It is possible to save money on family meals by stretching your meals a few nights a week. We have four kids (three boys & a daughter). We go through a lot of food, as you can imagine, so we have gotten quite creative in our meal planning to stretch our meals.
- Replace meat with beans. I will puree beans and add them to our meat (tacos are a great example. You could never taste the pureed can of beans with the taco seasoning. Here is a taco seasoning recipe.
~80 cents for a can of beans has saved us around $5.00 for a pound of lean beef.
- Add bread. Yes, they say that having bread with meals is not the best idea, because it just isn’t as healthy. I understand and appreciate that. However, our kids love rolls and bread (as do I!) so I do add bread to most of our meals.
An example would be French Dip sandwiches (made in the crock pot): I can put the meat on each child’s plate (served with a fork), with veggies. They will eat it and ask for a snack the second that they are done… or I can put it on a bun. They will eat most of it, eat their vegetables and then they are full- no snacking needed.
~$1.00 package of buns has saved us about $3.00 in snacks (every night)
- If you cut the crust off of your child’s sandwiches, save the crust. I keep a freezer bag ready to go, in the freezer, and when I cut the crust off of three sandwiches for lunch, I save that crust, put it into my freezer bag and save it. The next time that I need bread crumbs, I take out my bag, add seasoning and put it into my Magic Bullet. I have just created breadcrumbs for only a few cents. (See how I pack the kid’s lunches one time for the whole week)
~$0 (throw-away crust) just saved us $3.00 for breadcrumbs
- Our kids love oatmeal – the packages of fruit flavored oatmeal. We buy them, but since our oldest child will eat 2-3 packs at once, we have started putting ONE pack in a bowl, and then adding the off-brand rolled oats to that bowl. We add milk or water and microwave. It cuts down on the sugar & the price.
~50 cents saves us $1.00 for two more packs.