Prices are going up, and if you’re a mom on a strict budget, it’s challenging to find creative ways of feeding your family with the rising cost of groceries. How can you prepare meals that are nutritious, delicious, and kid-friendly? Here are some useful tips.
Always make a weekly meal plan
A meal plan will help you make a strict grocery list, and make sure you have enough to make meals for the week. That way, you avoid being tempted by products that aren’t on your priority list, and you don’t make emergency runs to the supermarket just because you forgot to buy butter.
If you’re busy, use a meal planning app where you can save sample menus or favorite budget recipes. If you prefer a printed copy, download meal planning templates from the website, or just use a desk calendar. Whatever works for you!
Soften and tenderize budget cuts of meat
You don’t have to splurge on expensive cuts of meat. Just buy cheaper cuts, and tenderize it with a meat mallet, powdered meat tenderizer, or overnight marinades. You can also boil them on the stove (bonus: you get a big pot of meat broth too!) or use a slow cooker. Not only does this help with feeding your family with the rising cost of groceries, but it also makes your dishes more flavorful.
Add legumes and vegetables to meat dishes or side dishes
Vegetables and legumes are both filling and cheap. For example, you can prepare smaller servings of steak but serve a hearty lentil salad or soup. You can add potatoes and carrots with your roast chicken, or serve a very affordable and yet very delicious sweet mashed potatoes on the side.
Avoid convenience products – just make your own!
Instead of buying bottled marinara sauce, just cook a big batch yourself and freeze in portions. You can also cook dried beans instead of buying them canned (they can be frozen up to a month), and prepare your own chicken nuggets from chicken breasts. You not only save money, but you cut out all the preservatives.
The same goes for spices. Fancy gourmet spice mixes can often be DIY’d at home. You’ll find tons of recipes for homemade onion soup powder, Cajun and Creole seasoning, or even the branded meat rubs. Just get the basic dry spices like oregano, cumin, coriander, onion and garlic powder, etc and you’ll have enough to make any spice mix you crave.
Buy in bulk
It’s often cheaper to buy non-perishable staples like beans, canned tomatoes, cooking oil, rice, sugar or flour in bulk. Just make sure that you’re actually going to use them, because even if something’s cheaper or on sale if they rot in your pantry than you’re essentially throwing away money. If you don’t think you can finish the sack of potatoes that are on sale at the supermarket, consider calling a friend and splitting it with her.
These are just some ways of feeding your family with the rising cost of groceries. They’re easy and don’t take a lot of time and effort, but they go a long way in stretching your food budget.