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15 Tips to Feed Your Family for Less Money

Updated on August 22, 2019
L.M. Hosler profile image

L.M. Hosler has had a self education in money management. She has always had to stretch the budget with coupons and smart shopping ideas

Ways We Feed Our Families Have Changed

Things have changed a lot since I was young and so have the ways we have to try to save money while feeding our families good healthy meals. Well, some things have changed such as more families now live in cities and no longer grow their own food. Fast food has also taken over a part of our lives, rather than the mother cooking big meals.

Today, young families are still struggling with the high cost of feeding their children just as much as the generations who have gone before them. Raising and feeding several hungry children on a daily basis is a struggle and can be quite stressful. This is nothing new, We as parents struggled through and wondered just how we could make it some days. And our parents had the same worries. Looking back to when my parents raised eight children, I have often wondered how they did it. But many of us will remember days of growing up on a farm where we raised our own chickens, cows and pigs. We also grew much of our own food with our gardens and our mothers worked long and hard canning fruits and vegetables each year. Times have changed though and now many of our young people do not have the means to grow their own food. Now they must look at what other options they have to save some money while also learning some of the old ways.

One thing you might consider doing is to see if there are any local farms in your area that will sell you fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs. In my area, there are Amish farms that will often have roadside stands selling fresh vegetables and fruits in the summer. Look for Farmer's Markets where you can buy in bulk and learn to can and freeze vegetables. Check to see if there is a butcher shop where you might be able to buy fresh meats cheaper than the grocery store.

Coupons And Sales Can Save Money

Coupons have been around for years. I was one of those parents who used coupons and bought on sale. In fact, one of my sons one day said, "Mom, will never buy us a cereal unless it is on sale and she has a coupon for it." He was right. I didn't because I couldn't afford to. The use of coupons can save a lot of money at the checkout as long as you don't buy things you don't need just because you have a coupon. Also, if the coupon does not bring the price lower than a generic brand, you probably should not use the coupon.

So get your friends together, everyone bring their coupons they don't use, some snacks and drinks, and have a coupon swapping evening while enjoying an evening together.

Check your coupons to see which ones you might use on items that are on sale and items which are on your weekly menu.

Organizing Coupons

My friend Hannah shows me her method of organizing her coupons using a baseball collecters  book
My friend Hannah shows me her method of organizing her coupons using a baseball collecters book | Source

Coupons Saved Using Baseball Card Holder

A unique way of organizing coupons
A unique way of organizing coupons | Source

Great Coupon Savings

Grocery Shopping Tips

Here are a few other tips for saving money at the grocery store:

  1. Get your local store flyer and check their ads for sales
  2. Plan a week of meals around the sales
  3. Check your coupons to see which ones you might use on items that are on sale and items which are on your weekly menu
  4. Some days our local store will put some of their meat items on sale with a $2 or $3 off label because they want to get rid of it to bring new out. They don't want that meat sitting out there and spoiling. They would rather sell it at a lower price. Check your store to see if they have a certain day they do this. It may be the day they are starting new sales for the week.
  5. Another popular sales pitch at my stores in the meat department is the "buy 1 get 1 free' items. I have managed to buy 1 pork roast and got two free pork roasts. Another time it was "buy 1 pack of pork chops, get 2 free packs". That is when I fill up the freezer. There are other items also that are "buy 1 get 1 or 2 free". Thomas English muffins often come on sale where you "buy 1 and get 2 free packs". Again they store in the freezer quite well.
  6. Most major grocery stores that have a bakery department will also offer day old baked goods 50% off. Most of those items are still very fresh. I make it a habit to look for their big size muffins when they are half price. I found 2 packs recently six blueberry and six banana nut muffins. I took them home, separated into small freezer bags, froze them and then froze them as needed.

Cooking Ideas To Stretch Your Food Dollars

At some point every wife and mother used to learn that one of the best ways to save money is to buy large pieces of meat that will make several meals. Roasting a large chicken for a nice meal of mashed potatoes, filling, gravy and a vegetable will also leave leftovers to be used in various ways such as chicken salad, or chicken and waffles. We all know how after that Thanksgiving turkey we wonder just how we will use all that turkey up and not let it go to waste. A nice piece of roast beef and ham can also provide several more dishes and leftovers can also be frozen.

  1. Pasta like spaghetti are good cheap dishes to make. Add a salad and some garlic bread and you have a good supper. A cheap way to make garlic bread is to use regular bread buttered on both sides, sprinkled with garlic salt or powder to taste and grilled.
  2. A pound of cheese and a loaf of bread make lots of grilled cheese sandwiches, just add some tomato soup to go with it.
  3. Soups can go a long way helping to stretch that food dollar. That leftover beef, some mixed vegetables, and your favorite vegetables thrown together in the crockpot make a nice warm soup for cold winter days.
  4. Quit feeding your kids all that expensive cereal and make them some cheaper pancakes, French toast or even frozen waffles in the morning. I know, most mothers work these days and its rush off to work and school. But French toast and pancakes can be made ahead, frozen and heated in the microwave in just a few minutes.
  5. There are many uses for stale bread that is still good, Freeze it till needed, then use for grilled cheese, French toast, or make you own stuffing
  6. Buy some items in bulk such as non-perishable items or meats that can be separated and frozen
  7. If you are lucky enough to live where you have room for a garden, grow your own vegetables, and even learn how to can and freeze those vegetables and friuts
  8. Invest in some good cookbooks, a crock pot

Tasty Homemade Potato Soup Serves Many

Soups such as potato soup are easy to make. A big pot of soup is cheap to make and can make many servings. Add some homemade bread with it.
Soups such as potato soup are easy to make. A big pot of soup is cheap to make and can make many servings. Add some homemade bread with it. | Source

What are your thoughts?

Did you find this information helpful and will you try any of these suggestions?

See results

How Much Can You Save

These ideas can help cut the cost of feeding your family but there are lots of other ideas and ways to survive these hard economic times. How much you save depends on how much time and effort you want to put into saving money and how much of your budget you can spend on feeding your family. Perhaps, your time to do other things is more important or perhaps you are well off enough that this is something you are lucky enough not to worry about. For the rest of us, we must remember: Each generation will face the same struggle and hopefully will pass on some of the wisdom of how to survive the hard economic times.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 L.M. Hosler


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Kim .THANK YOU so much for the grab bag!!!!! There was 1 coupon for Pop-Tarts ALONE that made the price so worth it! We saved a penny more! LOL And you got it to me so quckliy!!! I am gonna get a couple of more from you. TONS of diaper coupons they are great!!! Thank you again, this is certainly a money saver!!!!!!!

    • L.M. Hosler profile imageAUTHOR

      L.M. Hosler 

      6 years ago

      I had just had a conversation with my daughter-in-law about ways to feed her family a little cheaper in these tough times. I told her I had done this all my life because I had no choice. Then I decided it would make a good article and I hope some people find some good ideas in it. Thanks for the comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      All great ideas. I like the soup and grilled cheese menu. If only we would take the time to think, we could save a lot. Thank you very much.


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