Feeding a herd of growing kids can add up. From filling lunch boxes, to satisfying starving kids after soccer practice, to catering for those fussy eaters, a fully-stocked fridge is essential in the family home.
So how can you do this without breaking the bank?
Here’s how to feed your family for a week while keeping to a budget – and while fitting in adult-friendly treats (goat’s cheese, we’re looking at you) at the same time.
1. Put aside half your budget for fresh fruit, vegetables and meat
For growing kids and worn-out parents alike, fresh produce is must have in your weekly cooking. Relying on processed and pre-packed foods is not only less healthy, it’s also expensive. Reserving about half of your weekly shopping budget for fruit, veggies, and meat will help you get plenty of nutrition for your buck.
2. Keep your pantry well stocked
A quick and easy dinner is all about being prepared. Always have at least one packet of rice, pasta, and lentils in the pantry. Grab meal packs like tacos or burritos when they’re on sale. Keep a drawer of onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes on hand.
3. Keep a simple recipe book on hand at all times
Whether it is a hand-written guide to ‘OMG, that was so easy!’ mid-week dinners, or a much loved classic, take all the help you can get! Scouring your imagination for yet another family meal can be hard at the end of a long day.
4. Plan your treats
Whether it’s a glass of red wine or square or two of chocolate, it’s safe to say we all need a treat at some point during the week. Rather than blowing out and ordering a full take-away meal, factor in a small treat into every food shop. Put aside $30, and use it for whatever you like (we vote for a fancy cheese).
5. Write a food plan for the week
The biggest cost in feeding a family is wastage. Sit down at the start of your week and plan out seven breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that all use similar ingredients. Then, purchase those ingredients in bulk – voila, no more wilted lettuce left in the bottom of the fridge!