Frugal home menu plans are more important now than ever. Food prices are sky high and the amount that you get for what is in your budget hardly gets your family fed. I understand. For weeks, and months I have been trying to cut things out of our budget to keep it lowered. Starting at the grocery store though isn’t the only way to save. The first step to saving is in the planning. First, let me say the overall idea of dinner and what it will look like has to change. Kids’ may have to eat something that isn’t chicken nuggets and hasn’t landed on their favorites list.
My kids are not overly excited when I tell them I am making a pot of bean soup. They know when I break out the crockpot for this meal, that means for several days we will be having beans. Now, let me tell you I do vary the meal. We have had to help them understand that cereal isn’t a daily choice anymore and I have to make some hearty, healthy meals that fills them up. Let me show you a few ways that I have started my grocery savings through menu planning.
Choose Meals On A Budget
Ideally plan meals for three to four different nights each week. That is how I do my menu planning. I try to cook once or twice a week, then use leftovers from those meals. Sundays’ are my day to serve a third completely different dinner and cook. Since we go to church my frugal home crockpot or instapot is put to use. So, figuring out a menu plan for each day is easier since try to use the same methods for breakfast and lunch. cook twice and serve more than once.
Find Out Food Costs
The first order of business is to set up the frugal home menu you want to use, and then find out food costs. If going to the store to price things is not something you have extra time for, then try it online. Pull up your grocery list that you will shop for and see how much it costs. After that, check your budget for the month in groceries. If you are over budget then back to the drawing board on planning. Staying on track with both the monthly budget and weekly budget is important.
For example, if you want to have country fried steak and potatoes with a side of carrots on Monday write it down. After you have finished the planning go to the grocery store website you shop at to look up how much the steak, potatoes and carrots cost. If they exceed the daily budget you have for say $10.00 per person then adjust the menu. There are ways to still eat well and stay in a moderate budget. Prepared foods may have to take a back seat to cooking from scratch. The internet really has a host of recipes that are affordable in tough times.
Frugal Home Menu Options
When grocery prices are high eating more frugally is important. Right now, steak and shrimp for us are special occasion foods. We have been keeping to a more modest menu and utilizing a lot of beans and rice. I have also been cooking our breads from scratch. Our family has switched from eating cereal to eggs almost every day. Sacrifices are being made, but no one is hungry. My kids are beginning to like their tuna wrap lunches with cottage cheese. There are ways to make undesirable food desirable. Salad dressing makes everything taste better.
Monthly Food Calendar
My next suggestion is to plan on month at a time. Print it out. Save it. The next month, take a few meals that you know are cost efficient and plug them in. First, this makes menu planning easier and cuts time in half. Second, you know they are affordable. Third, your family has already tried them so the shock of new food is over. Next, perfect the art of making potatoes ten different ways. If your kids’ like french fries, then look up how to make french fries. Since fast food is so expensive, try to re-create the meal your way.
That has been one thing that I can say is a positive note, I am becoming a better cook. Baking isn’t so bad either. Instead of buying store bought cookies I am gaining quality time with my kids’ making our own. I add that onto my monthly planning calendar under snacks. For me, the monthly food calendar has been a game changer. I have even began to add in how much the meal cost me in the box for the day. That way for the next month I know how much each day cost.
Try one or all of these suggestions to save more money in your budget on groceries. For more helpful ways to live on less and begin the frugal life sign up for my newsletter.