Financial Planning for Regular Folks
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How to Feed Your Family on a Budget

Building a budget is a financial planning best practice, but sometimes when you start out and attempt to stick to the spending guidelines in your budget it can feel impossible. Your current spending patterns can potentially be so out of whack with what the budget says that you may find yourself literally wondering how to feed your family on a budget.

One of the great challenges with adopting a budget, particularly if you’ve never had one, is figuring out how to align your spending habits with what the budget says. It can take some time to get there, but believe me it is not as impossible as it may feel.

So, with that preamble, in today’s article, we’ll discuss ideas for how to feed your family on a budget and still be able to make healthy meal choices … which can often be both challenging and expensive … while limiting your spending to what your budget allows.

So fear not … with a a little creativity, it is possible for you to find healthy food choices for your family that fit with your budget and helps you save you money as well.

Practical Tips for How to Feed Your Family on a Budget

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If you struggle with how to feed your family on a budget, put these frugal living tips to use.

Eat out less frequently

This sounds simplistic, but it’s often the very first place to start. If you are like most people, you probably eat out more than you might realize, even if it’s just the odd fast food lunch or treat. When you eat out less, you enjoy two significant benefits:

  • Your monthly spending on food will be significantly less because eating at restaurants consistently is more expensive than you might realize … and you can almost always prepare meals at home for considerably less.
  • When you eat out, you lose control over what ingredients are in your meals. What’s on the menu might sound wholesome and healthy, but there’s a strong likelihood that the overall meal won’t be as healthy for you as you’d like it to be.

Grow your own veggies and herbs at home

Even if it’s only for a few months out of the year, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save by growing your own herbs and vegetables at home. If you have a minimal amount of space outdoors, you can still grow your own garden in pots from decks, porches, or spare rooms around the house.

  • Fresh herbs and vegetables taste great, but they get pretty expensive when you buy organic products from a grocery store. By growing your own produce at home, even if it’s just some herbs you like to cook with regularly, you’ll get the best of benefits from organic foods picked at their peak, and you’ll also be saving money on groceries.

Follow healthy cooking practices

For a change of pace and more change in your pocket, try some of these healthy cooking ideas:

  • Grill, don’t fry. Families with kids will understand the desire for chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and other tasty fried foods. They’re inexpensive and convenient, but are they really the best choices you could make for your family? Not really.
  • Buy grilled substitutes. Grilled substitutes are a better choice, and they’re not that much more expensive.
  • Use your own grill. Use your oven or a portable grill to avoid unhealthy fried food favorites for you and your kids.
  • Make some homemade condiments. Store-bought condiments are loaded with extra calories, salt, and sugar. You can make much healthier choices by making your own sauces and relishes right from home. The added bonus is that these are much less expensive than grocery store varieties in bottles, jars, or cans with more preservatives than you need.
  • Make your own juice. Even “no sugar added” juices on the market today use lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners to make them taste better to consumers. Avoid the extra calories and save yourself a few extra dollars by making your own juice at home. Buying local fruits in season makes them even more affordable, and making your own juices at home is much better for you.

Feeding Your Family on a Budget is Possible

Most people presume that eating healthy is more expensive, so they end up choosing more expensive and less healthy options for their families. Occasionally, it may indeed be necessary to spend a little more to get better products, but not always. The point is that getting creative allows you to create healthier options you and your family can enjoy, while staying within your budget.

The realities of today’s economy demands that you pay close attention to opportunities to live better and still save money. Just because your budget may be limited doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the nutritional value of the foods your family eats.

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