my own family to provide for, I understand the joy of finding a great sale. Another helpful suggestion is to take inventory of what is already in the home. When taking inventory, pay attention to how much space is available, so that the shopping list does not contain more food than there is room for. Taking inventory should be quick and easy because everything is organized. Upon completion, a budget-friendly shopping list should only contain items that the family is certain to use.

The final step involves the use of the list that was created.In order to do this, shoppers must remember to bring their shopping list to the supermarket.Too often shoppers forget their lists and try to shop by memory. I have made this mistake in the past. When I got home after shopping without my list, I began to put groceries away. I then realized that I had purchased a lot of junk that I did not need. In addition to making needless purchases, I had also forgotten half of what I did need.Shopping without a list is very ineffective when trying to stick to a budget.Shoppers may also be easily distracted, which makes using their list difficult.To avoid this, the person shopping should go to the store alone.Shopping with others, especially children, is likely to cause the shopper to make costly purchases that are not on their shopping list. My children are very good at convincing me to buy them things that I was not planning to spend money on, so I try to shop when they are at school or busy at another activity. In addition, shopping on an empty stomach or while upset can also cause shoppers to stray from their lists. I have noticed that when I am hungry, I have stronger urges to buy foods that look appealing, even though they were not put on my list. The same goes for when I am upsest. I now make sure I eat before grocery shopping and I avoid shopping altogether when I am really upset or stressed out about something.There should be no surprises at checkout if shoppers remembered to bring and use their lists.

Trying to feed a family on a budget may feel overwhelming during these tough economic times. Following the three simple steps that have been presented should alleviate some of the anxieties these families are feeling.Providers who organize their kitchens, make shopping list, and use their shopping list will be successful in feeding their families on a budget.These families will see immediate savings and can feel assured that they are heading in the right direction towards their goals of financial stability.


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    • kimberlyh32 profile image

      kimberlyh32 6 years ago

      Thank you for all the positive comments. Most of the advice I gave is pretty simple and easy to do. It really does help a shopper stick to a budget, which is important for anyone trying to make ends meet or save some money. I also like travel_man1971's comment about growing your own food.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Using your money wisely and not resorting to impulsive buying will really make your family happy.

      To combat financial crisis, you can grow your own food (potatoes, corn, vegetables, fruits) and make your own food recipes.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great advice for anyone on a tight budget ... and there are a lot of us these days.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 6 years ago from United States

      Welcome to Hubpages! You have a lot of good tips here. As the mom of 5 and a person who hosts lots of people in my home, I'm always trying to organize better. I'm lucky that I have both a big grocery store and a Super Walmart less than 2 miles away, so I don't really have to plan all that much, but I do work very hard to not waste food--my mom is just like yours! I also go to her refrigerator and clean it out of bad stuff. I hope you will post some of your best meal ideas and other tips for living cheap!